Recent blog entries for bitspit

22 Jul 2004 (updated 22 Jul 2004 at 16:49 UTC) »

Cellphones Outside The Box Part II

It should be noted that Nokia has a developer program for their 40/60/80/90 series phones, allowing you to develop your own java application for your cell phone.

Considering you have more code space, a color display, keypad and serial/ir connection, the phone itself makes an excellent microcontroller. Indeed, several models now include a built in camera, and mini tcp/ip stack. (I'm sure we'll see IPV6 functionality in a few years also.)

In summary - "The flexability and power of the cell-phone as a microcontroller/data link device should not be overlooked in it's application to robotics."

Now if I could burn a linux kernel to my phone, we'd really be cooking with grease! Deep Fried Nokia?

I've been trying to figgure out efficient methods of long-range communication for my robots. I have solved my dilemma by utilizing a mini-atx board and a cell phone connected via serial port. I think this is very effective, as I can run x86 linux code, have a fully functional robot, with ip connection/security abilities. There are some bandwidth limitations (9600 baud), however this should be easily overcome with the next generation of g3 cell phones.

Basicly, its linux running ppp to a cell phone/modem via serial port. Simple, yet effective, and gives global roaming abilities for the price of a throwaway phone.

I also believe that this solution far outweighs any other radio solution. There is no amature license involved, or expensive short haul radio solutions. (99$ and up for most..) when more can be accomplished with a 29$ cell phone. (And you can call people when not usuing it as a tty modem!).

Also, the included internal battery gives around 4 hours run time, or up to 2 weeks on standby!

However, the most important part to me is to be able to utilize my robot(s) as an directly attached web/network device.

Currently, the device boots a compressed filesystem from a floppy, that is removed afterwords, and the os/control software runs from a standard ramdisk. Currently there is a cut down version of apache, and limited java capability. Additionally, by utilizing the network connection, the robot can mount drives of any size via NFS, providing almost limitless computing/storage abilities.

Other possibilitys? Heavy duty processing can be acheived with the use of remote clustered servers. PVM based sumo anyone?

My first entry! More to come!

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