View Full Version : New Project parts suggestions needed.

01-24-2008, 09:38 AM
First off let me say sorry for not knowing the lingo I'm very very new at this and im sure to ask some less then inteligent questions.

I am trying to design a moble web cam for my dad. He is retired, and my parents spend alot of time traveling. He is looking for a solution that would allow him to controll a mobile cam that could drive around the house while he is absent to check stuff out. They have a computer that runs constantly so what I am thinking is have the local machine run the software and then just have him remote into it and controll it from his laptop. I could set up a little webserver on his machine to run the app but I would rather not leave his system exposed to the outside world.

Anyway he is kind of a history buff so I am building a M4A3 Sherman tank body to place every thing in. The web cam will be attached to the turret and eventually it will fire airsoft BB's

Where I need the help is what parts are nessary? to allow for 3 electric motors and 3 servos or actuators to be controlled wirelessly by a Computer from up to 150 feet away?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.


01-25-2008, 09:02 AM
Possibly a better question to ask would be. What do you think the best hardware solution, price vs functionality that would allow the controll of two dc motors and 2 servos. wirelessly from a PC.

01-25-2008, 09:35 AM
Hey misiu! Welcome to the community:) A Sherman tank controlled via PC that shoots airsoft BBs to patrol the house? That sounds awesome!!

I'd say to go with the Serializer. You'll need to know .NET, but the Serializer is a really easy and all in one solution for you. Just be sure that the specs are ok to control your DC motors:


Do you know any programming? EDIT: Sorry, meant to give you this link (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1332&highlight=C%23)

Make sure you keep us posted on your project:)

01-25-2008, 10:28 AM
Thank You for the welcome and info, this seems like a great community

I do know .NET, not a brilliant coder but I can usually get what i need done.

One last quick question... I havent read up much on the Serializer yet but. Will I need 2? one for the computer to send from and one for the receving Sherman to receive. Or just one for receiving and some other system to send from?

01-25-2008, 12:29 PM
Will I need 2?

Nope:) Read up on the Serializer a bit, you'll see.

The Serializer uses a really cool modular communication system, where as you buy the board with headers connected, then you choose which type of communication you want to have (USB, RS-232, Zigbee, Bluetooth). In your case, since you need such a long distance, I'd recommend the Bluetooth module (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5199-Bluetooth-Communication-Connector.aspx) with the WLAN Tri-band UFL Antenna. (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5201-WLAN-Tri-band-UFL-Antenna.aspx)

I'm not too sure on the limitation of the range on this module though. I know if you have the antenna it extends the range, but I'm not too sure by how much. Look through the docs a bit for this info.

01-25-2008, 12:55 PM
Awesome.. you have been a great help

01-28-2008, 12:33 PM
I know building things from the ground up is fun, but you may just want to wait for the rovio to come out and then hack any add ons to it that you want.


01-31-2008, 12:51 PM
Thanks alot for all the help guys. I actually decided to go in a slightly different direction then intialy planned.

I found an old HP slim line pc thats about the size of a large textbook in my closet (its like the pit of dispare in there) dissasembled with just the motherboard, power supply and hard drive its about 7inches x 8 inches x 2 inches. To make a long story short I think im going to just have it carry the PC arround with it and us the USB servo controllers.

01-31-2008, 04:26 PM
Um, the Phidget guys should know about this : ).

On the old Phidget USA website there was a link to a laptop controlled robot which you can control over the internet (around 2004).

Also in the Trossen blog you guys had a wired version of this.

Also check one of the first issues of Robot Magazine, this was done with a tank. (I *think* HarryM did it?)

I'll try to find links for you.


01-31-2008, 04:33 PM
Link: http://www.marumushi.com/apps/remotedriver2/

Link: http://www.botmag.com

01-31-2008, 05:57 PM
For just a 'simple' web controlled bot, you might consider the Spykee (on this site, not avalable yet?) It is assembled, and should work with a battery charge. The writeup says it can be controlled with a browser. It has a webcam, and I think it has a mike and speakers. Check it out, under "Robots", then "telepresence".

An off-the-shelf solution!

And when will it be in stock?

02-01-2008, 12:58 PM
We talked to Erector/Meccano out at CES and they said the Spykee won't be available till later this year, but they didn't give us an exact date.

There's also 3 other Spykee robots coming out later this year. I'll let the lovely Veronica Belmont introduce you to them:


I'm not sure if this is the type of robot you're looking for though. I don't think there is a whole lot of hacking capabilities, but don't quote me on it.

What sort of specs do you have on the motherboard that ripped out of the laptop?