I plan on doing this project with the help of a 12 year old friend, Jake, who is very interested in robotics and tinkering with things. Jake told me about the Lego Mindstorm NXT Robot and I considered getting one and probably would then load a free custom RTOS on it, where I could program in C++. I decided against this because of the limitations of the abilities of the system and the cost ($225 at least). So I was going to plan on building my own hardware / software solution using the brains of an low-cost embedded microcontroller using a free off the shelf RTOS and programmable in C++ using OOAD techniques.
Before I made my decisions I wanted input from my friend, Matteo, who told me he was willing to give me his robot parts, as he was too busy to work on it now. I gladly accepted, and also he wanted me to blog on it, so he can follow the work, and see what's going on with it.
This robot would be able to move around the house, see using a Web cam, record audio, fire a few missiles, and all be controlled wireless from a PC or over the Internet. I would like the robot to have a programmed assignment to monitor the pets, and keep them from doing bad stuff as well.
The parts I am getting sent:
- Roomba - robot that will vacuum your house autonomously
- WRTSL54GS Wifi Linksys Router with built inUSB ports and loaded with OpenWrt or DD-WRT.
- Embedded controller with an Interface board to interface the router serial lines to an embedded control (not sure the maker of the microprocessor but it could be Microchip, TBD). This likely will go into the Roomba to control it.
- USB missle launcher
- USB Hub
- USB light?
- Speaker - for communications
- A LCD display would be nice