powering on a laptop

I am putting a small netbook laptop into a large robot. I can turn it off with a program on the computer that listens for serial from the Arduino. What are some options for turning the laptop on?

Depends mainly on the used netbook/laptop. WakeOnLAN is one possibility, another may be to use a USB Arduino like the Leonardo to simulate a key stroke which wakes some laptops from sleeping but if you turn it off you probably have to modify it to be able to simulate a push to the power button.

Hi, Then there's the unsophisticated Brute Force approach if all else fails: Use a small servo to press the ON button...

I particularly like the Brute Force idea …

With Linux (I don’t know Windows or Mac, but they probably have a similar feature) you can get the PC to restart at a pre-determined clock time and then run a pre-determined program.

…R

I think I will have to go the brute force way since the computer needs to be completely off when it powers on. I am still open to suggestions though

arduinoPi:
I think I will have to go the brute force way since the computer needs to be completely off when it powers on. I am still open to suggestions though

If you're not opposed to opening up the laptop, a small SSR, relay, or optoisolator would let you simulate a button press. Also, some motherboards have a setting in the BIOS to power up when power becomes available (usually see this on servers so they come back online automatically after a power outage). If your netbook has that setting, you could control the power supply to it with the Arduino. Then you know it is consuming no power while off.

I checked bios and the only setting that I see being useful is the wake on LAN. I looked more closely at the laptop and if I had a servo hit the switch the screen would have to be open which I want the screen off and I don't see a button to turn the screen off when it closes. How would I go about using wake on LAN.

EDIT: I also am going to have a wireless router in the robot with the computer connected via Ethernet. Is there anyway to have the computer start when it sees the router turn on? (the router's power is controlled by the Arduino)

Rather than hacking up a laptop to do the control, have you considered using something like a Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone Black, or pcDuino to be your smart processor? You would have to learn Linux (assuming you are coming from a Windows background), but these processors are much smaller/lighter than your normal laptop/netbook and are more setup for embedded work. They typically use a SD card to hold the file system instead of a disk drive, and they don't have a screen built in.

Lets see links for the systems include:

In addition to Linux systems, running Android might be an option. Besides using a smart phone or tablet (possibly jail broken), you can buy Android systems directly, such as the Miniand mk802: https://www.miniand.com/products/MK802%20Android%20Mini%20PC

I do have a raspberry pi and have tested it. It just doesn't have the power to do what I need it to do, so I have to use the laptop. Thanks for the Idea though.

How would I go about using wake on LAN.

If your Arduino has an Ethernet Shield you make send the WakeOnLAN message (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake-on-LAN) from it.

Is there anyway to have the computer start when it sees the router turn on?

Not that I am aware of. But if your router runs an open OS (like OpenWRT and the like) you can send the WakeOnLAN from there when it starts up.

I have just googled "ubuntu wake up usb" and it seems that you can configure a PC with Ubuntu to be woken up from suspend by a USB device.

...R

Robin2:
I have just googled "ubuntu wake up usb" and it seems that you can configure a PC with Ubuntu to be woken up from suspend by a USB device.

I believe it depends on what exact PC you have. Newer PCs tend to have the wake on USB type event option in their BIOS/EFI options, but older ones did not, and I believe an earlier post, the OP said he didn't have the option to wake up on USB. And if you need to save the most amount of energy, I believe the wake on lan/usb use some background power.

So unless the wake on lan works, we get back to either turning on the PC via having a servo push the power button, or modifying the PC so that you can manually trip the power button via relay/optocoupler.

Another thing that occurs to me is whether you can turn on a normal PC fast enough. Presumably you are not doing a cold boot of the OS each time, but instead hibernating so that you don't have to restart all of the program, etc.