Chapter 14. Remotely Controlling a Mobile Robot
Remotely controlling a robot is one of the most common robotics scenarios. It is usually necessary because the robot is too small to carry an onboard PC, or the cost of an onboard PC would be prohibitive. For example, teaching robotics in a classroom requires a lot of robots, so they need to be relatively inexpensive.
This chapter covers how to connect real robots to Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and make them perform simple tasks. Two different robots are used in the examples: the LEGO NXT Tribot and the Parallax Boe-Bot. There are differences between the examples due to different hardware capabilities, which has the benefit of demonstrating different tasks. Regardless of which type of robot you have, you should read the entire chapter.
Subsequent chapters explain how you can build your own mobile robot with an onboard PC so that it can operate autonomously.
Remote Control and Teleoperation
The previous chapter explains how remote control of a robot works and points out that the robot does not run MRDS but instead runs a small monitor program. In this case the MRDS service sends commands to the robot and receives sensor information back from the robot. The robot then operates without human intervention. The complexity of the task that the robot can perform depends on the capabilities of the robot and the sophistication of the MRDS service. This chapter shows you how you can write a simple service to remotely control a robot.