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:

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 (, use coupon "instructables" to get 10% off)

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.

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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

(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

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: .
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 The stock Ip Address for the barracuda is 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:



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    34 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 5

    hello to this project using tp-link and must be used to compile OpenWRT SDK
    works for the project
    thank you

    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.

    2 replies

     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?


    7 years ago on Step 5

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


    7 years ago on Step 5

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


    8 years ago on Introduction

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


    8 years ago on Introduction

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


    8 years ago on Introduction

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

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


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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


    9 years ago on Step 5

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


    9 years ago on Introduction

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