If you’ve ever looked longingly at the web-enabled security droids becoming more prevalent (and of, I sometimes wonder, dubious effectiveness – what if someone steals your $10,000 droid?) but haven’t the bank balance to fund your robot addiction then maybe you could take inspiration from Dean Shelato. He’s set himself the project of taking a 4-foot long robot car and outfitting it with all the WiFi and webcam gubbins you’d normally only find in patrolling machines many times the price.
His prototype – which uses a $20 RC toy as chassis rather than the $200 one Dean has his eye on – carries a Linksys WRT54G WiFi router that, via a Maxport serial-to-ethernet bridge web server, gets instructions from a “Cubloc” microcontroller. Eventually (i.e. when he spots on on eBay cheap enough) an Axis 206 IP-webcam will provide live video from the platform.
Whether you think that robots make good or bad security, most people would agree that controlling one over the internet has its uses both cool and practical. I’ll be keeping my eye on Dean’s page to see how his project develops.