August 04, 2012, 7:45 AM — If you've ever lived or stayed in an area with a limited Internet connection or a 3G dead zone, you'll know exactly how frustrating it can be even to just quickly check your emails. Perhaps people living in such areas should invest in something like the Wi-Fi Extending Robot.
This tank-like machine by students at Northeastern University will locate Wi-Fi in hazardous areas where there might not be much of a network infrastructure. It is operated remotely, and features an Eee PC (running Linux, Arduino, and Node.js) on board to act as the tank's main brain.
[ FREE DOWNLOAD: 6 things every IT person should know ]
The 150-pound robot is controlled over its own Wi-Fi network, and this is extended thanks to the repeater unit on the back. The aluminum bot will run off its battery for about 12 hours, and it features GPS tracking, a tilting webcam with night vision, and a microphone. This means that while you send out the tank to find some Wi-Fi, you'll be able to see what the robot sees, which helps with controls, and when you strike connection gold, note the exact location.
The software used to control the Wi-Fi Extending Robot is custom built, and it lets you control the robot's camera, speed, and direction; extend the robot's range with the repeaters; and most importantly, monitor your connection. The software also has a Web interface, so you can control the bot from any device.
Do you see much use in this sort of robot? What would you use it for? Comment away below.
Like this? You might also enjoy...
- Botiful Is an Awesome Android Robot You Can Control via Skype
- Ben Heck Creates Portable, Autonomous 3D Printer, Makes DIY Community Jealous
- DIY Subtitle Glasses Translate Foreign Tongues in Real Time