We have been working on a solution for very low latency
streaming and control for our KiwiRay robot platform.
The original idea was to simply build an application specific proprietary solution for our robot specifically, but it quickly grew to a more generalized solution that is abstracted from the hardware by means of a simple plug-in system.
Note: This is not for microcontroller only robots
, rather robots that incorporate a PC because the kind of H.264 encoding used is not available in hardware encoders, and is much too demanding for a microcontroller.
The project is still young, but works very well, even on a low power Atom or equivalent, and will allow you to quickly set up a communications channel to control and stream video from your robot using either Linux or Windows (both client and server apps will compile and run under both operating systems).
Current plugins allow for UDP communications for low latency and a zero frame latency model, meaning that no frame buffering is performed whatsoever. The only latency you get is webcam latency+CPU encoding&decoding time+network latency, all of which we can't do much about.
With a good webcam and computer on a good connection it is possible to reach <10ms latency, allowing precise direct control of the robot from the remote end.
The project is open source and we encourage participation (and comments, ideas, etc).
If interested, download the source and/or read about the solution and open hardware KiwiRay platform here:http://www.forskningsavd.se/wiki/index.php/KiwiDrive_HouseBot
--STG @ ForskningsAvdelningen (The Research Dept.)