Robot (Machine) Remote Vision
If the Wi-Fi robots goes out of line of sight you need an on-board view
to keep driving. With a laptop on-board the robot remote vision
capabilities can be achieved fairly easily with a standard webcam
connected to the laptop and some free software. This part of the system
is independent of the control system of the robot which keeps things
I experimented with a number of webcam web server type applications to
allow the output of the bot's camera to be displayed on the fixed PC.
The best free one I could find is machine vision system
RoboRealm vision software which is
specifically designed for robotic type applications. The software is
installed on the mobile PC where it can accept the output from the bot's
webcam and broadcast it using its built-in web server. The output can be
read on any networked PC using a standard web browser.
This allows you to drive the robot with the joystick on the fixed PC
whilst watching the bot's webcam video broadcast. This is quite tricky –
mainly because of the limited field of vision of the typical web camera,
but also crucially due to the time lag in the broadcast video! I found
that the RoboRealm software is much better in this regard than many
other webcam web server applications, however there is still a delay of
about a second between the real motion of the robot and the
corresponding movement in the received webcam video. Any more than this
and control of the robot becomes very tricky.
Here is a movie clip from the Bot's eye-view, it's about
6Mb in size - Robot's Eye View to give an
idea what the output can be like.
A further point to note is the bandwidth required by the video output is
much higher than that required by the UDP comms used to control the
robot. The effect of this is that you are likely to loose video output
before you loose control of the robot on the network which gives some
opportunity for reversing back into video range!
Software, Plans, Diagrams and Documents.....
I've put together a package of information covering the
driver software, bot wiring diagrams, flash programs, technical drawings
and user guides and notes which you will be interested in if you are interested in having a go at
building the Wi-Fi bot or even in building something similar.
Most of this is free (see below) however a non time
limited version of the Wi-Fi Bot Driver software and the detailed
engineering drawings and materials and components list are only
available with the full PAID-FOR plans set. This is available from the
plan order pages here.
So what's in the information package?
There's quite a lot of information here, the software
User Guide and the general guidance notes will help to get familiar with
The demo version of the Bot_Sender drive software is
fully functional but will stop running after about 5 minutes. This will
be long enough to check its functions and confirm that it runs on your
system. To obtain the non time limited version and the detailed drawing
set for the bot you need to buy the Full Access Password Set available
from the plan order pages here. All the plans are also available on CDROM from
the plans page.
Back to Page 1......