Setup and Uses
Some controllers have wireless cards/access built into them. This means you end up having to configure each wireless device individually. We use a proven and reliable Wireless Bridge that allows us to put several network devices onto the network at once. This bridge allows for 4 network devices to be plugged in but more devices can be added by adding a low cost switch. Once its set up all your Ethernet devices simply plug into it and run as though they are wired to your main network router. From there you can easily port out and access your devices from anywhere over the Internet.
If you do not want to run your robot off your own pre-made network and would prefer to be able to run the robot anywhere, you might be more interested in ourWireless Router. By adding a router onto your robot, you will be able to connect each of the network compatible accessories into it. This will allow for communication between each of your accessories and if you have a wireless computer(or laptop/phone/tablet/etc), you can also jump onto this network for monitoring outputs and controlling your robot.
Sections on this page:
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Since the wireless bridge or router is taken care of, all you need is any standard network device and something to control it with.
Wi-Fi Custom Control Interface
With our Wi-Fi Custom Control Interface Packageyou get
The first link in communication would be the Logitech USB GamePad Controller, this connects directly to your computer via USB port. It should automatically download the device driver but if it does not the drive can be found here. Once connected you will open your customized control software and jump onto the same network as the robot. Once connection is verified, you can send signals from your laptop to your robot's EnGenius Xtra Long-range Ethernet Bridge or TP-Link 54Mbps Wireless Router TL-WR340G. The data will be routed to the iPocket232 RS232 to Ethernet Converter , which will change the data from the Ethernet packet to RS-232 signal to our control board. The board will then take the packet and disrupt the commands to each of devices on the robot(servos/motors/sensors/etc). Devices can be turned on and off with the 7 Chan High Cur TTL Driver with 4 Power 5V Relays and power to the devices themselves can be regulated with the 4 Switching Regulators provided with your order.
The control board is set up to your exact needs for your robot. After completion of the control board cannot be edited or changed to increase stability. Although we can add more functionality to the software in case your needs change. This option allows someone with very little programming experience to have access to all abilities of the robot, without learning and writing their own code.
Programmable WiFi Custom Interface
Alternatively, we also sell a potentially cheaper Programmable WiFi Custom Interface Package powered by the Arduino platform. Arduino platforms are an extremely user friendly and easy to learn programming language. This package includes:
This option works in similar ways as the Custom Controls Interface Package above. The first few steps are the same. The gamepad connects to your computer with our custom software on it. You then jump on the EnGenius Xtra Long-range Ethernet Bridge or TP-Link 54Mbps Wireless Router TL-WR340G's network. This allows you the communicate with the robot. This is where the difference comes in, instead of moving to the IPocket, the packet will go directly to the Arduino Ethernet Shield R3. The Ethernet shield plugs directly into the SDR Custom Arduino Mega Shield, which is plugged into the Arduino Mega 2560 R3. This allows for fluid communication between the three components. From there you can control your devices and relays.
The benefit for this option is you will be able to modify the code at any point, even if new devices are added onto your robot. This can be extremely helpful for robots whose uses changes frequently or educational uses. Many things can be edited with just the change of a number (Speed/control flow/distance checking/etc), while more drastic changes can be accomplished by people with a little programming experience. We will leave comments in the code to help you walk through the code as well. Many examples are provided by the Arduino community to help you get started. For fresh Arduino users, you should start here
For those that want cameras, we have the Etrovision Video Server that allows you to connect and stream any standard RCA Camera. The Etrovision just plugs into the back of the Ethernet bridge/router and you can then access and control the cameras from the wireless network or Internet. IP cameras are available for our standard WiFi robots. We also offer custom camera systems with a pan and tilt that is controlled with our WiFi Control Package (hence the gamepad controller). This package can be further upgraded by adding a 27x zoom Camera. This will allow another degree of movement as you can pan, tilt and zoom.
Two Way Audio
Two way audio is available and will enable you to send and receive audio through a web interface. This can be another feature of the Etrovision Video Server.
LED Lights Assembly
LED lights are available as chassis mounted or camera mounted. They are remotely operated from the software, allowing you to see when it's dark. These LEDs are very low power, while still providing a large amount of light. This can be very helpful for night operation.
Pan and Tilt Camera
Our standard pan and tilt system can be seen here. It can pan a full 360 degrees and tilt around 50 degrees. This movement is controlled by two servos which are powered by the voltage regulators we provide when you have either of our Wi-Fi packages. Either of our cameras can be mounted to this pan and tilt system.
Another option you can select is our dome camera option. This has a built in pan and tilt system with a protective dome. Most of our dome cameras communicate through RS45 which can be configured on your control board though your order.