A Control Interface for Player/Stage powered Robots

mbc_playerstage_k.png, 36 kB

MiniBotControl (MBC) was written by a group of Students at the University of Paderborn during a practical programming course (WS 2007/2008). It allows you to control a Player Robot with your keyboard or mouse and shows Sensor Values in different, seperated views (unlike playerv which puts everything into one single view). It is Tab-based and many different sensor views may be added. The first overview Tab uses a split pane layout with resizeable areas for Sensors, Camera/Blobfinder and a Table View, which shows all Sensor Values and some device properties. The next two Tabs just show full size versions of the Camera and Sensor View. The last Tab contains host and keyboard control settings.

The Software was developed for easy remote control of the HNI Mini Robot "BeBot", which has an XScale based embedded PC running Linux (s. photo - this was our slightly modified Version with USB WLAN Stick and Camera ;-)). Of course you may use the Software for your own Robot Hardware or just for the Stage Simulation (s. Screenshot above), but it has very limited sensor/actor support currently. It has support for the following Player devices:

  • Camera
  • Blobfinder
  • IR (also Ranger with some modifications)
  • Power
  • Position2d

It is possible to add support for new Devices!

The Software requires GTKmm and Cairo 2D Libraries. We only tested it on Linux Systems, but it should be possible to build the Software for Windows, as long as you manage to build the Player Client Libraries for Windows.

minibot_eye_mod.jpg, 18 kB

There are still several bugs and things that could be improved. It also lacks a bit of documentation, as we ran out of time at the end of the project. As a starting point for your own modifications, read the comments in devices/MBC_Robot and MBC_Device classes and have a look at the included UML Diagram which shows the original development plan. We do not further develop the software, but it is available as Open Source Software (GPL), in the hope that someone else may find it useful and continues development.

MiniBotControl Screenshot

Download: MiniBotControl_20080812.tar.gz

Please let us know about nice modifications and improvements :-)

d . herwald @ dsh - elektronik . de

Group Members: Johannes Ax, Andreas Engler, Dominik Herwald, Christoph Ragg, Daniel Riediger, Stefan Schmelter and Tobias Tangemann