Introduction: 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:
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)
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
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
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
We started this step out by extending the leads coming from the motor by soldering on extra wire we had laying around.
Here is a picture of the barracuda wifi robot / spybot controller. This is what we will be using to control our robot.
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
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!
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: