WiFi Controlled Robot

Contributors: Alex the Giant
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This tutorial will show you how to build an Internet controlled robot with a live video stream to a custom site hosted by the ESP32 Thing. With a little hacking you can customize the robot to create your own pan/tilt camera or even a Nerf Sentry Gun that can be remotely controlled!

Camera Robot

This project is based around the Shadow Chassis, which is controlled by the ESP32 Thing and the Serial Controlled Motor Driver.

Required Materials

To build this project, you will need the following:

Not included in the wishlist is a WiFi camera that you will need to source. When picking a camera, keep a few things in mind:

  • Power supply voltage: Ideally the camera can be powered from USB, so that the ESP32 and camera can share the same 5V rail.
  • 2.4GHz WiFi connection: So that the ESP32 and camera can share the same network.
  • Framerate: Higher is better. The best I was able to find was 30 frames per second, but due to real world conditions, expect it to be around half of what is outlined in the technical details.
  • Accessible with an HTTP link: For this you'll have to do some googling, but if you type in the manufacturer and model number followed by "URL" (e.g. "Wansview 1080p URL") you should find a link that will show you what to put in the address bar of your browser to view the video stream. We'll discuss how to use that URL in the camera testing section.

Suggested Reading

Before starting this project, there may be a few subjects you'll want to be familiar with before starting this project.

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Serial Communication

Asynchronous serial communication concepts: packets, signal levels, baud rates, UARTs and more!

Installing an Arduino Library

How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

Assembly Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

Assembly Guide for the RedBot Kit. This tutorial includes extra parts to follow to go along with the RedBot Inventor's Kit tutorial.

ESP32 Thing Hookup Guide

An introduction to the ESP32 Thing's hardware features, and a primer on using the WiFi system-on-chip in Arduino.

Serial Controlled Motor Driver Hookup Guide

Hookup guide for the Serial Controlled Motor Driver

ESP32 Thing Motion Shield Hookup Guide

Getting started with the ESP32 Thing Motion Shield to detect movements using the on-board LSM9DS1 IMU and adding a GPS receiver. Data can be easily logged by adding an microSD card to the slot.