Budget ConnectR / Rovio

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Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » November 20th, 2008, 8:36 pm

Here is my first pass at a security robot. The project consists of:

Create Robot.
BAM (Bluetooth Access Module)
D-Link 920 Wifi Camera
National LM22673 Evaluation Board
Roomba Status Program
D-Link Camera Software

I got the National board for free from a co-worker. It can take up to 42V in and is set to provide 3.3V at 3 Amps. I changed one resistor to boost the output to 5V.

So this ends up being a hybrid system. Bluetooth is used for driving and Wifi is used for video.

Once I setup Dynamic DNS and VNC, I will be able to connect to my home computer from outside my home and navigate the robot remotely.

Mike
Attachments
HPIM0868.JPG
HPIM0867.JPG
HPIM0866.JPG
roomba.JPG
Last edited by mfortuna on November 21st, 2008, 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby THX-1138 » November 20th, 2008, 8:52 pm

Interesting design and concept. It would have been great if a Rovio type of device could be autonomous to roam around the home and notify the owner of any issues happening in your home while you are out (motion/sound/temperature detection, status of other robots (Roomba, Lawnbot, etc.), etc.). :wink:
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Postby mfortuna » November 20th, 2008, 9:34 pm

I have two longer term goals I didn't mention. One is to use Microsoft Robotic Studio to integrate driving and webcam into one program.

The second is to use a command module to drive around the house in a fixed pattern and dock, and then repeat. The web cam has a motion detect feature and can email when it detects motion but since the robot causes motion I'm not sure I can use that feature.

Mike
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Postby mfortuna » November 21st, 2008, 11:54 am

I posted a screenshot and noticed the battery status is off. This seems to happen with roomba status. Most times it works fine. I can assure you it's not pulling 9+ Amps from a 57 volt pack. When idle, I normally pull about 200ma from the battery. That is with the BAM and WIFI camera on. It jumps to about 400ma when driving. The nice thing about using a switching power supply for the camera is the high efficency. Very little power lost to heat.

Mike
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Postby vic7767 » November 21st, 2008, 3:35 pm

Nice effort Mike. Now I'm looking for where I put my BAM module. :lol:
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » January 3rd, 2009, 2:59 pm

I have a quick update. I tested remote access to my "Security Bot". My original intent was to use real VNC to do both control and video but the video turned out to be very slow.

I used my work laptop to VPN into work and then connect to the webcam through a web interface and to my home laptop using VNC. So I'm using a lot of network bandwidth and video is slow (about .2 FPS).

In both cases I'm using dynamic DNS and router port forwarding to get to my laptop and webcam. I hope to try it out from work Monday.

The attached picture was of my work laptop's desktop. You can see video of my kitchen via IE and roomba status via VNC. The war of the worlds desktop is my home laptop which has a bluetooth dongle and is connected to the Create.
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » January 4th, 2009, 4:44 pm

I did run into my first issue and it may not be able to completely solve it. Sitting on the dock with the BAM and camera on, the create indicates a positive 50ma trickle charge current. But yet the battery discharges over time. The power brick has an enable pin that I will have to tie to one of the create's digital outputs. That way I can turn the camera on and off at will. But the BAM will always be on so hopefully it will draws less than the 50ma trickle charge.
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby Fraggboy » January 5th, 2009, 5:46 pm

Very interesting!!
Chris

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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » January 5th, 2009, 11:52 pm

I was able to connect from work today but when I tried to drive the create off the dock I lost power for some reason. I could no longer connect to the camera or via BAM. I will try again tomorrow.
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » January 6th, 2009, 3:57 pm

This will be my last update for a little while. I was able to connect to home from work and drive the create around the house. Control and video are a little jerky but usable.

Improvements for the future:

Use a better wifi cam with pan and audio.
Use a Create DO pin to switch the camera off and on.
Change the BAM to use a constant 5V and not switched 5V. This way the BAM is on at all times.

Here is another screenshot.
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » February 8th, 2009, 11:33 am

I finally did something new with my Budget ConnectR (yes the name lives on even though the project was canned).

I'm using digital output 0 to turn the web cam. Sending 147,1 turns on the camera sending 147,0 turns it off. I have the battery charging and I want to see what the trickle charge current is. I think the BAM will draw more than the trickle charge but maybe an acceptable amount.

From what I have seen, the charging circuit will stay in trickle charge mode after the battery peaks and starts to drop in voltage.
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » February 8th, 2009, 3:41 pm

With the web cam off and the BAM on the Create is slightly increasing battery voltage. Looks like I will be purchasing a dock and charger in the future and using it as a security bot.

I'm going to look into using a Propeller chip to drive a servo so I can add pan capability to the camera. I think using the other digital outputs to raise or lower the camera would work. A 0 to 1 transition would move the servo a set amount up or down.
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » February 10th, 2009, 12:01 pm

Note to self: Mount the camera so it can't pivot. I was doing a test drive from work and I must have hit something with the camera. When I think I'm going forward I'm actually at an angle :? I'm now trying to seek the dock. Doh!
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » March 2nd, 2009, 5:26 pm

I pretty much made my last HW mod to the Create and now have a camera that can scan up and down. I do hope to clean up the wiring at some point and maybe consolidate the 5V supply onto the Propeller proto board. The new things you see in the picture are the Propeller proto board and a servo. I wrote a program that moves the servo up and down based on pulses coming from the DOUT pins available on the Create DIN connector and are passed through the BAM. The spin language is very easy to use.

The DOUT pins are set using the SCI 147 command.

DOUT0 = Power on camera and Propeller.
DOUT1 = Move camera up
DOUT2 = Move camera down

Sending a 147,1 will turn on the camera and Propeller. It also prepares the camera for movement.

To move the camera up two steps:
Send a 147,3 to pivot the camera up
Send a 147,1 to allow another camera move
Send a 147,3 to pivot the camera up

To move the camera down two steps:
Send a 147,1 to allow another camera move
Send a 147,5 to pivot the camera down
Send a 147,1 to allow another camera move
Send a 147,5 to pivot the camera down

The camera is mounted to the Create using a regular cabinet hinge and some heavy duty double sided tape. This allows the camera to pivot up and down but not side to side.

My next step is to learn visual basic and write my own app the integrates the camera controls. It will look something like Roomba Status but will have added buttons for the camera.
Attachments
HPIM0873.JPG
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » March 2nd, 2009, 5:32 pm

I forgot to add the only mod to the Propeller board was I removed the 5V regulator since I'm supplying 5V via the switcher. I lifted a pad when I desoldered the regulator. What a hack!
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » March 19th, 2009, 7:13 pm

I never tried SCI tester and when I found out the source code was available I decided to give visual basic a try. I think this is just the beginning of my changes but for now I just added the camera controls. I replaced the spot clean and max buttons with camera controls.

As usual my dog Caleb is the camera subject. He has learned to put up with roombas.

I even made the leftmost camera control toggle between on and off and disable the up/dwn buttons when the camera is off.
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camera control.JPG
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby Fraggboy » March 20th, 2009, 1:34 am

Mike,

Very interesting project!! I am always reading up what you have improved/added. I just "lurk" here, cause I don't know anything about electronics. Keep up the great work!!

:happy-jumpeveryone:
Chris

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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » March 20th, 2009, 7:47 am

Thanks for the kind words!
Mike
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby mfortuna » March 26th, 2009, 9:23 pm

Decided to try my security bot from work. Undock, turn left, no dog???

Later found him sleeping on a living room chair. He is not allowed on the furniture. My wife (mom) has been sent a picture of the bad dog!

Maybe if I had two way audio I could have scolded him.
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Re: Budget ConnectR / Rovio

Postby Fraggboy » March 31st, 2009, 4:27 am

Mike,

Way to funny!! I have busted both cats with Rovio getting up on certain furniture (They aren't allowed). I also took snapshots, and sent them off to the better half. They know not to get up there when we are around, but when we are gone,forget it!! :o

She always kept telling me we couldn't get on the cats, since we didn't know which one was the culprit. Not no more.. :lol:
Chris

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