I thought I’d put up some details of the recent project.
I wanted to control a robot for a while over the internet and also with an onboard camera. I made TV show some years back called Rescue Robots with 6 robots in a miniature word the size of a football field controlled remotely, but it was all done in a tv studio(AND VERY EXPENSIVE, lol). For a while since then I played with R/C gear PC controlled but it was ending up too complicated. Recently I got myself a YellowJacket arduino from Asynclabs with the inbuilt wifi module and used this along with a Trex Jr motor controller and and a Pololu tracked chassis.
Some images and text below.
First up using the yellow jacket and 6v power supply to test the web server side of things out
That worked pretty well so I got a RP-5 chassis a Trex Jr motor controller and a DVD case to make a platform on, threw it all together and wifi was working. Trex has some nice simple commands too. I also put a 2.4Ghz camera on board to get some POV
The only problem with this is that I have a neighbour that has decided to install his house with industrial class 2.4ghz cameras. Something from a construction site and which violates all UK transmission laws. Such power that at home I cant get more than 3 inches reception on 2.4ghz video but I can clearly pick up the inside of his garage from across the street. no really! However anywhere else I take it I can get 100 foot plus of video clarity with colour. So I’ve now ordered up some 4.8Ghz equipment and hopefully that will cure it the easy way.
In any case the rig worked and I also used a DVD case for the baseboard. Next step was to tidy up the wiring and for that I found the Trex Jr fits perfectly on the floor of the chassis
Next in went the yellowjacket
The problem now was the life of the batteries and I replaced the normal battery pack
with a juicy Li-Po pack that also supplies 11.1 V and with 2.65Ah and even better half the weight of NiCad pack and that gives the chassis a little more grunt. However that is too much for the Yellowjacket so also had to throw in a 7806 supply to give some 6v regulated voltage to the arduino. That
was real simple as its a 3 pin chip and just needs two capacitors across it. The Li-Po now can power the whole lot at least in standby for pretty much a whole day, although it does need its own charger. The Li-Po is made out of 3 cell blocks and power is one set of leads out and individual charger leads come out on another set of leads that you have to plug into a special Li-Po charger so I can switch it off and charge it by the lead without having to take anything apart. There is also a seperate Li-Po voltage meter that plugs into the charger lead so you can get a quick look at what the pack is at. I’m going to eventually take these leads back into the arduino and monitor the volts of each cell on the yellow jacket web server via the analogue input pins.
I also installed an on/off switch by the age old method of poking a soldering iron through the plastic (insert health warning here)
As you can see it fits pretty flush now
As a temporary measure I fitted an arrow to see where it was going.
The reason for the arrow is that I have set the robot loose in the garden at the moment. It is controlled now by a seperate website and some PHP
The website is connected to the internet and I use some PHP local commands on the internal house network to poke the robot. In turn I’ve hooked up an external Axis camera to watch over the garden and can control the robot via the internet
In fact the first tests were done tonight and the robot is merrily running around the patio controlled by who knows !
Next I can post up the code for the website and the arduino if anyone is interested.
Oh, the aim is that I can let people use it to run the slugs over that infest my plant border as I’ve given up trying to kill them humanely !!