Tuesday, September 26, 2017

SmartWatch as robot brain?

Our robot story so far has been about smartphones as robot brains. We want to make small robots and smartphones are a little too big. So here's looking at you, smartwatch. 30 dollars including postage buys a DZ09 smartwatch.

Photo: With straps removed and placed beside a smartphone:

Photo: On removing the straps I discover that the antenna is inside part of the strap.
So it gets this board mount:

First tests and impressions:

  • Works with a Vodafone NZ SIM card, in that I can send and receive txts. 
  • With the straps removed, to get a reasonable touch response, I need to also hold or touch the metal casing.
  • Needs a micro SD card before showing any storage space when connected with USB.
  • Good camera placement for a robot animal head. It looks out the top end parallel to the screen surface rather than at the usual 90 degrees perpendicular.
  • The "browser" icon starts an installation from the Internet. This "Library Update" ends with a message: "Net busy". I am trying variations on the "APN" configuration setting for Internet via cell network but with no result yet.
  • After much searching and reading, I am not sure if this is running an "Android Wear OS" or a "Nucleus OS". First experiment will be to try to program it with the Android Development Kit and see how far we can get.
Photo: of me taken with the DZ09:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Publication! - XMRemoteRobot - our open source remote control server software

XMRemoteRobot is published on "GitHub". XMRemoteRobot is web server software that enables Human Commanders to remote-control devices in real time over the Internet.


XMRemoteRobot is a spinoff from learning, teaching and research at the Manukau Institute of Technology. XMRemoteRobot is focussed on being small and efficient for our particular robot remote control and telemetry needs - which may be your needs. The code is written to be clearly understandable so it can double as an education resource for the new ASP.NET Core technology. You can support this by giving feedback, comments and suggestions.

XMRemoteRobot has an online demo. Web page to web page on a screen split by an "iframe" is a good simulation test.


Video of XMRemoteRobot in action with our "Creative RAT" robot vehicle: