Let's Make Robots!

Im a beginner...i may also be crazy

Hi, im looking into making a robot for a university project and have a few ideas. Ive played around with a MIT handyboard before and am now thinking about doing something a bit more serious.

I would like to make a security robot, that can collect information about its surroundings and then send them to a host program running on a pc to upload them to the internet for remote viewing (eg upload to private youtube account).


ROBOT sends:

video/audio , temperature,moisture.

SERVER processes data:

creates a log with attached video/audio and provides any security warnings.

CLIENT can login:

view logs,warnings and issue new commands to robot/or controls in realtime.

The thing i am stuck on is which microcontroller board would best suit my requirements. I would also like to have the ability to provide the client with the functionality to control the robot remotely (whether it be by issuing a new set of commands to upload or the ability to provide realtime control).It would also be nice if the robot could make up a map of its surroundings to avoid most obstacles(although this is an added layer of complexity, and i am quite happy with having the robot moving around randomly)

I realise that this is no easy task.This idea is probably already too complicated (K.I.S.S - i know!), but i just wanted to get your thoughts on the matter, i really would like to make a project which integrates hardware with software over a network.

Sometimes i get a little bit over-enthusiastic about geeky stuff like this, so please let me know if ive gone too far and whether i should commit myself...


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Handyboards were programmed in Interactive C, so an Arduino derivative might be a good place to start. The embedded devices like the Handyboard and Arduino are well suited to the control functions of a robot, but some of the additional requirements listed would be best handled by a laptop or small form PC to work through. Larger interactive robots like Minerva or Leaf often have an embedded controller handling motor control and sensors while a PC system does addtional tasks like image recognition, etc.

It would be best to start with an embedded platform for the robot, to get the idea of programming motion control and sensor data, before adding the additional brains to handle the security functions.

Well, if you never made any robot before, you sure will have to start by making a LED blink...

Your project looks totally doable, it just depends on how much time you have... I don't want to spoil the fun, but it's definitly not a beginner project...

 So... good luck! :)

Well from what you've explained, of course the first two boards that comes to mind for me is the Arduino Duemilanova, and of course, the site favorite Picaxe!

 Our beloved Fritsl posted previously about this:  http://letsmakerobots.com/node/80

Both boards have great tutorials posted all over the web. The arduino website is down at the moment, but has some crazy-good tutorials for every aspect of the Arduino.  http://arduino.cc    and another good site is http://freeduino.org

http://picaxe.co.uk for the Picaxe, and from just visiting, looks like both of them have great forum support.

 Basically what it boils down to is how you like programming :D never touched a picaxe myself, but heard it's very easy.

  Other than that, technical questions will have to be directed to more knowledgeable members:D