Let's Make Robots!

Esplora WiFi Robot Controller

Control a WiFi robot

Grabbed an Arduino Esplora board and decided to use it as a controller for one of my old Arduino WiShield bots. The Python script runs on a PC connected to the same LAN as the robot. The script evolved from simple keyboard input (1=forward, etc) to USB joystick control and now to Esplora control. As seen in the video, the robot can move based on the Esplora's joystick or the on board accelerometer. A button puts the bot into autonomous roving mode also. As a fun bonus, the slider controls the IR sensor mounted on the servo.

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you are running the controller via a PC i think?

could you set the wifi on the controller to speak directly to the bot, maybe even through the LAN, but with no PC?

i like the look of the controller board, though i bet its not that comfortable to use just as a pcb? could do with a little 3d printed case to drop it into perhaps.

also, if you got 2 way coms, you could use your RGB led to give you a "hot cold" reading from the ultrasonic sensor?

The Esplora is a USB device without WiFi or Ethernet connectivity.  I've seen some people use one of the Tinker kits ports for a serial Xbee module.  Connecting via PC provides the network connection between the Esplora and the robot, I've been thinking about attaching a Raspberry Pi with WiFi on the back of the Esplora just to make it a super over engineered controller.

A 3D printed case is a nice idea, I don't mind holding the bare PCB but any excuse to use a 3D printer is good.

In my experience, anything is possible so using the RGB LED to display readings from the sensors is perfectly do-able.

I will take measurements of the bot for you.  I don't have calipers but I'll do my best with a ruler.

A ruler is just fine!  Thanks, navic

3in wheel diameter.  4in body length, 3in body width.  1.2in long rear support leg attached to body at a 40 degree angle which slightly raises the rear of the body above the front of the body.  If you need any info just let me know!

I really appreciate you taking the time to take those measurements for me.  I am going to model the parts in SolidWorks tonight and play around with component placement to optimize the design for my specific application.

I'm going to have to try out that Arduino Esplora.  It looks like a pretty expandable and versatile platform.  I was going to try to control one of my robots with a wii nunchuck, but this looks like it will give me more functionality.

Navic, I would like to duplicate your robot for my own robotics experiments, if you don't object.  Would you mind taking a few measurements of your robot with a ruler or some calipers?  I am interested in the diameter of your wheels and the basic dimensions of your wooden base plate (length and width).  I am thinking about laser cutting these pieces out of acrylic.