Ever since the Wicked Witch of the West spied on Dorothy through her magic cauldron, the ability to snoop around your environment without being detected has fascinated the world. Happily, your unnecessarily creepy days of creepily creeping on your friends and neighbors aren’t far off.
Roaming robots that transmit live high-definition video are getting cheaper and more popular all the time, and with a few parts and some friendly guidance, you can build your own for even less.
Construct an RC wheeled base for your robot that meets the environmental needs of the robot. Start by choosing a set of wheels or treads that come with drive motors pre-attached, as well as mounting hardware.
Most pre-made hobby wheel systems come with both drive motors and mounting hardware.
Mount your chosen wheels to a sturdy, flat RC base that can accomodate your chosen wheel types. It should also be capable of holding your power source, drive motors, and camera without over-straining its structural integrity.
Once mounted, you should be able to rotate your wheels through their full range of motion without encountering any kind of resistance.
Attach a wireless web camera (like the Linksys Wireless-G) to the front of your robot’s RC base, in the direction the robot will be traveling. Ensure that the camera you choose has its own power supply, and that said power supply is easily accessible for when the batteries need to be changed.
Test your creation with the remote control that came with your prefabricated RC base. View the wireless video on your computer screen while sending the robot as far away as you can before the video or RC range peters out.
Make adjustments as necessary, including possibly adding range-extending antennae for the RC base, wireless camera, or both.
Alternative to constructing your own RC base, you could simply remove the decorative cover from a commercially available RC car, and you have a ready-made remote-controllable base for your robot.
A wireless web cam would be an ideal solution to your camera needs, but might require some power amplification to meet your range requirements.
With web cams like the Linksys Wireless-G that contain their own web server, you should be able to view your robot's video stream from anywhere in your building through the local wireless network.