Want your Rovio robot to be more than just an RC toy? For the rest of this week only RoboRealm is pleased to offer our machine vision software application for more than a XX% discount off the website price to Woot members for a total of $XX.XX per copy.

RoboRealm is a robotic software application that runs on your PC and interacts with robots such as the Rovio to extend their capabilities using a point and click GUI interface. RoboRealm specializes in processing images from webcams, Internet cameras and robotic cameras in order to understand the image's content and steer your robot in the right direction.

Note that RoboRealm runs on your PC and communicates to the Rovio over the 802.11 wireless protocol. This means that you will see what the Rovio sees on your PC screen.

What can you do once RoboRealm is installed with the Rovio Robot? Here's a couple possibilities that you can load and run in RoboRealm:

Image Enhance  One of the issues that plagues the Rovio (as also remedied via hardware in this Hackaday article) is the high lighting requirements needed in order to see anything through the camera. During the daytime the image works well, but towards the evening or in artificially lighted rooms the camera image produced is of very low contrast and lighting. Simply using the Rovio module with the "Enhance" checkbox selected improves the image quite a bit!

Keyboard Driving Want to just drive your Rovio around using your PC keyboard? Try this robofile out to understand how to trigger movements based on keypresses in RoboRealm.

Joystick Driving If the keyboard is not your desired interface try the joystick control instead. The joystick is superior to the keyboard driver as it can specify different speeds based on the tilt/pan of the joystick. This allows finer control over your Rovio than just using keypresses.

Chasing Light A natural behavior of most animals is to avoid or target light. For example, after a pigeon accidentally flew into our building it kept trying to fly up towards the ceiling and bumping into the overhead fluorescent lights. It would determine that the way was blocked and would try the next light in an effort to fly towards the light (assumed sunlight) and escape the confines of the building.

Radar Avoidance The Rovio has a built in Radar or otherwise known as an IR (Infrared) Distance sensor that will trigger when an object gets close to the front of the robot. Using this simple sensor you can implement a nice obstacle avoidance routine that steers the Rovio away from harm.

Laser Steering A fun way to steer the Rovio using a laser pointer. Point the laser within view of the Rovio's camera and it will attempt to move towards the laser.

Chasing Movement Detecting movement is also a useful behavior for a robot to have. The issue with mobile robots is how to remove the movement caused by the robot versus what it moving independently.

Finding a Bullseye Target Thinking about an indicator for a homebase for the Rovio? A bullseye has some nice properties that can easily be exploited to extract it out from a scene even when moving.

Want more? Check out the videos on YouTube that demonstrate other capabilities of RoboRealm.