WiFiCamBot

Jan 2008:

WifiCamBot was one of my adventures in building a robot that could be remotely driven around while transmitting video via a live feed through an IP-based network camera wirelessly.

WiFiCamBot_Side

The idea came from my wanting to do something simple. Survey underneath my deck to see what sort of critters etc were making a home there. The deck was high enough for a rover-like vehicle to fit and drive around. I did not want to have wires tethered to the system, so I used a Panasonic BL-C30 WiFi camera with a built-in webservr to transmit live video via the web.

In this case, I have a webserver where I created a subdomain specifically for the camera to broadcast its info to. Loaded the Java components to receive the streaming video and render it on the site. The site also allows for remote control of the camera via WiFi. So, the entire robot, power and electronics are all onboard. There were a few challenges with this approach. 1) Power – The Wifi camera required 12 volts dedicated power. I did this by wiring 2 battery packs together in series (required a custom modified motor wire). This also added a fair bit of weight to the robot. In total there are 2 battery packs for the WifiCam and 1 for the PowerFunctions motors. That is 18 AA batteries. No worries though – the PF motors still have lots of torque.

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