Takes One To Control One!

Pavel Petrovic and Richard Balogh have managed to figure out how to control a Robopet using IR signals they send from – are you ready for this? – a LEGO Mindstorms RCX roving robot! With a little encouragement and nudging from Robot Robert Roschler, the designer of the Robosapien Dance Machine, they not only managed to crack the code, they’re sharing it openly on their website.

Pavel and Richard managed to control the original Robosapien using one of the LEGO Mindstorms RIS 1.5 serial IR tower last summer. In the meantime, Robert was busy modifying his Robosapien Dance Machine software to support the Robopet, Roboraptor, and Robosapien V2. It turns out that the basic code format is somewhat similar to the original Robosapien, but involves more bits and of course different control codes.

Pavel and Richard came to the realization that controlling the robot from the tower required that the robot stay close enough to the tower that it could receive the IR signals reliably. So, why not build a rover-bot, using LEGO Mindstorms of course, that would act as a mobile platform that could send control signals to the robot no matter where the two of them happened to wander.

It took a lot of work, and investigation of the internals of the RIS processor and BrickOS, but they finally managed to get it working! The RoboPet was responding to IR signals sent from the mobile RCX rover-bot.


Their website (see links below) includes photos, downloadable copies of their software, a video clip, and an extra program that allows commands to be sent to the WowWee robots from a PC using either the USB or serial RCX towers.  

  Video cameras are sensitive to IR
  so you can actually see when
  the IR signals are being transmitted.

Related links:

Let LEGO Robot Walk Your Dogbot – Controlling a Robopet and other Wowwee Robotics robots from a LEGO Mindstorms robot

Controlling RoboSapien Using LEGO IR-Tower – Uses the Mindstorms RIS 1.5 serial IR tower

Robopet Controlled By Lego Mindstorms RCX Computer – Article on Robotsrule.com by Robert Roschler, the developer of the Robosapien Dance Machine


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