Attacknid


15 posts
by pygmy_giant » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:14 pm
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by pygmy_giant » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:18 pm
The attacknid(s) could be controlled remotely from the Pi using with one of these: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10247

The addition of an ultrasonic ranger on the robots turret communicating remotely with the Pi could be a challenge but would allow it to accurately map its environment.
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by Ravenous » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:05 pm
Hmmm... "Dear Santa..."

I have too many half-finished projects lying around, why do people have to keep posting stuff like this! :twisted:
Posts: 1671
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK
by pygmy_giant » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:38 pm
I'm getting, sorry, I mean my son is getting one for xmas.
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by pygmy_giant » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:35 am
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by Ravenous » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:48 am
Are you sure it's infra-red controlled? I had a look round (difficult to find any real info I must say) and it seems to be powered by 2.4GHz radio control. (Not that I know much about RC.)
Posts: 1671
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK
by pygmy_giant » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:29 pm
No - I'm not sure - it looks like it is IR as there are glassy bumps and no antenna, but it works if I operate the handset from inside a cardboard box.

I'm wondering if I can get a spare handset to adapt and connect the switches to the pi via an optocoupler....?

The turret lifts as well as rotates and has two units that clip on - a changable weapon and a kill-switch to target mechanism.

I'm guessing the electronic pulse to fire the weapon could be used to trigger a circuit that takes a reading from an ultrasonic rangefinding module - I need to measure this with a multimeter. The challenge would then be to send the result wirelessly back to the pi. That could allow easy mapping as the stepping motion of the bot should move it in reasonably predictable increments.

Has anyone suggestions for a cheap module for wirelessly returning distance info?
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by pygmy_giant » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:10 pm
Rio and I have subjected the attecknid to extensive testing and can further report that it is of satisfactory build quality and seems to function mostly as intended. The quirks to watch out for are that the turret has to be aligned over or centrally between legs in order to walk straight or else it will walk in an arc. The rubber discs are launched by a spinning wheel and so they also spin during flight. Their flight path is initially straight but then curves as the disc slows in the air. My favourite touch is the leg armour that explodes off when hit. My only gripes are that the control pad is a bit tempramental and it is easy to accidentally depress the left or right button when pressing forward. Also it has a 'dance' button that seems to do nothing apart from light an LED - need to investigate that further... it may be a fault or a function that I do not understand properly...? I am using rechargable batteries with mine and although it works for quite a while, the disc launcher noicably looses power before the toy packs in. It can run for quite a time while the low battery warning is flashing, but it starts to act erratically and switches itself off when the batteries have truely had it. I have yet to find someone else with another attacknid to have a battle with, but my son has enjoyed shooting it with a Nerf gun, while it shoots him back! I like the way it flinches backward when its target is hit... It shuts down when the target is hit 3 times by freezing its position which is also disturbingly spider-like. There are two sizes of target which presents a good challenge. I got mine for £50 and overall I think it is exceptionally good value at that price considering the build quality, innovation and engineering involved - having said that there is plenty of time for it to develop a fault, so we will see...

As far as controlling via the Pi is concerned, it is definately radio controlled as although there is no antenna the handset works from within my hoodie pocket. I think the best way to connect it to the pi will be to use invasive surgery on a spare handset. As far as returning data to the pi is concerned, I may be looking at an AVR / ir transmitter/receiver pair. I already have an I2C interface board which can receive ir, so an AVR with an IR transmitter and an ulrasonic ranger could perhaps do it.

Want to finish my balancing robot first, so I will keep this as a pipe dream for the moment...
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by pygmy_giant » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:04 pm
Well I asked the manufacturers if I could buy a spare handset and they sent me one for free! From the outside it seems there are just 8 buttons to hack (4 directional + 4 for the weapon). Now where did I put that screwdriver....?
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by pygmy_giant » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:11 pm
Having read another thread I also ordered 2 of these:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1X-NRF24L01-2-4GHz-Antenna-Wireless-Transceiver-Module-For-Microcontroller-WST-/271133536748?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item3f20d171ec

Perhaps I can use it to read and then mimic the signal from the controller?

If I get an avr, perhaps I could mount that on the turret and further send and receive to the Pi?

Not clear how it would interface with the Pi - think its spi/uart ?

The Chinglish description says "Need external inductance only in antenna matching place"

Think I need http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-4GHz-Wireless-WIFI-Antenna-Booster-WLAN-RP-SMA-K-/110953775189?pt=UK_Computing_Boosters_Extenders_Antennas&hash=item19d55c4055 ?
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by pygmy_giant » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:06 pm
The same unit from an english suppler is described as:

2.4GHz
100m range
1.9V-3.3V Vcc input
2Mbps/1Mbps/250Kbps
On-board 2.4GHz Antenna
100m Range at 250kbps
250kbps to 2Mbit Data Rate
Auto Acknowledge
Auto Re-Transmit
Multiceiver - 6 Data Pipes
32 Byte separate TX and RX FIFOs
5V tolerant input pins
Software selectable channel from 2400MHz to 2525MHz (125 Selectable channels)
Minimum number of external components
Pins broken out : VCC, CE, CSN, SCK, MOSI, MISO, IRQ, GND
Lots of application notes and support on Nordic Semiconductor Website
Arduino Sample Code (Please search in Google)

So SPI I think
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by Ravenous » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:55 pm
I gather these 2.4GHz radio remotes use multi channels, to allow several models to be used together. Bear in mind I've never played with any of them, but I gather the helicopters using this sort of radio can each be made to use a different frequency.

Does your attacknid have instructions for how to use several at the same time, without the controllers clashing?

The point I think I'm making is just copying the pulses and replaying them might not work if the controller & model sometimes go to another channel. If that's how this all works...
Posts: 1671
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK
by pygmy_giant » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:26 pm
Does your attacknid have instructions for how to use several at the same time, without the controllers clashing?


Yes.

The point I think I'm making is just copying the pulses and replaying them might not work if the controller & model sometimes go to another channel. If that's how this all works...


Not sure I follow. The instructions say:

Syncing the Attacknid and Handset

Make sure all the batteries have been inserted and both Handset and Attacknid have been turned on. The syncing process will take 2-3 seconds to pair.

The light on the handset will constantly flash until you move the Attacknid. [by using handset]

You can sync up to 20 Attacknids in the same area. Syncing more than this may cause some interference.

....

If you are lucky enough to have 2 attacknids they can be sybced to just one Handset!

...


I am guessing there is 2 way ommunication between the handset and Attacknid and that the attacknid has a signature signal...?

One strategy maybe to silently monitor the radio activity via the Pi before attempting to mimic it.
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by pygmy_giant » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:17 pm
I opened up my spare controller and its gagging to be hacked.

The PCB actually has 10x empty spots next to the switch contacts that seem to have been purposely included for this very purpose/testing/development.

I took some great photos that I wanted to post here but I no longer have webspace to link to and I don't know to place picture in-line in a post.

I hope to power the 3v handset from the pi. It should be easy to controll as the buttons only short a 0.7v line to ground.

I may use NRF24L01 RF Transceiver pair + ultrasonic rangers + arduino mini + magnetometer to send mapping info back to the Pi.

First things first though - I will drill some holes and mount 12 GPIO pins on the handset to break it out to connect via wires to the corresponding spots on the PCB.

8 will go to the 8 buttons.
2 will go to the 2 (apparently) ground lines that the 2 clusters of 4 buttons short to.
the other 2 will go to the +3v / gnd supply lines in the battery compartment.

The controller has something that resembles a NRF24L01 RF transceiver in it.
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by Xood » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:23 pm
pygmy_giant, did you continue working on the remote to control the Attacknid?
I saw there is a version out which is controllable via smartphone using bluetooth. Could it be, the original remote is actually using the same bluetooth protocol?

I would love attach my smartphone to the robot, do my own app with bluetooth and using the smartphone camera, let the robot become autonomous. :-)
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:17 pm