New here, thought I'd introduce myself by talking about the project I'm planning out right now.
Initially I had planned on building a quadcopter, but I decided first I'm going to build an Arduino powered 4wd autonomous rover. I'll probably start with a Traxxas Summit RC car, though I'm still researching other options (and searching craigslist for good deals.)
I live on 40 acres of very mountainous terrain so the summit will probably be the best bet. While the rover's primary goal will be surveillance, it make take on a variety of other roles such as providing a mobile wifi repeater, picking up screws and nails on the road with a magnet, transporting items around the property, verifying that irrigation systems are working, retrieving the mail (or better yet a beer), or just serving as a "follow-me boombox/flashlight" while I work.
While I've covered most of the areas which I regularly go on the property with WiFi already, the rover will be able to function with or without connectivity. If it has exhausted it's mission queue it will go to the nearest known hotspot to check in. Otherwise it will continue it's tasks unless it senses something deemed an emergency event in which case it will seek communications immediately.
Initially I'll be looking to include the following features:
Once I get those issues working well I'll look into adding the following:
Austin and I are pursuing a similar course.
We already have our EV1 unit constructed - APM 1.4 on Traxxas 2WD Slash.
Our EV2 unit is based on Mecanum wheels - and is on backorder from the RobotShop.
Our EV3 unit was to be a Tamiya tank - but after a few meetings with the local Bay Area Tankers RC club = they've pretty much discouraged me from tracks.
We'll wait until APM v2.x (I'm a software engineer - and you never want a x.0 of anything!) - before we get into the camera mounts, but are looking at some used industrial robot "picker" arms now (to get the hang of them).
Still need to get the basics down - so EV1 is strictly an "evaluation and test" platform.
Considering the complexity of what you are trying to do, I would break it down into manageable chunks that will make it easier to accomplish - and more rewarding, when you start to see the parts coming together.
We'll be monitoring this forum to track your progress!
Cool man, your projects sound interesting. Thank you for your reply.
I'd go for the robotic kits too if price wasn't an issue, but picking up a used crawler on craigslist saved me a lot of money on this project. I also picked up a droid x on craigslist for $75, and flashed it to metroPCS so I can use a $40 3g plan.
So far I've only made it as far as gathering the parts and checking basic connectivity between my android phone, the arduino board and the rc car. I've been short on time to tinker with the holidays, work, and snowboarding.
When I make any real progress I'll post some video.
Any progress yet? I just finished putting together a Traxxas E-Maxx chassis from pieces purchased off of eBay. I presently have lowered the chassis body support posts to their lowest level on the shock towers in order to mount a 1/4" thick 15" X 8" HDPE plate on the chassis to mount the electronics. I am trying to decide as to whether to use a Parallax Propeller or the APM 1.0 or 2.0.
No unfortunately haven't had any time to tinker. Had a lot of other work-related projects going on and quite a few amazing powder days.
You can see my ArduRover build log in the ArduRover User Group: http://www.diydrones.com/group/ardurover-user-group/forum/topics/tc...
Very interesting project. You say that you have already covered most of your property with WiFi, any chance you could explain how you've done this.
Well it certainly wasn't easy. I have a very rugged piece of land that straddles a canyon so just getting connectivity meant I needed to get my network to the top of the mountain so I'd have line of sight to a communications tower that's ~18 miles away. I connect to my WISP with their flat panel commercial grade wifi antenna. From there it travels 300 ft (the functional max you can go) over cat5 to a switch. Into that switch I have plugged a wifi router, and several more runs of cat5 going in different directions. Each of those runs hits another switch and more routers, and so on. Everything is buried in conduit and the system has been running about 2 years with no appreciable problems. There's 7 routers and 9 switches, and I have all the areas in which I commonly work/occupy covered in wifi.
At the moment each router has its own SSID, but I may switch over to a mesh network system when I upgrade/flash more of the routers. I'll also look into some longer range commercial grade routers and stick some antennas high up in some trees to fill in the gaps, but for now the network is doing what I need as well as providing the neighbors with connectivity.
Thanks for reply. Do the routers and stations need their own power supplies? Would it be possible to do something similar with wireless boosters/ampifiers? If you have a few minutes to spare you might take a look at my FarmBoz project http://clikire.snappages.com/farmboz-3.htm or check out the thread I started.
I seem to be chasing you around this morning Niall!
I believe you could try Power over Ethernet for some of the remotes to limit the number of runs of power needed. I've never done it myself, I'm looking into it now actually.
Hope this helps, & thanks for another great rover project!
ya I may do PoE on some of the outermost spurs, but in general whenever I bury conduit I like to at least put power, water, data and usually a spare.
I haven't pulled wire through every bit of conduit I've buried yet, but eventually I'd like to have power in most places as well for general purpose or DVR's, motion lights, etc.
LOL @ FarmBoz3, thats awesome. Though I do have a bit of distain for the "cowboys" these days who push their herds with motorized vehicles, the geek factor more than makes up for it here. Nice job.