Tank router defends your pets?

The guys over at Section9 Hackerspace in Springfield, Missouri just finished building this treaded robot. Despite the juxtaposition of the cat, it really doesn’t defend anything. The project is a reconnaissance robot controlled over the network with video feedback.

The team started off with some lofty goals. They wanted to the robot to be able to climb stairs and to feature a detachable flying portion in order to get a better look at hard to reach places. Cost and complexity are cited as the reasons they ditched the idea of the flyer. The rest of the features came out much as planned. The motor controller for the treads is connected to an Arduino. This uses an Ethernet shield to connect to the WRT54G router which is also coming along for the ride. This seems a bit over-powered but it makes it easy to connect the webcam on the front (also via Ethernet).

On the software side they wrote an Android app. It controls the movement of the robot, as well as that of the camera. Of course you need to see where you’re going so they went the extra mile to include video from the webcam. Check out their show-and-tell video after the break.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E0ybIYRPaw

Comments

  1. dKnerr says:

    I dont know. I think either a WiFi-enabled webcam and/or an Apple irport Express make a lot more sense than a WRT54G…

  2. Gru says:

    He should mount the webcam on one of those old retractable car radio antennas.
    Easier than a flying component, but not as cool.

  3. Doktor Jeep says:

    Impressive design. On one hand I was dissapointed to see that the router is not “the brain” of this thing, hoping perhaps that someone flashed a “robot router” firmware or something like that (if I knew how to do firmware). I wonder if that’s possible at all?

    By the way, there as a news report roughly a year ago about a failed military contractor that sold “anti-IED robots” to the military for some serious bucks, but their robots were crap, and when they liquidated their stocks after going bankrupt, people purchased the equipment and discovered that they robots had routers in them that appeared to have been removed from their original cases – they were household routers. I don’t recall the link though.

  4. manis404 says:

    The way the Android control system is implemented is very impressive. Nice to have the sources released – I can easily see this system being used for the backbone of interesting remote-controlled projects.

  5. Nardella says:

    I have had a nearly identical project on my back burner for some time. I have already bought the same camera (based on the photo) and a WRT54G

    This is awesome!

  6. Nate says:

    nice build and easy to adjust tank treads, love vex parts

  7. kees says:

    Great build ! I’ve been playing with the idea for a while too, ’bout time to get my tools out…..
    And using whatever you’ve got lying around is what hacking’s all about isn’t it ? Everyone can buy a WiFi-enabled webcam and/or an Apple irport Express and do the job but this is genuine !!!

  8. freelancer says:

    sorry for hating, but there’s a documented serial port in the WRT-54, so the ethernet shield is not necessary..

  9. superbrainak says:

    may i suggest a rechargable pack(‘s) so at 6:32 they dont have to go to the store and buy more AA’s and also may i suggest solar or magnetic charging so if your out and about they can drive to the charging station and or sunlight and filler up.

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