Drive an adorable DIY rover from across the internet with your iPhone

first_imgUsing a Pinoccio board — a web-ready microcontroller complete with WiFi and built-in radio — and a Pololu 3pi — an adorable little two-wheeled robot that is connected to a programmable microcontroller — the folks at Pinoccio have created the Web Rover, a system that allows you to control the 3pi robot over the web.The team attached a Pinoccio board, dubbed the Scout, to the 3pi, which communicates with another located nearby, called the Lead Scout. The Lead Scout is connected to the internet via WiFi, and logged into a Pinoccio API topic that provides access to the control of the 3pi robot. To control the bot, messages pushed to the API topic are grabbed by the Lead Scout, then sent to the Scout attached to the robot, which adheres to the command. The pushed messages aren’t typed commands, but are accelerometer movements from your iPhone.To log your iDevice into the rover controller, simply load this webpage on your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac laptop (if it has an accelerometer), then click on the “Enable Driving” button. You can’t actually drive Pinoccio’s rover using that link, but the app shows you how receiving and understanding the accelerometer messages works.Pinoccio states that though driving the rover is only a demo, it isn’t just limited to within the company’s own local wireless network, and they drove the Web Rover in real-time from over 6,200 miles (over 10,000 kilometers) away. If you could gain access to the Pinoccio API topic and had an iDevice with an accelerometer, you could drive the rover around — easy peasy.As for the future of the Web Rover, the team says that sensors may be added to the robot that could deliver real-time data across the internet, effectively creating a roving security bot. If you’re interested in the Web Rover, head on over to Ingiegogo and check out the board’s funding campaign. You can also build your own rover (scroll to the bottom of the page), but it requires pre-built parts (such as the 3pi robot), and some coding know-how.last_img

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