Ideas for a Teleoperated Project

I want to make my first Instructable, and I would very much like to do a project that is teleoperated via the internet. I have strong web application and embedded software skills, so I am doing this to combine the two with a web control panel and whatever the project will be. However, my mechanical and electronic skills are lacking (yet not absent).

Does anyone have an idea of what the physical end of the project should be (what should be controlled)? At first I was thinking about doing a remote controlled car, but that is not original enough. I am looking for ideas of things anyone that goes to the site can control, so something that would be OK to give control of to the public.

Thanks for your help, I will give credit to whoever comes up with the idea.

Kilt Y6 years ago
I hope you're still motivated for showing us how to do web control!

I've always been fascinated with telepresence, and I'd love it if someone could show me how to send serial commands to a COM port on a remote computer from the web. Bonus points if the webpage/software are free for all.

Serial communication allows us to control practically anything, and the maker community can take the rest from there.

In short, if the electronics/mechanics aren't your forte, stick with what you know! Web control is awesome enough.
mappum (author)  Kilt Y6 years ago
A few years ago I was basically asking the same question (except I didn't know electronics, either).

Now, I have been programming nonstop for the past four years and this would be easy for me. However, it would take custom programming that goes beyond the skill level of programming for simple electronics, so I am not sure if I can really explain how to do it.

There may be tools I am unaware of, but it sounds like you guys would benefit from a customizable teleoperation tool (I could make a program that you run on a local machine that uses a selected COM port, like you said).

I am a little bit busy with projects right now, but thank you for bringing this back up, this could be quite fun to work on pretty soon.
PKM6 years ago
Creative applications are usually popular: I'm sure I saw an internet-controlled whiteboard pen with a webcam pointed at it so you could go to the site and draw on this guy's whiteboard. Something that many people can see the results of while one person is controlling it will provide fun for more than one website visitor at a time.

If you wanted something involved, perhaps a robot arm (I'm sure you can get "toy" ones for non-crazy amounts of money) and a collection of blocks and other everyday things to move around- advancing computing power means people have access to the most amazing graphics, modelling and other abilities through software but few have ever actually controlled a real physical robot arm. What could be more sci-fi than that?

If more than one person could be involved there's a whole other realm of possibilities- what about one red and one blue remote controlled car playing tag with each other?
PKM PKM6 years ago
If you like the robot arm idea you might be interested in this post (linked on Hackaday recently)- how to convert a cheap robot arm to Arduino control. It should be easy to get your web app sending commands to the arm, if you have a serial module for your server/backend.