Hackaday Prize Entry: Solar WiFi Rover Roves At Night

[TK] has a stretch goal for his RC car project — enabling it to recharge on solar power during the day and roam around under remote Internet control at night. It’s like a miniature, backyard version of NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Right now, he’s gotten a Raspberry Pi Zero and a camera on board, and has them controlling the robot over WiFi. He looks like he’s having a great time piloting it around his house. Check out the video down below for (crashy) remote-controlled operation.

We can’t wait to see if solar power is remotely possible (tee-hee!) as an option for this vehicle. The eventual plan to connect it via 3G cellular modem is still off in the future, and will probably demand more of the smarts of the Raspberry Pi than at present. But we love the idea of a long-running autonomous vehicle, so we’re pulling for you, [TK]!

11 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Solar WiFi Rover Roves At Night

  1. Around the turn of the century, a chap wrote an excellent book on Linux and robotics. I bought it to better understand how to combine computers, running Linux, and digital electronics.

    The author now says his book has become rather redundant because work like that.

  2. That’s not the most elegant way to do this. They should have payed the $8 for a speed controller and pwm control everything. Relay ban-bang control is amatuearish! About cell phone control: You can’t have your cell modem accept incoming connections, that’s a limit imposed on cellular internet to prevent people having fun. What you can do is have the rover initiate the connection at say a preset time every night! Not much on the software side in the video, but I presume they run a ngix streaming server and do the mpeg4 encoding on the graphics processor in the Pi for a low processor load 25-50 mS latency that way ( cellular network latency ads to that of course)?

    1. The price for a decent speed controller that’s easy and cheap to integrate with the RPi is more than $8. Actually, to be honest, since we’re using servoblaster anyway, maybe I could get a nice tidy one off hobbyking that would work…

      But the thing is, the car CAME with a solid motor driver already that’s more than robust enough for our needs. So what’s the point replacing it?

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