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Author Topic: RED  (Read 15097 times)

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Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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RED
« on: October 13, 2008, 01:23:37 AM »
I created this differental drive all terrain robot using as much junk as new parts. When the robot is activated its on-board camera displays on the living room TV. Named R.E.D. (Robotic Exploration Device)... RED is also an XMOP (X10 [Activated] Mobile Observation Platform). R.E.D. stands sentry (with sensors) and explores the outside Via remote control. The solar panels charge a [lawn mower] battery that provides all of RED's power needs.

[youtube]z9cUA6LaXTs[/youtube]

Offline airman00

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Re: RED
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 07:02:37 AM »
very nice

what kind of motorized chassis is that? It looks very cool.
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Offline Tsukubadaisei

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Re: RED
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 07:39:27 AM »
How long does it take to charge the batteries with the solar cells?
A.I.(yes those are my initials)

Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 02:36:06 PM »
very nice

what kind of motorized chassis is that? It looks very cool.

It's all home/hand made. The frame is actually 2X4 (wood), and the cover is made from old PC metal boxes I pop riveted together. The camera is concealed in the PVC pipe extention. The motors came from a "ride-in toy" (like a Barbie car). The wheels I bought new, with the drive wheels normally being the size used on wheel barrows.

Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 02:43:25 PM »
How long does it take to charge the batteries with the solar cells?

I don't know. The battery is the type used in riding lawn mowers. They last much longer if never allowed to go dead, so I have never ran it to dead. I have ran the robot around the yard to imitate a "work day/night"... as a sentry robot [that would mean maybe: chasing deer out of the yard].

I would guess:  the robot has at least an hours worth of runtime. And that would easily recharge with one (or maybe two) good full days sun.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 02:47:06 PM by DaveX10 »

Offline pomprocker

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Re: RED
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 02:44:40 PM »
Does it know the borders of your property? so it doesn't roll down the sidewalk into the street?

Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 03:02:50 PM »
Does it know the borders of your property? so it doesn't roll down the sidewalk into the street?


No. As of yet... it isn't very bright at all. It can be driven by remote control from my easychair in the living room.... with the camera image automatically displayed on the TV. It has two sensors that tells me it has detected activity in it's assigned area. But I have yet to allow it the ability to turn itself on... or drive itself. I remotely turn it on... using a device similar to a car alarm... with a little key-chain flob (also from my easychair).

I am a home automation (X10) buff. And my home is partly ran via a computer that runs 24/7. I run a software called Bill's Voice Commander or BVC <link. That allows me to talk to my Home Automation Computer (using the SAPI5 MS speech recon). I am currently working on using a radio link... to interface the robot with the home (computer). This will allow me to [talk to] voice command the robot.

Then I want to intergrate a basic stamp to give the robot some onboard smarts.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 02:27:07 AM by DaveX10 »

Offline pomprocker

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Re: RED
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 03:06:50 PM »
I'm into HA as well. Just haven't had time to implement it yet. Although I've done my reading.

I don't mean to hijack your post, but I am going to start with a plc and some software.

I was thinking either misterhouse or vcribs because theyre free. I was also thinking about getting the Insteon USB PLC.

What do you recommend?

Offline airman00

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Re: RED
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 03:23:33 PM »
Do you think you can make some more documentation on this robot? Maybe even a tutorial ?
I would definitely vote for you if you were to enter our annual contest:  http://www.societyofrobots.com/free_robot_contest.shtml
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Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 03:23:54 PM »
I was thinking either misterhouse or vcribs because theyre free. I was also thinking about getting the Insteon USB PLC.... What do you recommend?


Well your every limited with just a Power Line Command system. The only interface.. that I am aware of.. that can do that is the old CM11A (Active Home). Which limits what Operating System your going to be able to use. Mostly I think it's mostly used with Linux boxes now-a-days.

I would.... I DO use the CM15A AHP (Active Home Pro). Even with its full suite of software it's only $50... and you won't need to buy several TM751's to make the system useful.

Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 03:32:12 PM »
Do you think you can make some more documentation on this robot? Maybe even a tutorial ?


Yeah.... I will get right on that. Meanwhile... R.E.D. does have his own Web Page <link. I bought a book that gave me all the info I needed... here is LINK to the All Terrain Robot Site.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 03:33:20 PM by DaveX10 »

Offline airman00

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Re: RED
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2008, 03:53:47 PM »
I'm curious to know how loud the thing is  ;)

EDIT: I mean I heard it in the video , but I want to know how loud it is relative to something else .
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 03:55:22 PM by airman00 »
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Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2008, 03:57:52 PM »
I'm curious to know how loud the thing is  ;)

About the same volume as a couple rechargeable drills (or the toy ride-in car.. which the motors came from). You can hear it in the video. I also have an extra large RC toy.... they are pretty close to about the same volume/noise level.

I should point out that: the motors are mounded on gear boxes (standard for the toy they are used on) that drive the robot. But I also use a PWM (Pulse Width Modulator) to control the robots speed. This makes the robot faster (and louder) on paved surfaces (driveway and patio) and slower (and quieter) in the grass.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 04:19:37 PM by DaveX10 »

Offline ArcMan

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Re: RED
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2008, 04:34:58 PM »
Nice job!

I'm curious as to which wireless camera system you used.  I also want to add one to my yard robot.  I would like to sit in my house and drive my robot around outside.  Would you recommend your camera system for that?

Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2008, 05:02:44 PM »
Nice job!

I'm curious as to which wireless camera system you used.  I also want to add one to my yard robot.  I would like to sit in my house and drive my robot around outside.  Would you recommend your camera system for that?


I used a (cheap) little camera from geeks.com I had purchased for another use. If done right... just about any wireless camera would work. I mounted the cameras receiver in the eves (of the house) and ran audio-video wires to my home video distribution area. This allows the TV [near my easychair] where I view the robot's view... to be some distance... from the robot.

But... if I was going to do it over.... I would have purchased a 12 volt camera so it would intergrate into the robot easier.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 02:21:38 AM by DaveX10 »

Offline airman00

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Re: RED
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2008, 03:48:59 PM »
I have that camera also . Its OK I guess for inside a room but I found that the reception is really crappy.

But... if I was going to do it over.... I would have purchased a 12 volt camera so it would intergrate into the robot easier.
All a 12 volt camera would have is a step down from 12V to the 5 or so used by the camera. Also, you should go for IP cameras. Then set up a wireless network with repeaters all over your neighborhood and you have perfect reception. Then of course you can also make your robot internet controlled . ;)
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


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Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2008, 05:09:52 PM »
I have that camera also . Its OK I guess for inside a room but I found that the reception is really crappy.


Getting the receiver away from RF interference (TV's) and solid walls can be helpful. I get great reception.

All a 12 volt camera would have is a step down from 12V to the 5 or so used by the camera. Also, you should go for IP cameras. Then set up a wireless network with repeaters all over your neighborhood and you have perfect reception. Then of course you can also make your robot internet controlled . ;)


Yes I know... I did that. But even with a large robot everything takes up space and adds more wires and such. Simplier is better.

I have a wireless IP camera... and a network. But.... 2.4 GHz is 2.4 GHz. Both the cheap cameras... and wireless networks share the same bandwidth (2.4 GHz). If you want longer range for your camera(s) use a WIRED camera.... and connect it to... a long range 900 MHz transmitter/receiver. Cheap units can have a range of 1/4 mile.

It's not that 900 MHz is better than 2.4 GHz... it's NOT. But there is much less traffic on 900 MHz now-a-days. 2.4 GHz is just a little overworked with Wireless networks, security cameras, wireless phones, baby monitors.... and more.

As far as controlling the robot over the Internet.... I do plan on intergrating the robot with my HA Computer (I am working on an RF link). That would allow me to extend my control via the Internet. The bad part about Internet control is the lag time... or delayed slowness inherent to the setup. My idea... is to put a basic stamp on-board the robot... and allow the PC to talk to the chip. By storing a series of various commands on the chip the PC could wireless simply activate stored commands... and the chip could follow through with the needed series of commands involved. That should speed up the wireless communication... and greatly reduce the lag time.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 03:26:22 AM by DaveX10 »

Offline izaktj

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Re: RED
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2008, 12:40:01 AM »
Awesome job mate!  :D

Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2008, 07:00:29 AM »
Awesome job mate! 

Thanks izaktj! R.E.D. is actually my 2nd robot... the 1st was a modified cart... and completely a learning experience. Of course... R.E.D. is also a learning experience... they all are.

The biggest mistake I made with this one, was trying to make it too multipurpose. I wanted to be able to use it both outside and inside my home... and as both a security and as an entertainment robot. So now what I have is a robot thats just a little too big and too heavy for inside. Meanwhile it would be nice to have less size limits on a robot that is almost always outside. Using a riding lawnmower as a framework wouldn't be too big.

R.E.D. is a working model that really does security duty in the yard. I really think the use (and/or creation) of outside security robots has the same potential as mowing or floor cleaning robots. Whereas inside.... often multiable inexpensive plug-in or battery powered devices (smoke alarms, motion sensors, monitoring cameras) can be much more cost effective than a robot. There are true advantages to self charging (or solar charging) outside robotic devices. Simply because having plug-in receptacles or weather sheltered areas outside isn't practical. However... a selfpowered weatherproof roving electronic device can be very cost effective and useful outside.

As an example of the advandage of an outside robot: In my area, a herd of deer can do a lot of damage in a very brief period of time. Even with a perimeter detection system that alerts me.... much damage can be done... as I am awoke to tend to the problem. However the robot can be (will be) able to sound an alarm and give chase to the deer. Preventing deer damage could completely defray the cost of a outside security robot in a single season.

Intergrading a robot into a security system has advantages too. Remote patrol and inspection of building sites, parking lots, or storage areas has real advantages. Police and fire departments have been over tasked with false alarms and in many areas now require verification. Remote robotic inspection can provide "verification of need" for emergency services... as well as deterrence.

So... the next robot will be an inside robot. That was the biggest lesson learned: There will always be a NEXT robot.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 08:44:14 AM by DaveX10 »

Offline ArcMan

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Re: RED
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2008, 08:22:13 AM »
You've got me inspired to look into deer chasing as another role for my yard robot in the future.  I really like tulips, but they're like chocolate to a deer.  Maybe a roving security robot could keep the deer away from my tulips.

Offline DaveX10Topic starter

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Re: RED
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2008, 08:52:45 AM »
You've got me inspired to look into deer chasing as another role for my yard robot in the future.  I really like tulips, but they're like chocolate to a deer.  Maybe a roving security robot could keep the deer away from my tulips.


Weather deer (eating tulips) or raccoons (emptying trash cans) a weaponized <link robot could scare away unwanted critters.

I've also wondered about other devices such as a (compressed air) air rifle... that would fire a [harmless] though scary puff of air. Or the tried and true barking dog sound. The [computer generated] Voice Warning part of my perimeter alarm system seems to work fine in the areas it covers. You can see it in action near the end of my Home Automation YouTube Video.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 09:10:04 AM by DaveX10 »

 


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