by Gordon McComb
FIGURE 1. The Telebot is an ArdBot with a wire radio link
and a wireless video camera capable of superimposing
text over the picture. Beside the Telebot is the wireless
remote control which uses its own Arduino.
A traditional robot is a mechanical contraption that
operates under its own will. You upload a program to its brain,
disconnect the cable, and let the beast roam free.
That's only one type of robot. Another is the remotely
operated kind, where you guide the actions of the bot from
afar. A link — wired or wireless — keeps builder and robot in
constant communication. If the bot is in another room — or
even another building, city, state, or country — a video camera
can beam back pictures so that what the machine sees, its
human operator can see, as well.
This is telerobotics: tele for distant, and robotics for, well,
you know that part already. A telerobot is remotely
controlled, though it may also contain autonomous functions
that operate without human intervention. Some telerobots
are commanded within the space of a living room, and some
millions of miles away on alien planets.
50 SERVO 11.2012
In this article, you’ll build the Telebot — a convergence of ordinary robot with remote control abilities. For the base,
I’ve adapted the ArdBot chassis,
described in the November 2010
through May 2011 issues of SERVO.
The ArdBot is a low cost and
easily expandable base that uses an
Arduino for a brain, and two
continuous rotation servos for
Figure 1 shows a fully decked-out Telebot with handheld remote
control and some additional
hardware — a camera and video
broadcaster — on top. I’ll only talk
about the remote control aspects
here, as the add-ons are up to you.