The Mekamon from Reach Robotics is a neat thing, a robot controlled by a phone app that walks on four legs. [Wes Freeman] decided to hack the platform, giving it a sensor package and enabling some basic autonomous behaviours in the process.
[Wes] started out by using a packet sniffer to figure out the command system for controlling the Mekamon robot over Bluetooth. Then, he set about fitting a Raspberry Pi 3 on the ‘bot, along with a Pi Camera on a gimballed camera head.
Running OpenCV on the Raspberry Pi gives the Mekamon robot the ability to follow a colored ball placed in its field of vision. Later work involved upgrading the hardware to a Pi Compute Module 3, with its dual camera inputs allowing for the use of a stereo imaging setup.
All the parts simply ziptie on top of the original robot, with no permanent changes needed. It’s a neat way of hacking, by expanding the original capabilities without actually having to tamper within.