Introduction: DIY: How to Build a WiFi Robot Spybot

Picture of DIY: How to Build a WiFi Robot Spybot

We will be showing you how to build a wifi robot / spybot from scratch. It is a very straight forward project and can easily be handled by a intermediate robot builder. To complete the robot, it will take a couple of hours.
Video of complete robot driving:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ieb4zxwHs5k

Items Needed:

1-Rc Car (new or used, choose one that could easily have a Rc servo fitted in the steering system. We got ours from Radio Shack.)

1-Barracuda wifi robot controller (http://www.robotics-redefined.com, use coupon "instructables" to get 10% off) http://www.robotics-redefined.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=28_30&products_id=62&zenid=c4fd241aa334c50cf189918d38319430

1-Wifi Router ( brand does not matter, we will be using a Linksys)

1-Network Camera (again, any brand will work, we will be using a Linksys)

2-Ethernet Cables

1-5v Regulator for camera (may be different if using a different camera.

2-3 7.2v Rc Batteries (3300mAh or greater recommended)

Misc wire, solder, tape etc.

***NOTE***: As of this writing after testing the wifi robot / spybot, I would encourage the use of a different Network Camera. The Linksys camera worked ok but not great, I have heard good results with the Panasonic line of cameras.

Step 1: Step 1: Hacking the Car

Picture of Step 1: Hacking the Car

To start building your wifi Robot / spybot, gutting of the Rc car is the first step. Take out everything! We got our Rc truck from Radio Shack, but others will work also. We gutted it out and built a roll cage on top. Here is a Picture of the truck gutted and the 3 Rc batteries mounted in the truck.

The two red batteries are to power the main motor and the barracuda wifi controller. While the blue 7.2v battery will power the Linksys router, 5v Regulator for the camera, and the steering servo. Three batteries are not needed, but i just find that it makes the wifi robot / spybot more reliable and allows longer run times. If you opt for two batteries the Linksys router can handle 40v, so you will be fine running it straight off of the two packs. The same with the 5v regulator. Te only problem will be the power for the steering servo, so you will either have to add another 5v regulator and run it off of that or just get a higher amperage 5v Regulator and run the servo and the camera off of it. The latter would be easiest.


Step 2: Step 2: Install the Steering Servo

Picture of Step 2: Install the Steering Servo

We gutted out the steering box and retro fitted in a standard Rc servo. Other people have used the steering Mechanism that comes with the Rc car, But I wanted true proportional steering.

Step 3: Step 3: Install the Barracuda Wifi Robot / Spybot Controller

Picture of Step 3: Install the Barracuda Wifi Robot / Spybot Controller

(Picture One)
We started this step out by extending the leads coming from the motor by soldering on extra wire we had laying around.

(Picture Two)
Here is a picture of the barracuda wifi robot / spybot controller. This is what we will be using to control our robot.

(Picture Three)
Here is a picture of the yellow lead from the motor connected to the terminal block. You can also see how the batteries are connected in series to power the barracuda wifi robot controller. On the green terminal block is where we connect the servo. The red wire is connected to the third 7.2v batteries ground and the servo's ground. The white wire is the servo's signal wire. The barracuda has two output ports. Each can individually be configured as a digital or analog input, digital output, or an Rc output making the Barracuda very flexible.

Step 4: Step 4: Power the Camera, Router and Servo

Picture of Step 4: Power the Camera, Router and Servo

In this step, all we did was take the mating connector that will connect to the batteries connector and solder the power and ground together for the 5v regulator. The power plug for the Linksys and the power wires for the servo. For a more detailed view, check out our Youtube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5W9Bi8Hgwc .
Here is a picture of the 5v Regulator attached to the rear battery.

Step 5: Step 5: Connect Everything to the Router!

Picture of Step 5: Connect Everything to the Router!

Configure your router to have the base Ip Address of 192.168.1.1. The stock Ip Address for the barracuda is 192.168.1.10. The IP can be changed to whatever you want it to be with the configuration program that comes with it. Connect the camera and the Barracuda wifi robot controller to the router using the two Ethernet cables. Configure the camera to have an ip that works with that of the router and barracuda.

Step 6: Power up and go!

The barracuda wifi robot controller comes with a sample program and source code to drive the car. Power the car up,connect to your camera in the browser, run the sample program for the barracuda and start driving! The barracuda also supports use of a PS3 controller plugged into your computer to control it.

For more info and to see our wifi robot cruising around, check out our YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5W9Bi8Hgwc

Comments

cmorisco (author)2012-05-18

hello to this project using tp-link and must be used to compile OpenWRT SDK
works for the project
http://www.jbprojects.net/projects/wifirobot/
thank you

systemerorr41 (author)2012-05-04

i cant it can u make a tutorial video pls?

CalcProgrammer1 (author)2010-01-08

If you install a third-party firmware on your router, depending on the model it may have an internal serial port that can easily be made into an RS-232 or TTL connection for a serial Arduino or other cheap microcontroller that you could use to drive the car.  The only thing you would need then is a camera which you could either use a webcam with Internet streaming or you could hook up a netbook/small PC/PDA/phone to stream video from an internal or USB-connected webcam.  If you have a netbook you can cut out the router altogether and just use the netbook (and built in webcam if it has one) and a USB Arduino to drive the car.

i have a wifi router, i think it has a com/serial port on it, so hor could i controll anrc car with an arduino? and wifi

mister2 (author)CalcProgrammer12010-03-05

 And how might you do that? That is a very intriguing prospect... I assume it would require writing your own firmware for the device. Correct?

fridodido (author)2012-02-24

use your old camera phone and install mobiola . fit it into your rc .......simple

zandok71 (author)2011-08-28

Can somebody tell where can a buy a wifi robot controler ?

hyruler_ (author)2011-04-19

this really is cool. nice design.
and to cyrozap=it is really hard....

seventhsensestudios (author)2011-02-25

Is that the M1 or the M2 Barracuda?

mattski (author)2010-11-30

Great instuctible, can you use a wifi AP in between set up as a repeater to increase the range?

tzq33tdq (author)2010-09-27

this car is awesome and i will make it. Thanks for posting this instructable.

vstechnologies (author)2010-09-24

Which truck from radio shack did you get?

vstechnologies (author)2010-09-24

The barracuda controller is not on the website and i can not find it anywhere. Does anyone know where i can get it?

BIGHAIRYDUDE (author)2010-09-18

so can you control this from anywhere or something as long as you have internet and can you control it from pc cuz i have no idea what this is supposed to do

tpo22chris (author)2010-05-23

Hello 
am i able to put a usb webcam in anyway cause buying an ip camera is very expensive ?

alvarobep (author)2010-05-18

Please i need more information about this. And in this link items need the page of robotics-redefined.com the product was not found please help!

bart10655 (author)2009-04-04

Can this same thing be attached to a gas rc car? I might try it

AppleGuy (author)bart106552009-04-05

yea it could the controller I used has two Rc outputs

JayDuMartin (author)AppleGuy2010-04-13

Is it possible to control the car with a usb device, like a joystick ? I have real life applications for this type of device...!

bart10655 (author)AppleGuy2009-04-05

ok i am going to try it soon thank you

tomtortoise (author)2009-12-26

About haw much will this cost if i have the router, don't want a camera, and have the tools

Motts (author)2009-11-27

Now all it needs is one of these www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/8bc4/

jam BD (author)2009-11-25

Coooooool =D

thalass (author)2009-11-24

Is it possible to control the car with a usb device, like a joystick or steering wheel? Or would that require a different program tailored to that application?

This is pretty awesome. I've wanted to build my own rover since Spirit and Opportunity came online. Roaming the streets, hopping from unsecured wifi AP to unsecured wifi AP, controlled (or commanded) by me on the laptop at home. hehe

tichland (author)2009-11-11

hello

please can you tell me  specific detailes to make the regulater board plz 

and also need to now where i can buy the  ip camera because in my country it's above 1200 dollars 

thank for helping 

Dude687 (author)2009-07-17

can't you just mount a playstation eye in the body of an rc truck

ry25920 (author)2009-04-04

Actually, I saw this guy built routerbot 1 and 2.http://robostuff.com/diy-projects/routerbot-v1 I'm building one soon and I'll use your idea to attach it to an RC truck. Thanks.
Ry25920

cyrozap (author)2009-03-17

I meant <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.jbprojects.net/projects/wifirobot/">this one</a>. It's actually quite inexpensive.<br/>

AppleGuy (author)cyrozap2009-03-17

Ah yes, I have seen that one. The only thing I didn't like about it was all of the hacking and trying to piece it all together. This is just drop in and your ready to go type module. But he did do a good job with it.

cyrozap (author)cyrozap2009-03-17

Not so easy to do, though.

cyrozap (author)2009-03-17

This reminds me of another wifi robot.

lemonie (author)2009-03-17

Cool! L

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