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WiFi Robots | How to Build a Wi-Fi Robot
Wi-Fi Control

Wi-Fi Control

Setup and Uses

Wireless Connectivity

Wireless Bridge

Some controllers have built-in wireless cards or access, and users have to configure each wireless device individually. We use a proven and reliable Wireless Bridge that allows us to put several devices onto the network at the same time. This bridge allows us to connect up to four network devices (and more, when you add a low-cost switch). Ethernet devices run like they're wired to your main network router, and you can port out and access your devices from anywhere.

Wireless Router

If you'd rather not run your robot off your network, ourWireless Router lets you run it from anywhere. When you add a router to the robot, you can connect multiple network-compatible accessories which communicate with each other. You can jump onto this network with your laptop, phone or tablet when you want to monitor outputs or control the robot.

Control Interfaces

Once you connect the wireless bridge or router, you're ready to add a standard network device and a controller.

Wi-Fi Custom Control Interface

With our Wi-Fi Custom Control Interface Packageyou get

Choosing Between a Router or Bridge

There are two networking options available for our WiFi robots. The standard router option provides a simple solution to get you up and running in no time and with little to no IT experience. This will allow your robot to create and move around a wireless network that you and other wireless devices can connect to.

The bridge option allows your robot to act as an extension of an existing WiFi infrastructure. Bridge equipped robots also come with the added bonus of being able to be remote controlled from anywhere with access to the internet. Coupled with the Two-Way Audio option described below it can serve as a basic and robust Remote Prescience option.
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How to Build a WiFi Robot - An example of configuring a WiFi controlled robot

Step 1: Set up the wireless bridge (or router)

a. Each WiFi robot comes with a CD that helps you get things going. Its up to you if you want to use a static IP or have the bridge find an available IP address on your network. This option will be presented to you when setting up the IP address of the bridge you have bridge. The benefit of using a dynamic address is that its simpler, however, you will lose the ability to access the robot from a remote location or any sort of automation. This is because without knowing exactly what IP address your robot is at on every start up, you will not know where to send commands to. When using a static IP address make sure that it does not conflict with an existing IP on your WiFi Network.

b. If you are using the router option then you simply need to connect to the robots router through Ethernet, to set it up. After it is configured, it is as easy as plugging in your components and mounting it on the robot.

Step 2: Set up the iPocket (ethernet to serial converter)

In most cases you will not need to adjust the settings of the equipped iPocket. However, if it is desired to change the IP range of the equipped router (or when configuring the bridge to your network) you can access the iPockets settings by using a USB to serial cable and a terminal program such as HyperTerminal or PuTTY.. It is recommended to have your computer set to a static IP address when doing so. The default settings for the iPocket is included in the provided CD. Please refer to the iPockets manual for further details.

Step 3: Enter IP Address of iPocket

Our .NET Control Program is capable of talking directly to the iPocket. All you need to do is enter the IP address of the iPocket into the settings form and connect.

Another method is to set up the device as a serial port using programs such this freeware HW VSP. Once its set up you should be able to open up that COM port in HyperTerminal or PuTTY. Then plug the RS232 from the iPocket232 into your computer or another computer on the network and open up another instance of HyperTerminal using your RS232 Com Port.

Step 4: Plug the Etrovision server into your network

Its best to connect directly to your router here, you can test it through the wireless bridge in the steps below. Setup the EtroVision. The software disc that comes with the Etrovision will auto detect the camera. It is recommended you use a static IP address here so you do not have to keep looking for it each time the robot powers up. If you use a static, make sure you do not overlap with any address on your network. Keep in mind, this is your local network typically 192.168.xxx.xxx. When you type in the IP address you should get the server main page. After setting a static IP address, you can go to that address on any Internet Browser to have access to advance settings. Refer to their manual for more detail.

Step 5: Hooking in to the bridge (or router)

Now all your needed devices are set up, unplug them from the network and plug them into the wireless bridge. They should work just the same as they did when plugged into your wired network, only they will be getting routed through your wireless bridge and the activity lights on you bridge will start blinking etc. Of course, you will have run the desired power to each of your devices, so it may be able to move around without being constricted by wires.

Step 6: Completing the setup

When your robot is powered on the wireless bridge will take several seconds to boot up and connect to the network. You now have a mobile platform set up to run on you wireless network. If using using our Wi-Fi control package and out custom pan and tilt with an standard camera, both the robot and the camera will be controlled with the gamepad or mouse using our custom PC interface program.

Additional Resources

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HD 4WD ATR Open This is a custom heavy duty 4WD All Terrain Robot set up to run wirelessly using WiFi. The Wireless Bridge is mounted on a plate on top of the batteries, all the controls are mounted under it. There is no IP camera on this. HD 4WD ATR Open This is our standard 4WD WiFi controlled IG42 ATR Kit. You can purchase this kit from our online store. HD 4WD ATR Open Underneath our 4WD WiFi Robot Kit

Controlling a WiFi Robot

The Wi-Fi control package interface program utilizes a .NET program in which we provide the source code. The program will control and monitor the robot via a RS232 or Network Port Connection. The control program interfaces with a custom control board that is programmed to match your robot's specifics such as motor controllers, encoders, sensors, relays, current monitoring, voltages, etc.

Robot Control Interace

The typical controls are...

Driver Controls

Right Shoulder
Hold to enable drive
Right Joystick
Robot Drive. Push forward to go forward, reverse to go reverse. Pushing left and right as pushing forward and reverse will steer the robot.
Back
Toggles the robot between half speed and full speed.

Camera Controls

Left Shoulder
Hold to enable Camera Controls
D-Pad (Up/Down)
Incrementally change the position of the cameras tilt.
D-Pad (Left/Right)
Incrementally change the position of the cameras pan.
Left Joystick
Tilt the camera while the left shoulder button is held down.

Auxillary Controls

Button X (Blue)
Relay 1 on and off
Button A (Green)
Relay 2 on and off
Button B (Red)
Relay 3 on and off
Button Y (Yellow)
Relay 4 on and off
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Logitech Gamepad Logitech Gamepad
This is the game controller we offer with many of our WiFi Robot packages. The controls (to the left) are based on this gamepad's configuration.

Learn about the latest WiFi robot technology. Visit our page and 
get the latest information on how to build a WiFi robot as well as 
how to control and configure your Wi-Fi robot platform.
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