Posts Tagged ‘WiFi’

Flying Wifi Robots: Friend or Foe?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Sure, the researchers may state they are intended for assistance in disasters… but these wifi network creating robots could just as easily be used to spread the reach of the dreaded Skynet! I have my doubts, but Engadget seems pretty sure that these robots have good intentions. Time shall tell!

Researchers at Germany’s Ilmenau University of Technology are developing flying quadcopter robots that can be used to form a self-assembling ad-hoc wireless network in the event of disaster. Built with off-the-shelf parts (including VIA’s Pico-ITX hardware and a GPS unit) the robots are designed to provide both mobile phone and WiFi access — and they can do it far more quickly than a technician on the ground might be able to. The device comes in a kit for €300 (about $380), which includes all but the battery — the batteries currently run around €1,000 (over $1200) and only offer up 20 minutes of flight time. Once the device has found a perch, however, it can operate for “several hours.”

Full story via Engadget.

Easy Telepresence Solution!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

We’re always on the lookout for useful and inexpensive gadgets to add to our Robotics Lab, and while searching around for a small, inexpensive Wifi (as in 802.11) camera for use in Mech Warfare I finally settled on the Airlink 101 SkyIPCam250w Part #AIC250W. Personally I found mine at a local Fry’s Electronics for about $105, but we also sourced them online here.

Here is my quick review here on the forums of this camera:

Image quality is mediocre, but good enough to view things at a max of 8-10 feet. Frame rate is 30+ and response time is in the 50ms range running the camera at 320×240.

Main board is 10cm x 5.5cm. Camera board is 5.5cm x 3cm and attaches to the main board at a right angle. It appears to be a 1mm spaced header pin port, so it could easily be extended for custom mounting solutions. Entire camera unit stripped down and including antenna weighs 91 grams. The antenna is a u.FL connection, so this could be replaced with a custom solution if needed.

Overall a solid little camera for the price. If you’re on a budget, this is about as good as it gets. Keep in mind for ‘competition’ performance, you’ll need to run it at 320×240, but that can be stretched. Image quality is enough to pilot and aim I would say, but I wouldn’t expect to read text with it. Definitely usable for Mech Warfare within 10-15 feet though. Oh and the IP web interface uses Java and/or Active X, so you could pull the control from it and add it into a custom form easily.

Here are some pictures! (click to enlarge)

Since we don’t care about the bulky exterior casing, here’s what it looks like stripped down:

And this is with the camera board removed:

WowWee Rovio Wi-Fi Enabled Robot is Here!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

We’ve been waiting for this bot to arrive for quite a long time. It is SLICK looking to say the very least. We’re now proud to say that the Rovio Wi-Fi Enabled Telepresense Robot is now available in our store!

Loaded with features such as telepresence over wifi and the internet, self charging capabilities, autonomous navigation, and you can even control it with your smart phone! Its full color camera and microphone allow you to pilot the Rovio around your house and see and hear what it does from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. These stylish telepresence bots are sure to be a hot seller this holiday, pick your very own up today!

Check out the main site here “Meet Rovio” and an Unboxing that RoboCommunity did!