Functional Description


Specify and purchase two robots which will be controlled by a computer receiving commands from Internetbased clients at any point on the internet. Each robot will be a rugged terrain vehicle equipped with a camera for visual feedback, an RF transceiver for communication with the computer controller and an onboard computer for interpreting commands from the controller. The computer controller will have an RF transceiver, an Internet connection, an additional camera foran overhead view of everything and necessary software and operating system. The Java based web clients will communicate over the Internet to the controller computer and will send the commands to the robots. To test our system, we will implement a two robot game of tag.

Modes of Operation

Play mode

0 users, or standby mode - The system is in standby, waiting for players to join the game. The robots are in a low power mode to save battery power. When players join the game, the robots are prepared for the game, by powering up, turning on lights if necessary, and anyother tasks necessary to begin the game. When all players log out and there is no activity, this standby mode is entered and the robots are powered down, lights are shut off and anything elseto enter standby mode is performed.

1 user - In this mode, one user is searching for a computer controlled robot in a game of hide-and-seek. During the one-player mode, users may observe the game in progress.

2 user - In this mode, one user is the hider and the other is the seeker. When the seeker tags the hider, the roles are switched. Users are notified by an onscreen message when a tag occurs. During the two-player mode, users may observe the game in progress.

Maintenance Mode

In maintenance mode, the system is unavailable for game play. Maintenance mode is entered when batteries need recharging or a fatal error occurs in the system, such as a malfunctioning data link, malfunctioning hardware, or robots become physically unable to move (i.e. upside down). Maintenance mode is then restored to playmode when the situation causing maintenance mode has been addressed and the administrator returns the error.

Inputs and outputs

Live video feed to user Gives user a view of the playing field from a camera mounted on the robot he is controlling, or the overhead camera if he is observing.
Game Status to user The user is notified if he is the hider or the seeker, and other game states as needed, such as if the system is in maintenance mode.
Battery indicator Lets the user know how much battery power is left. When battery power runs out, the user knows the game is over.
Robot movement Commands from the users client software control how the robots move.
Administrator alert The administrator of the system is notified, by email or page, that maintenance mode has been entered. An error code is sent with the message indicating which failure has occured.

Updated: 10/26/99
(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