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FINISHED: LazyBee Security Bot - Laptop Based solution for Dummies

Inter/Intranet controlled robot able to send video/voice/email and play with my kid from the office

Hi all,

 I'm from The Netherlands and have a nice little girl that wants me to build a robot. Well, easier said then done so far. Since I'm an IT consultant I wanted to use a windows based solution to control the bot over the internet. Why? Because windows can do lot's of things that will be pretty hard to programm otherwise. Well for me that is..... With the laptop solution it will be pretty easy to talk, see and even play with my daughter. She will be at home, I will be on my lunchbreak :)

Looked for some advice and some projects that go arround but so far all are pretty complicated and require pretty much skill to realise.

So here's the plan, I will add the progress as I go along.

Build a driving chassis - Done

Set up a laptop that can control servos and dc motors - Done

Set up wireless comms with the home network and the internet - Done

Make the bot accessible by using RDP (I love microsoft) - Done + Teamviewer (free internet tool)

Hooking up all the goodies (like a webcam and so on) - Done, the bot uses Skype amongst others

Dive into sensors and a way to make the bot smart........ Done, got it roaming and smoking

UPDATE, 21th june 2010:

Since I smoked the board with the sensors and basically reached my goal, a roving platform carrying arround a laptop with webcam etc. I'll close this project  for now. I'll get another control board and start up a new project shortly. Well I already started one but didn't get arround the pictures yet. Anyhow, for a first robot this was a good project that gave lots of learning experiences already. Things can only get better now ;) Sorry for making it kind of a mess, all has to do with a lesson I learned long ago when modelling planes and ships, get the equipement first so you know things will fit. Somehow I forgot (so there's lots of different platforms in this post, all just not good enough). The new bot will be smaller, lighter and yes, MEANER. :)

UPDATE, 6th may 2010:

Well, since Madrid was that inspiring, with Frits breaking futuristic cars, Antonios contemplating about his next project, Tinhead raging against his valkyrie and Rik picking barfights I had to come up with something new. Size is were it all starts. Let me elaborate on that; build a robot, post it on the internet and before you know you are stuck somewhere on the globe with a bunch of people that made the same mistake. Some are lucky and some are less fortunate. Lucky the ones that can walk home with a small bot, unlucky the ones that have to travell far with a small bot, really unlucky the ones that have to travell far with a heavy bot. Totally (*&#!*@! the ones that have to travel to Romania with a CNC machine. ;)

So go small.

Since the bot carries the laptop I couldn't go much smaller then the laptop itself. The weels looked too big so I had to replace them (well to be honest I started over the whole thing). I also added 2 extra ping sensors.

It's still under construction....... I have so many wheels at the moment :)

Still need to sand the edges. The upper part is just a try out, that will change a lot as soon as some new parts arrive.

My son loves it, to much. Pretty happy I used1.8cm furniture wood and aloi. It can take a beating. My daughter is still in doubt, a robot or a Hercules action figure?!

And just when things where to good to be true an evil spirit took control of the bot. I was lucky enough to carry arround an empty bottle of red wine so I was just in time to get myself a spirit in a botlle. It's been on the table for the last 30 minutes but I think I will open it. The freaking thing won't shut up! :)))

So remember kids! Robots have souls and are alive!

 

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Way cool. I'll have to try this myself.

It's no Tobi yet :) I'll be very happy if you can help me out when I get to the sensor part (the digibee likes basic to :))

I look forward to be any help that I can

I found some DC motors at Conrad but I am in doubt a little. These are regular geared DC motors, for now this would be ok but for the "near" future it might be better to get motors with sensors? Or is it possible to add these sensors later also? I read in some articles that these are pretty much required for an autonomous bot?

For the rest still waiting on the delivery of the BeeBoards.........

Search for part no 234349 on conrad.com

The boards arrived so I installed the turret servo, this one will connect to the motorbee.

DSC00444.jpg

There's the motorbee and the digibee installed on the lit, the little motor just sits there for testing

DSC00445.jpg

Used some old PC and RC parts the lazybee will be painted at a later stage

DSC00447.jpg

Still not sure about the motor, regular or sensor one or maybe even a big rotating servo?

Okay, I'm surprised by the ease so far, hooked up the engine plugged in the usb cable and started up the engine.

DSC00448.jpg

Alright, I can drive my bot arround in theory, just have to order 2 proper engines. The little black box attached to the Lipo is a whatsup. Costs few $ and gives you the voltage/watts and amps drawn realtime and memorises the peak value's. A real hardware saver!

DSC00449.jpg

Guess I have to use real slow motors as you need to mouse control 2 levers in the software (left and right engine) for now. I have to look into an interface that will make that a little more convenient. Later.....

Finshed playing arround with the motorbee, hooked up all outputs and just have to wait for the motors to arrive. Got 2 new wheels and some lights etc (spent about 60$).

wired.jpg

Got some plastic covering and some ventilation plates from a hardware store to make it look a little better and to keep it cool

zijkant_lampjes.jpg

The LED's are hooked up to the motorbee and can be switched on or off (or play a sequence). Since it can only control 2 motors (forward reverse) or 4 motors just forward I went for the 2 wheel and a swivel-wheel like many bots have. Few euro's each.

zijkant.jpg

The turret was a bot to heavy for the servo so I have to think about that a little more.... Might end up looking something like this;

met_cam.jpg

So far I fixed the driving part and the lights. A breeze with he supplied software. Now lets order some sensors and work on the turret! Getting my mobile webcam to function over the web is pretty close allready.

Nice design dude. I like this robot.