RF robot controlled from a terminal window

This robot can be controlled from the terminal window of your computer. You can see a manilla-colored board mounted between the wheels. This is the RF receiver which has quite a long antenna that we’ve cropped out to get a better look at the bot itself. [Ashish] picked up an RF transmitter/receiver pair for about $4 and after the break you can watch him walk us through the method he’s using for control.

First off, he had to find a way to interface the transmitter with his computer. He decided to use an Arduino because sending data to it from the computer is as simple as writing to /dev/ttyUSB0. The Arduino sketch just listens for incoming characters on the serial connection and pushes them over the RF transmitter.

We like his development methods. In the video he shows the command syntax used to drive and stop the robot. Once he figured that out he wrote a shell script to send the bot on a preprogrammed square path. From there a bit more coding would give him real-time control which could be extended to something like a web-based interface for smartphone control.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the bot itself it’s a kit robot which normally uses IR control. [Ashish] upgraded to RF since it doesn’t require line-of-sight to work.

[From the tips box and via Hacked Gadgets]


  1. Brett says:

    Now someone just needs to build a wumpusbot.

  2. jswanson says:

    Awesome…he just one-upped me. I put together a little project last week, where I was writing to a 4×20 LCD using a CLI on my Ubuntu box and my Arduino.


    Same principle…instead of using the serial monitor on the Arduino IDE, I was doing a “echo -n “text here” > /dev/ttyUSB0″ Sort of dirty, but it works.

  3. jamieriddles says:

    just bought me one of those wireless transmitter/recievers

    those things are awesome!
    with good error correction the range is also impressive

    good example:


  4. somebody says:

    I’m doing something similar but i use old laptop motherboard (from 1996 with pentium i586 mmx @100mhz, 40mb ram, 800mb hdd) with WiFi and linux

    some pic:






  5. Dale says:

    That robot has a mcu on it already called a BasicATOM its completely reprogramable.

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