The MKII Robot Controller

I thought I’d briefly share the latest gadget I’ve been tinkering with. You may remember the robot I built for HackFu – I always thought I could do better with the packaging of the controller unit. It was in three pieces, namely the camera receiver, the TV, and the control unit itself:

wirelesscontrollerIn a fit of Wii U inspiration, I’ve managed to get all three components into a single, portable enclosure:

botcontrollerfront

There’s a convenient carry handle on the top, handholds left and right, and you operate the sticks with your thumbs. The screen is one of those cheap TVs you get for use in your car.

The AV receiver’s antenna and tuning knob poke out behind one of the hand-holds. It doesn’t get in the way of your fingers, and the tuning knob has fortuitously ended up in a very convenient place:

botcontrollertunerThe antenna will fold through 180 degrees so it won’t catch on anything when you’re not using it. Next to the antenna is the secondary AV input for the display – by changing channels you can switch from the wireless camera feed to an external one. This means you can do things like hook up another Arduino with a Video Game shield and play Tetris:

botcontrollertetrisHere are some action shots showing the telemetry overlay and the bot itself, TempEx One:

botcontrollerscreen

botcontrollerandbotWith the lid off you can see the XBee for communicating with TempEx and the arrangement of the AV receiver and Arduino:

botcontrollertopoffThere’s a single 12v DC input jack in the bottom left that powers everything.

Things still on the TODO list include:

  • Swap the XBee for one that supports an external antenna. This will be mounted in the left hand hold, flipping up and down like the AV antenna does
  • Addition of a speaker for the camera audio
  • Find a compact 12v battery to remove the need for mains power (any suggestions?)
  • Spray it a suitably impressive colour :)


Alec Waters is responsible for all things security at Dataline Software, and can be emailed at alec.waters@dataline.co.uk

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7 Responses to “The MKII Robot Controller”

  1. […] Via: wirewatcher […]

  2. […] probably not fair since we never gave the Wii-U a try at all. But doesn’t this seem like a much better idea for controlling a robot than playing a gaming […]

  3. […] probably not fair since we never gave the Wii-U a try at all. But doesn’t this seem like a much better idea for controlling a robot than playing a gaming […]

  4. Where did you get that case from ?

  5. […] Interested in learning more? You can check out Alec’s MKII robot controller blog post here. […]

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