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Remote control cars over the internet (telepresence) Answered

I came across this site with 2 RC cars that can be controlled freely over the internet.
rajesh.homelinux.org/ 

I want to make one of these setups, but I don’t know exactly how to do the codeing.

I got everything external under control. I am going to use the 25 pin printer parallel port. The only problem I have is trying to get a client pc on a webpage to communicate with my computer then to its serial port.

So I need some help with the following...
1. A webpage with buttons to control a program on the host.
2. A program on the host to control a parallel port.

I want a webpage to have 12 buttons, two sets of 6. One to control car 1 and the other for car 2. Each set will have the following keys.
forward,
back,
forward left,
forward right,
back left,
back right.
(Or possibly a set of 6 buttons with a drop down menu to select the car to control.)

I can use ubuntu or Windows, doesn’t matter.

So if someone could guide me through the webpage makeing, communication to the host, and the host to the parallel port, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here is a link that you might find useful.
http://www.epanorama.net/circuits/parallel_output.html


Update: I think the site at the top states that it uses Ubuntu and Apache.
Apache/2.2.9 (Ubuntu) PHP/5.2.6-2ubuntu4.2 with Suhosin-Patch Server at rajesh.homelinux.org Port 80

23 Replies

user
bcaddow-young (author)2012-07-04

I've just got finished with this project. I used an Arduino UNO along with an Ethernet Shield to the control the car over the internet. Here's the URL for anyone interested. The documentation is fairly detailed.

http://brandoncaddow-young.com/internetCar.php

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jrio12 (author)2012-03-27

Why not just buy 39 dollar ip webcam with a moving base and hack it then use your droid as an on board wifi hot spot and run it all on 3g or 4g go any were verizion covers

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michioryo (author)2011-11-21

Good information provided regarding robotic cars.
Thank you!無料車査定

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user
rapghsi (author)michioryo2012-02-19

Look at this folks - a real 24/7 working unit:
http://www.controlmeonline.com/

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user
letapjar (author)2009-11-19

Hi folks, I'm one of the site mods at the RC-Carduino site.  A couple of quick things:

1) we use an arduino b/c it was the quickest/easiest way to get the webserver talking to the micro-controller (and it's only $30 for a dedicated arduino for this project - this is  a long term project for us so $30 is a small investment)

2)remote server is no problem - just forward the HTTP requests to the local machine that's connected to the arduino.

3)here's a link to the code to talk to the arduino from another program:
http://todbot.com/blog/2006/12/06/arduino-serial-c-code-to-talk-to-arduino/
in ubuntu make sure the apache user is part of the 'dialout' group to talk to the serial port. - another option is to use a serial proxy as described on the arduino.cc website. (we haven't tried that yet).  Design a simple protocol (ours uses single ascii characters for each movement direction - easy and we can use a switch/case statement to interpret them quickly on the arduino)

If you want to be energy efficient, you'll want to control the lights with the arduino - get a "Automatic plug-in Light Control" - made by GE, available at walmart for $6.98 in the do-it-yourself section.  tape on an led over the light sensor - hook up the led to be normally on - and trun the led off when you want power to the lamp.  See this instructable for some details - but we don't recommend taking apart the light control like they do - it's unnecessary and potentially unsafe.

Happy Hacking





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physics_dude (author)letapjar2009-11-20

I'm sort of new to the C lanuage stuff. I olny know visuial basic.

also, what program should i use to make the webpage?

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letapjar (author)physics_dude2009-11-21

you don't need to know c for the ardunio-serial program  - you just have to be able to compile the program. If you're using linux, the gcc complier will be what you need and the todbot blog has the directions on how to complie it.

as for the arduino programming - the tutorials on the arduino.cc website are all you need.  Look for the switch/case tutorial, the Led blink tutorial (truing an led on and off is the same as turning a witch on and off program-wise).  And the Serial prot tutorial.  Install the arduino IDE and look through the example sketches (that's what arduino programs are called).

You can use any program to write a webpage - a text editor works just as well as an IDE for that part.  "use your google-fu grasshopper"...

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physics_dude (author)2009-11-19
Ok,  guess I will use the arduino. but still prefer to do it with a parallel port.

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ReCreate (author)2009-11-13

i reccomend you use an arduino, it'll be much simpler that way.

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physics_dude (author)ReCreate2009-11-13
I prefer not to use the arduino even though I already have one because 1. Having it only be used for this wouldn’t let me use it for other projects. I know I can just buy another one but still,… 2. I already got all the parts for the Printer Port to car controller circuit. I’ll try to start the circuit building tomorrow.

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ReCreate (author)physics_dude2009-11-13

oh well then...because an arduino would be a computer itself, from the computer you can simply send commands via serial and have the arduino do the hard work, But its too late as you said :P
I may try that some time...

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physics_dude (author)ReCreate2009-11-14
If you can look at the poorly compressed schematic then you will see how simple the external stuff is. And please refer to this site for the communication to the port.

http://www.epanorama.net/circuits/parallel_output.html

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physics_dude (author)ReCreate2009-11-15

Ok, well maby it's not so simple.

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physics_dude (author)2009-11-15

Just so everyone knows, I will be using ubuntu for the host

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jeremytubbs (author)2009-11-13

Hello, I am building a similar product with arduino, processing, php, and mysql.

The project at rajesh.homelinux.org/  is called Carduino because it uses an arduino. Do you want to build this project without using an Arduino?

www.arduino.cc
www.processing.org

Most of the web control examples on the arduino/processing site only work with a localhost and not out on the www. Anyway I will keep you posted and possibly add an instructables.com post after I get everything sorted.

Keep us updated on your progress... thanks.

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ReCreate (author)jeremytubbs2009-11-13

Ooh, Can you release the source?
All i need is the processing and PHP(what is mysql used for?) But if you are nice you can release it all.(would save me some time) :D

I could rewrite it(well some parts) to let me control it from a remote server, I got the idea in my head. ;)

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ItsTheHobbs (author)2009-11-13

That's cool. Too bad they are off for the night. I'll try tomorrow.

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Goodhart (author)2009-11-12
This part:    1. A webpage with buttons to control a program on the host.

Isn't so hard. A bit of Scripting will take care of that.

But, number 2 will be more difficult as you do need something to interface with your mechanism.
 

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physics_dude (author)Goodhart2009-11-12
But your asking how to get the computer to talk to the port.

If you look at the bottom half of this webpage then you can see that there are multiple ways to do this.


 http://www.epanorama.net/circuits/parallel_output.html
 

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physics_dude (author)Goodhart2009-11-12

The paralle port will connect to the contact pads on the RC car controlers circuits, 4 each.

I know it is hard to see the circuit I built but take a look at it, (2nd picture on the picture list)

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