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What could be better than a remote controlled tank? A remote controlled tank powered by Linux. This week we kick off part one of the HakHouse Rover project. Our aim is to build an inexpensive rover with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from an expensive off the shelf robot. Live streaming video? Check. Laser turret to play with the cat? Double check. RFID? Why not.
HakHouse Rover - Web Enabling a RC Tank
There comes a time in every geeks life when building a web enabled, crowd sourced, remote controlled vehicle is an imperative. For us that time is now.
The HakHouse rover project kicks off this week with the basics of controlling our inexpensive RC Tank. The toy itself was a mere $15 locally and this is important because cheap RC toys usually have cheap controls. Namely micro switches to control forwards, backwards, left and right. In this segment we break open the controller and solder leads to the board that correspond to movement.
Next we connect the leads with a Phidget Interface Kit. This little board talks to our PC via USB and has programming APIs for C/C++, Python and Java.
With a little hacked together C code in Linux we’re able to control the vehicle. If you’re a C coder we’d greatly appreciate your input on the code. It’s not very pretty at the moment.
Next we toss in a little PHP on Apache and control it from the web. I had originally slapped together a simple page with a form directed at php_self with an if isset and a case switch that initiated exec but it’s already been replaced by jzman’s sweet ajaxy code.
This projected is intended to be open source so I’ve got all the code, hardware and other details on our wiki. If you’d like to build one yourself or contribute ideas, code or otherwise it’s appreciated.
In the next installment of the HakHouse Rover project we’ll be installing a wireless web camera and laser turret to annoy our cat Kerby.