System Block Diagram Description

Overall System Block Diagram

Component Description
User Computer The user controls a robot or observes a game in progress using an internet connected computer and client software running on that computer. Typically, the user will be using his keyboard and mouse.
Internet The Internet serves a means of transporting information from the server and the user's remote computer.
Server The server controls all game functions and provides all internet connectivity for the game. Software running on the server includes a web server, the game server, necessary hardware drivers and utilities. The hardware includes ethernet LAN adapter, video capture board and overhead camera, RF modems, supporting interface hardware, keyboard, mouse, monitor for the game administrator.
Robots The robots are the devices that actually move around the playing field. They will be slow rugged terrain vehicles with cameras mounted on top for visual feedback, proximity sensors, RF modem and microcontroller with software to control movement and send feedback to the server.

Server System Block Diagram

Component Description
Operating System (OS) The operating system is the underlying software for the server functions. This will be an operating system that supports networking, Java, and has a robust web server available for the platform.
TCP/IP Networking The server will use the TCP/IP networking protocol to communicate with clients on the Internet. TCP/IP is the primary networking protocol of the Internet.
Ethernet Hardware The server will be physically connected to the Internet through Bradley University's ethernet network. An ethernet adapter handles this connection.
Web Server The web server will handle the game's front-end interface. This will be the home page of the game with rules, server information, and the Java applet that will be the game interface.
Game Server The Game server will be written to handle all high level functions of the game. This will be written in Java, a highly portable progamming language. This software will handle the connection to the client software running on the user's computer, the video feed, sending commands to the robot via the RF link, recieveing video, proximity and trouble shooting info from the robot via the RF link, and standby and maintenance mode functions.
RF Communications RF communications will be handled by a driver that sends and receives information, and communicates with the RF hardware.
RF Hardware There will be two pieces of RF hardware for each robot. The first will communicate with the video camera on the robot, which has it's own built-in RF hardware. The second will communicate with the RF modem on the robot that sends and receives control data.

Robot Hardware

Component Description
Microcontroller The microcontroller handles all control for the robot. It communicates with every piece of hardware on the robot. Software running on the microcontroller interprets commands received via the RF link, and controls the steering, forward and reverse motion, proximity detection, camera, and RF control link.
Robot Mechanics The robot mechanics, such as steering and forward and reverse motion, are controlled by the microcontroller with some small amount of interfacing hardware. The mechanics also include sensors to detect robot movement when given a command to do so.
Wall Proximity Sensor This sensor will detect proximity to any object, including another robot or a wall.
Robot Proximity Sensor This sensor will only detect proximity to the other robot. Some distinction between a wall and the other robot is needed to determine when a tag occurs.
Web Camera The camera is mounted to the top of the robot and sends visual feedback to the server, and then to the user. The camera has it's own built-in RF hardware to send the video information.
RF Control Link An RF modem recieves all control information from the server and sends trobleshooting information back to the server, if there is a problem.

Robot Microcontroller Software

Component Description
Initialization When powering up, or comming out of standby mode, the microcontroller performs several initialization steps. The camera must be set up to send it's images, and then it may run without further intervention. The sensors are checked to be sure there are no problems, and all systems are powered up.
Fetching codes Control codes are fetched from the RF modem hadware.
Move robot Issue movement commands, if any, to the robot mechanics hardware.
Checking proximity Check wall proximity sensor and send info back to the server via the RF modem.
Check robot proximity Check to see if another robot is in proximity. If so, send a "tag" code back to the server via the RF modem.
Robot Working Check the robot mechanics sensors to see if there is any problem. If so, send a trouble code to the server and wait for it to be cleared before re-initializing the system.
Low battery Check the battery power. If it is low, send a trouble code to the server and wait for it to be cleared before re-initializing the system. If it is fine, loop back to fetch more codes.





Updated: 11/18/99
(c)1999 Bradley University ECET
Project Members: John Kiolbasa, Rob Harding, Jon Kujanski, Greg Harmon
Project Advisors: Dr. Aleksander Olek Malinowski, Dr. Brian D. Huggins