Stalk Your Cats With A Browser-Controlled Robot

A good robot is always welcome around here at Hackaday, and user [igorfonseca83]’browser-controlled ‘bot s is no exception. Felines beware.

[igorfonseca83] — building on another project he’s involved in — used simple materials for the robot itself, but you could use just about anything. His goal for this build was to maximize accessibility in terms of components and construction using common tools.

An Arduino Uno gets two D/C motors a-driving using an H-bridge circuit — granting independent control the wheels — an ESP8266 enabling WiFi access, with power provided by a simple 5V USB power bank. [igorfonseca83] is using an Android smartphone to transmit audio and video data; though this was mostly for convenience on his part, a Raspberry Pi and camera module combo as another great option!

A few workarounds notwithstanding — considering some components in this particular configuration do not directly connect to each other — a bunch of code, set up of a website to act as a controller that accesses the IP address of the ESP8266, and an app installed on the audio/video streaming smartphone later, and you have a cat-stalking robot ready to rock. There are, of course, other uses for fpv robots, but with arguably less entertaining results.

[via and Instructables]

9 thoughts on “Stalk Your Cats With A Browser-Controlled Robot

  1. There’s a deeply underutilized resource in this: Android phones.

    You can get “no contract” phones with multicore processors, integrated camera, wifi/bluetooth, a good deal of memory etc. etc. for US$20 – $30. If these aren’t available, there’s a huge used market – often people have an old one or two just sitting in a drawer somewhere. Granted you have to get it to talk via USB, but why bother with R Pi or anything else at that price point?

    Supplyframe (HAD’s owner) may not like this much because it undercuts a lot of gizmo sales, but in terms of raw bang for the buck you can’t beat it.

    1. Not to mention that even the dumbest of the smart phones have a decent integrated display if you need it.

      And, if you are only interested in wifi or bluetooth, the price for used phones goes way down if you can live with the “bad ESN’ condition (though you are in the moral gray area of “probably stolen” or “they didn’t pay their phone bill”).

  2. heh, this project made me smile because i also put my old moto x on a motorized chassis. but i used the frame/motors/h-bridge from an R/C car. the android phone controlled a PIC12 through the headphone jack, and the PIC12 controlled the H-bridge. i wrote a little android app to transfer control information and video. good times.

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