Wireless rover with Android control

android-rover

[Radu] spend the first portion of this year building and improving upon this wireless rover project. It’s actually the second generation of an autonomous follower project he started a few years back. If you browse through his old postings you’ll find that this version is leaps and bounds ahead of the last.

He purchased the chassis which also came with the gear-head motors and tires. Why reinvent the wheel (har har) when you’ve got bigger things on your plate? To make enough room inside for his own goodies he started out by ditching the control board which came with the Lynxmotion chassis in favor of an AVR ATmega128 development board. He also chose to use his own motor controller board. Next he added a metal bracket system to hold the battery pack. Things start to get pretty crowded in there when he installed his own Bluetooth and GPS modules. Rounding out his hardware additions were a set of five ultrasonic sensors (the grey tubes on top), a character display, as well as head and tail lights. The demo video shows off the control app he uses. We like that tic-tac-toe design for motion control, and that he added in buttons to control the lights.

Comments

  1. Rohit says:

    add a camera to this and enable openCV, you would just need a better microcontroller on there…perhaps an Rpi

  2. dALE says:

    International Talk Like a Pirate Day isn’t until Thursday, Sept. 19.

  3. David Kuder says:

    I’ve been working on something like this for a while now, got a cheap RC truck from radioshack and replaced its control circuitry with an arduino leonardo + motor shield, and a pogoplug pro running archlinuxarm. Originally I was using a silabs toolstick until i broke the microusb off the board :( I have some pictures up on picasa https://picasaweb.google.com/106225174053075645907/PogoRovo The webcam is published as a mjpeg stream and the control is all through osc. i’ve been lazy about combining an mjpeg streaming client and osc client though. with the addition of a usb cell modem it would be limited only by cell reception and battery life. as it is I can go to the mailbox and back but thats about it. The pogoplug pro has enough capability to run opencv decently, but I have no idea what I’m doing to make anything useful there.

  4. Jonatan says:

    This open source project: http://english.cxem.net/mcu/mcu2.php i think better

  5. Radu Motisan says:

    Thanks guys, the Android control is actually only a secondary feature of this robot. The project was about making the robot detect and follow its user – so that’s where the effort and research went. But as an embedded software developer – doing the Android remote control was easy , so I added that as well!

    The user detection is performed using the Ultrasonic sensors. The user carries an Ultrasonic beacon (an emitter), and the robot detects the signal, and uses an algorithm to turn and accelerate as needed. The final results are encouraging, as the robot manages to keep track accurately. This is why the robot was also called a “robo-dog”.

    The range is 4-5 meters, probably more could be achieved by using radio waves instead of ultrasounds.

    More on this approach, and the way the sensors were constructed, in the project log, links kindly provided by the author of this post.

  6. Circuitmage says:

    Just use Lego Mindstorms. Lots of apps.

  7. Paul Sandin says:

    This is exactly why I designed Butler. Butler is a simple, strong, low-cost mobile base specifically designed to be hacked. Check it out at makearobot.co

  8. MM says:

    sentry gun software for tracking, hack a golf laser for distance, “and uses an algorithm to turn and accelerate as needed”

    follow and shoot, Ultrasonic beacon could also be used for friend/foe targeting.

  9. Radu says:

    well that would probably work, but for this project I had just a very peaceful implementation in mind :)

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