A telepresence car that can be manipulated over wireless network. via Texas Instrument
Download Ubuntu builds for Beagleboard. Flash the board’s NAND and load the build image onto the SD card.
Ubuntu builds for Beagleboard http://ynezz.ibawizard.net/beagleboard/ | These builds are optimized and are very light so you need to do some customization. But you’ll feel much better than using a full version cause that’s gonna kill all your patience… We do need a GUI for video streaming, so we used the Lucid build with xfce4.
Detailed steps for installing Ubuntu on Beagleboard http://www.snowbotic.com/archives/33
Connect and set up the Maestro Servo Controller. The driver software can be downloaded on pololu’s website. You just need to compile it for ARM on the beagleboard. It’s fairly simple to do once you get all the packages you need. (This is one of the reasons that we chose Ubuntu over Angstrom. Some packages just don’t exist for Angstrom…) After compilation, try it out on the beagleboard to make sure it works.
Pololu Maestro Servo Controller User’s Guide http://www.pololu.com/docs/0J40
Use VLC to stream the webcam video through UDP. We find that given the limited power of the beagleboard C4, MPEG-2 is the transcoding setting with the shortest delay.
VLC simple streaming tutorial http://www.videolan.org/doc/streaming-howto/en/ch02.html
Wireless network. We used the beloved Belkin G USB Wireless Adapter. It’s a plug-and-play for Ubuntu Lucid. (Another boom for Angstrom…) We did have some problem with the school wifi. So we set up our own wireless network with Netgear WNDR 3700. (Not sure if that is allowed by the department…Hmm…)
Wireless G USB Network Adapter http://www.belkin.com/support/ab/c/Default.aspx
Access the Ubuntu on Beagleboard from another computer through openssh. Then run the MaestroControlCenter remotely.
Openssh set up ABC https://help.ubuntu.com/8.04/serverguide/C/openssh-server.html
When you run ssh command, make sure you do ssh -X user@ip (yes, X has to be capital) so that the GUI will run.
Permission denial issue. We had this problem with the webcam and the servo controller. The easiest way is to do sudo chmod 777 device_location.
Mechanics. After making sure all the parts works, now it’s time to put it together. Tapes and a sharp knife shall do the magic. We used the Traxxas Stampede monster truck and it is a good fit for the job. We did have to replace the original springs with stronger ones since we are adding a whole bunch of things.