Linksys router turned robot

August 29, 2008 // 9:16 a.m.

Tags: #bennett #jon-bennett #linksys #linux #robot #router #wrt54gl #wrt-54gl

It's a known fact that the Linksys WRT-54GL router is well-regarded amongst hackers, due to the flexibility of the Linux operating system allowing customisation to suit any need – but just how far can you take it?

Hacker Jon Bennett has probably gone slightly further than most, having used the popular device as the brains for wireless rover robot. As reported by Hack a Day, Jon's creation is built out of a cheap radio controlled car, the aforementioned Linksys router, a microcontroller, a webcam, and a remote-operated horn. Which is, to be frank, awesome.

The WiFi device has a range of around 500 metres, and features souped-up electronics after the originals melted under the load required by the extras – which need two 7.2V 3800mAh battery packs to run.

As you would expect from a device with a wireless router at its heart, the robot is designed to be operated either from a WiFi terminal nearby or remotely over the Internet. With the addition of a networked webcam, it's entirely possible to control the car from a continent away – and did I mention the remote-operated horn? Sweet.

Despite the extra weight added by all the electronics, the robot is still pretty nippy – Jon's measured it at just shy of ten miles per hour, or around 16 kilometres per hour.

If you want to see more of this pretty sweet hack, Jon's website contains more than enough information to whet your appetite – and even circuit diagrams should you wish to have a go yourself. There's even the inevitable YouTube video of the robot in action.

Fancy building your own Linksys-based robot, or are you just – like me – going to keep pestering Jon until he lets you have a go? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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