You can use your robot to send real-time video images, and this could be a very interesting DIY robotic application. In this article, we make an overview of three possible ways for real-time streaming between a camera mounted on a robot and an Android device.
Depending on the budget, you can build a real-time video streaming robot using two smartphones, an IP camera and a smartphone, or using the Raspberry Pi together with Arduino plus other accessories. Regardless of the option chosen, the real-time video streaming robot can be used in a wide range of applications including here security, spying, or even to have real-time information when the robot works in the garden.
Below you can find the three possible ways that can be implemented for a live transmission between a robot and an Android device.
1. Using Android Smartphone as a Camera
Smartphone devices are designed with powerful cameras that could be used for live streaming between robots and smartphones. In this case, for real application you need not one, two smartphones with Android and live streaming applications installed on the devices. One smartphone is attached to the robot, while on the second smartphone the others watch in real-time the actions of the robot. Both Android devices require Internet connection.
Below are available two Android applications designed for live streaming between Android devices.
- Camera WiFi LiveStream – simple and powerful application for Android devices that allow users to view in real-time video images captured with an Android device camera. The application can be used from a web browser or other Android device;
- IP Webcam – an application that allows you to view Android camera in a web browser or VLC player. This application can be used without internet access, it could be used in WiFi network. Also, the ‘IP Webcam’ can be used from smartphone to smartphone for real-time video streaming;
2. Using IP Camera
Using an Internet protocol camera is the second solution for real-time streaming and requires an IP camera Android compatible. IP cameras are designed to transmit video images to a router or to a single-board computer like Raspberry Pi. Another Android device or a computer can be connected to the router and display video images.
Below are available a series of IP cameras that can be integrated in robots and tutorials that show you how an IP camera can be interfaced to display images.
- Android controlled RC Vehicle with real-time Video via Bluetooth & Wi-Fi – comprehensive guide to build a wheel based robot to transmit real-time video images captured by an IP camera and how to control the camera;
- Wifi Lego Camera Robot – using a LEGO robot and WiFi RoboCam, from this guide you can learn how to use a wireless camera to receive images in real-time on an Android device;
- WiSpyBot – a comprehensive guide that shows you how to build a wheel based robot to capture video images with an IP camera and display the images on a device. In this example the robot is connected to an iPod, but the robotic application can be redesigned for Android devices;
- IP CAM Controller tutorial (Android): how to set up my camera – step by step guide that show you how to setup the IP CAM Controller application on Android device and start receiving real-time images;
- Turn Android Phone Camera Into A Webcam For Pc/Laptop – a guide that teach you how to turn your Android smartphone in a device for video capture and how to receive the images on other devices;
- How to Turn An Old Android Phone into a Networked Security Camera – tutorials that show you how to turn an old Android smartphone in a video images source using the IP Camera application for continuous streaming;
3. Raspberry Pi
Using Raspberry Pi is the third option to display real-time video images on Android devices. Raspberry Pi is the best option for video and image manipulations compared with any Arduino boards due to low performances, or at least until the Arduino Tre will be available on the market.
Raspberry Pi has enough power for HD video and image manipulation, and can be connected to the Arduino board. Connected to Raspberry Pi, Arduino can be used as a control unit while Raspberry Pi processes video images. Raspberry Pi features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless technologies and this is the shortcut to display images directly on the Android device.
Video images are displayed at high FPS and are in colors.
Below are available a series of tutorials that show you how to use Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi Camera in order to display video images on Android devices.
- Stream Video from the Raspberry Pi Camera to Web Browsers, Even on iOS and Android – comprehensive tutorial from where you can learn how to transform the Raspberry Pi Camera Module into a webcam server and display images on devices with web browsers;
- How to make a standalone camcorder from your Raspberry Pi and RasPiCam – complete guide to build camcorder using Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi Camera;
1. How can I send video from my Arduino camera module video to my Android screen?, stackexchange.com;
2. The power of two: Use your PC to stream videos to your phone, arstechnica.com;