Project to ponder...

Dear Arduino Community,

I am looking to start my first project from scratch (no guides, no schematics, nothing that i’ve found so far at least). Scary. I could use a large amount of help. My experience so far with arduino goes as far as: building an arduinome, and a reverse geocache puzzle box. Both projects were reasonable but definitely surmountable challenges and a lot of fun.

Essentially, the project is a personal physical status notifier robot.

I think the most similar project I can think of is the physical email notifier robot here:

http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1290459941.

However, I want two robots that communicate with each other.
So, if I move the arm/head/legs of one robot, a matching robot at my girlfriend’s house would mimic mine and vice versa.

Is this possible? I imagine so… but I may be wrong. This is my thinking so far:

  1. I would prefer wifi communication… probably some WiFly shields.
  2. I need a server of some sort that stores the positions of the robots and pushes it down to each robot.
  3. I need a device like the NXT motors that both reads/writes the position of a servo.

There are other tons of other issues I think I would like to think out before I would like to buy parts as money is tight as well.

Does anyone have any interest/opinions? pointers? know of an existing project?

That’s definitely doable with some clever design and a little PHP. One problem to think of-what if you are both moving the robot at the same time?

That’s a great question. I guess it would depend on these mythical motor devices. Possible solutions:

I can set one to always override the other in case of two signals coming in at the exact same time. Otherwise, I can set the position of both based on the latest input on either side.

Finally, to prevent a user from trying to move the robot at the same time it’s being moved by the server, I can set the server to only move the arm after x seconds of no movement.

If even after that, there is still conflict between how a user wants to move an arm and how the server does… I think I’ll just have to trust the user to not fight the thing.

What I really need, I think, is to know what devices I can use for the motors. I’ve read on these forums that a standard servo can’t really be read from… and they’re not really meant to be twisted like a potentiometer.

So… is there a purchaseable component like the NXT motor/encoder? Will I just have to hack a few of those?

a matching robot at my girlfriend’s house would mimic mine and vice versa.

Sure would be simpler if you could just talk your girlfriend into moving in with you. ;D

How far is your GirlFreinds house ?
it is a project that can be done relatively easily :slight_smile: it depends on the communicaion part ! after communicating its just a matter of moving the sservos accordingly
HINT:- you could look at the example controlling a servo with a potentiometer

Sure would be simpler if you could just talk your girlfriend into moving in with you.

Aye, but then she’d nag me about all the electronics bits laying everywhere. ;D

How far is your GirlFreinds house ?

Rough guess: under 5km?

HINT:- you could look at the example controlling a servo with a potentiometer

I will take a look at this. However, is it possible to have one “axel” with both the pot and servo on it? I will investigate!