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Asked — Edited

Rc Crawler Controlled Via Ez-B V4/2 And Camera Combo

Id like to be able to manually control my RC Crawler using an EZ-B v4/2 + camera combo. Ideally I would like to control it with an xbox 360 controller using the triggers as proportional forward/reverse and one of the sticks for proportional left/right turning, both with auto centering (hands off the controller = stationary with the wheels straight). Controlled over a local network initially, but ultimately I would like to be able to mount my phone on the truck broadcasting a mobile hotspot and be able to control it from my desktop/laptop computer from anywhere. An RC car is fairly simple compared to a typical robot, after watching some videos, reading some tutorials, and messing with the software a bit it looks possible. Rather than ask how, I mainly wanted to ask if what I am describing is achievable with this ezrobot hardware/software.

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Synthiam
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Synthiam
#1  
Yes - except not with a phone onboard. Get a $100 mini pc
#2  
Thanks for the quick reply DJ. Couldn't the EZ-B connect to wifi via a mobile hotspot just the same way it would connect to any other wifi? Clarification, phone would be mounted on the truck just so the EZ-B could connect to it via wifi (hotspot), then use any internet connected pc to control it over the internet. If you wouldnt mind please explain how an inexpensive mini pc would help for my example.
PRO
Synthiam
#3  
The phone cannot use an Xbox controller
#4  
DJ is confused. He is thinking about the EZ-B mobile interface, not using the phone as a Hotspot. Your solution will work fine as described with one exception. Most phone Hotspot you can not define what IP address it hands out, and the leases are short, so the EZ-B may not automatically connect on startup without someone local to assist.

Alan
#5  
Your other challenge with a mobile phone Hotspot is port forwarding. If you have a VPN client on the phone so that your remote computer and the Hotspot are essentially on the same network you can probably work around that, but you need to be able to connect to port 23 and 24(if you use the camera) on the EZ-B. So certainly possible, but there are easier solutions (like an on board computer running TeamViewer or similar for remote control without knowing the IP address).
#6  
Thanks guru, really appreciate your response! You are right the phone would be for hotspot not the mobile interface. You make some good points on connecting with a hotspot but ill always be local to the "rover" before i send it off on missions. So I could just figure out what my ip is each time and configure it with that, then all i would need to worry about is vpn/port forwarding? Im sure I can figure out how to get this set up over a local network but one of my goals is to be able to connect to the rover wherever it can get 4g mobile internet from my phone. If you think running an on board computer and something like teamviewer would be better, can you go into a bit more depth on how that would work?
#7  
Also i forgot to mention the crawler will use standard hobby grade electronics, a hobbywing esc and savox servo.


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#8  
I purchased a used AC791L verizon jetpack for $50 as a better mobile hotspot option. It would be a better physical fit for the crawler, supports an external antenna for boosting 4g connectivity, and ultimately would only be $10/mo on my plan. The real benefit of using this jetpack is that it has port forwarding and dmz capability built in unlike using a phone for hotspot so I think it will help with the networking issues mentioned above. I can use it for lots of other purposes so even if it doesnt work out here I think its a good value. Waiting on my EZ-B hardware to come in, cant wait to get started.
#9  
Cool. If it has port forwarding than it almost certainly also has "static" dhcp so the EZ-B will always get the same IP address from the jetpack. You'll need to be able to determine your public IP which will change when the Jetpack connects to Verizon's network. I believe that model displays it on its LCD display (might even support a dynamic dns service).

Alan
#10  
Got the EZ-B and have been able to successfully control it over a typical wifi network. Unfortunately however it seems this is not going to work with the jetpack, the jetpack doesnt really have a public IP due to how the verizon network operates. I cant ping the jetpack from a computer on another network so I definitely wont be able to reach anything connected to it (EZ-B). So I was thinking another approach might be to use a micro PC (like intel computestick) sitting on the crawler. Connect it to the jetpack via wifi, and use a seperate wifi adapter to connect it with the EZ-B. Then use teamviewer to create a vpn between the computer i want to control the EZ-B with and the micro pc. But I think I would then need to bridge these two wifi connections? Does this sound possible? Any other suggestions EZ Robot community?
#11  
That will absolutely work. Although rather than bridging the networks, I would run ARC on the on-board computer and just control it through TeamViewer remotely. Teamviewer works well for this, or (unfortunately need a subscription) you might want to look at Splashtop since it optimizes the stream for remote video or gaming, so the video refresh is a little better than Teamviewer (but not much. Try teamviewer first and just go to Splashtop if you find video not working well).

The only issue is if the Jetpack gives out IP addresses in the 192.168.1.x subnet, you will need to change the subnet of your EZ-B (which you can do on its web page in AP mode) to something else. Anything in the non-routable private ranges will work. 10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x

Alan
PRO
Synthiam
#12  
Gear Best still is the best place to get those pc's. I just bought 2 Atom Windows 10 mini pc's for $70 USD each a few days ago... pretty wild deals they have!
#13  
Thanks guru and dj. I set up a test using a spare win 10 laptop connected through the jetpack and a seperate wifi adapter to the ez-b to test this and I was able to remote in from a computer on a seperate network and control ARC through the the teamviewer remote desktop! So that functionality is confirmed as suspected. Although I am reasonably satisfied with this solution the main problem for me is I cant use a joystick as it would need to be connected to the computestick, unless I am missing something. This is why i would really like to be running ARC on the remote computer and why I was thinking I might be able to use network bridging in windows to connect direct to to the ez-b through the computestick. I was also considering connecting the ez-b via usb to the computestick but im not sure that will help either. You think either of these options are viable for my goal?
#14  
I have VRC adapter that allows me to connect a typical pistol style RC radio system, in this case a Spektrum DX4r, as a joystick. It works great with the ez-b over wifi! I would really like to be able to control it over the internet using this method!
#15  
Hmmm... You do bring challenges:)

I don't think USB is the solution, or at least no better than bridging the WiFi networks. The USB appears as a comm port, and it is possible via software to extend a comm port over WiFi, but nothing written recently and the last time I tried to use something it was not very reliable. Network bridging is built into Windows 10 and should work for what you are trying to do.

I wouldn't try to run a lot of servos or have complex actions, particularly if you are running video because you will be limiting performance by limiting the bandwidth between ARC and the EZ-B unless you have a really good LTE connection where the device is located, and even then, fast LTE is still going to have some lag compared to local WiFi even if you have plenty of bandwidth. (sorry for the run-on sentence. End of a long day...)

Alan
#16  
@DJ. When you suggest Gearbest, you should also suggest using Paypal or a tokenized one-time use credit card number (many of the credit card providers offer this for web purchases). They have had a couple of security breaches where they were caught storing customer information in plain text and they have been very lax about fixing them. I would not trust them with my credit card data, although I have ordered from them with the proper precautions and will again.

Alan
#17  
I found a program that forwards USB over network called "USB Network Gate", was able to successfully forward my VRC adapter to the "computestick" running teamviewer remote desktop and use it in ARC! I had to have teamviewer remote desktop open and teamviewer vpn as well. So my goals have been achieved, now time to integrate everything on the crawler (I should have chosen the EZ-B IoTiny!). My only complaint is somewhat slow response but it works well enough for me, its actually not as slow as I imagined.