Though unfortunate events I burnt up my stm32f4 discovery, so I thought to myself now would be a good time to load up the raspberry pi and see what I could do with it.
I found an instructable with a link to Raspian with ROS built in. http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-and-ROS-Robotic-Operating-System/step2/Writing-the-image-to-the-SD-card/
Then I found instructions on how to setup a wifi webcam that runs off solar batteries. This camera is hosted across the web in any browser. http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-Completely-Wireless-IP-Camera-Solar/
To manipulate the gpio there are several different methods, there is a very exhaustive page here that shows how to do it in basically any language you want. Looks like pwm might be out of scope for the first run but controlling my already built motor drivers should be easy.http://elinux.org/Rpi_Low-level_peripherals
Putting this all together we should have what we wanted very quickly. A robot that can drive around using the wifi providing a video feed to a client. Looks like just by installing software the client will be a webpage. I will have to find a way to integrate the motor control and the video feed on the same page. If I could accomplish this then I would be far past where it has taken me about 2 years to get using MCU and integrating directly with the camera.
Once this works:
– Gets Power from batteries
– Charges Batteries
– Monitors Power
– Motor Drivers (4)
– Servo Drivers
– LED and Laser Connectors
– Camera Connector ?
– Build a body that fits batteries, pi and daughterboard
– Construct and test
I don’t know if we can take the schematic of the pi, strip out the stuff we dont want and include the stuff we do, such as wifi, motor drivers etc. If we could simply make our own version of the rPi that would be better than fitting a square peg in a hexagon hole.
There is tons of interest right now in the rPi, it is buzzing all over the internet and every Tom, Dick and Harry is making accessories for it. It will be nice to ride that wave instead of using MCUs that are less renown. I can say that if we make accessories they should cost less than the pi itself. If I make a full video bot package we should be able to keep the cost below $100.