Nuntius (Latin for "messenger" or "herald") is a telepresence robot hat the operator emotely controls by
seeing through a wireless camera
mounted on the robot's
manipulator (arm). The basic idea
behind Nuntius came from those
"all-in-one" video game consoles
where the controller is the game
system, and all you have to do is
plug the audio/video (A/V) cables
into your TV, turn it on, and you're
ready to go.
The Nuntius system operates the
same way. You just plug the A/V
cables into your TV, turn it on, and
you're ready to go. Nothing else to
set up; no Wi-Fi to configure. The
entire system has just four basic
parts: 1) the remote control
communication system; 2) the
controller; 3) the wireless camera;
and 4) the main drive system.
Two XBees ...
At the heart of Nuntius is the wireless
communication system. This was also the
most difficult part of the project for me
because I had never built a remote
controlled robot or used an XBee before.
I decided to use XBees and not Wi-Fi
because I wanted a person to be able to
just plug it into their TV and turn it on —
just like those video games.
I chose XBees because I had heard a
lot about their capabilities and Parallax had
just released an XBee education "How To"
textbook that taught how to set up and
use XBees through a number of hands-on
examples and projects. (Side note: Just
about everything that I know about
electronics and programming, I learned by
reading and going through the different
SERVO 03.2014 53
Some different views of Nuntius.