Hardware configuration finished!

So, finally! My concept has worked fully!

I can move the robot with python commands, see it’s web-cam transmitted over http and of course I can move the robot forward-backward and rotate both directions… of course with the speed control!

So now I need some time to assemble it together not as I did for prototype (temporary) but permanent with some soldering 😉

For me it’s like remembering my childhood, because in exUSSR it was normal if a kid was trying to create with an iron (old stuff, very heavy and not safe at all) a radio to try to speak to space station 😉

Here is my picture of the results:

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Basically my ideas of:

– a single battery for a system (huge capacity – 10000mAh) – success!

– no need to switch robot off during charging – success!

– Raspberry PI as a main brain/heart of the robot – success!

– Just small component to generate PWM control signals – success!

So now Nginx/Python nice web-interface in a couple of days as I did in a past for like 30+ current high-load projects like Svyaznoy.Ru, Mamba.Ru, Begun.Ru, SpyLog.Ru… 😉 See you next week with screenshots of web-interface!

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Battery selected to power up motors and Raspberry PI

I always didn’t like Lynxmotion power supplies, because you need to unplug the battery to charge it and plug it back after, also they are quite big and 6V, which is not suitable for Raspberry PI.

I got iCruiser which have 2 usb outputs, so it could power up raspberry and even USB hub to make sure there is enough power for WiFi and WebCam and other future modules, but not the DC motors, so I continued my search and finally found my solution: Anker Astro 3 – 10000mAh and 2 usb ports and 1 switchable 9/12 volts! Perfect sizing as well, making my robot to be powered for a few hours (I suppose maybe even longer) + I would have a special output wich I can plug to the power socket and charge, with no need to open robot, disconnect cables and so on!

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PWM Driver module arrived and connected successfully

It took me a while to get the fact I2C is disabled by default at new Raspbian distro, but after enabling it it went perfect, unless I released I don’t have any TIN at home… So final construction day is tomorrow!

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Webcam mounted successfully on a pan and tilt

Well, it’s not a best location, because if robot will rotate, camera will make him stack (it will not be able to move)… but at the moment let’s keep it as it is!

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Servo motors and pan/tilt for webcam

While I’m waiting for PWM extension board to control DC motors and Servo motors of the robot, I’ll assemble the servos and pan/tilt mechanism for webcam.

Getting this PWM extension is very huge step, because it will give me the robot working itself and controlled from web… so I’m very inpatient at the moment, while my delivery is stacked at some warehouse… so probably I’ll get in on monday only…

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Now I have WiFi Webcam streaming!

After getting stack in configuration because of very bad quality hardware I got my Raspberry Streaming Webcam over WiFi at 320×240@10fps. I must say if I watch it from another computer connected to the router using ethernet – it’s real-time, as for iPad – just a small lag which more then acceptable!

So my final hardware configuration is:

  • ASUS USB-N10 Wireless Lan USB Adapter
  • New Trent iCruiser 11000mAh External Battery Pack
  • Microsoft Lifecam Cinema

As a software to stream I’m using Motion.

Setup of all this is really straight forward! Just download, install and run.

PS: I expect all this to work around 10-12hours streaming!

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Don’t buy cheap hardware!

Well, after a few failed tests with 3 cheap web-cameras, I made it working, but crashing, because of WiFi dongle… well… don’t buy cheap hardware!!

So after a while I found this post: http://jeremyblythe.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/battery-powered-wireless-motion.html

Author says he used this combination of webcam and wifi for 12 hours of watching and recording wild life to Google Drive. SO I decided to go for the same hardware and ordered it at Amazon – will get it by thursday, meaning all will work and I would only need to create some nice controlling page!!!

PS: already thinking about charging robot without special contacts needed.

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