In the Internet of Things world, an interesting homemade robot application is to build a robot able to send real-time video images on an Android device. In this article, I explore the possibilities to do video streaming between a camera mounted on a robot and an Android device.
Depending on your budget, you can build a real-time video streaming robot using two smartphones, an IP camera and a smartphone, or using the Raspberry Pi board with an Arduino microcontroller and other accessories. Regardless of the option chosen, any real-time video streaming robot is useful in a variety of applications including security, spying, or even to have real-time information when the robot works in your garden.
Below you can find explained all the three possible ways that can be implemented to build a robot able to send real-time videos on an Android device.
1. Using the Android smartphone camera to capture images
In our technological world, almost any smartphone is equipped with powerful cameras able to capture vivid images. In this case, for real-life applications you need two smartphones with the Android OS and a live streaming application installed on both devices. One smartphone should be attached to the robot, and the other will stay in your hands to see the robot in action. Both Android devices require Internet connectivity.
Below are available two Android applications designed for live streaming between Android devices.
- Camera WiFi LiveStream – a simple and powerful application for Android devices that allow users to view real-time video images captured with an Android device camera. The application is designed to work in a web browser or on 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 your WiFi network. Also, the ‘IP Webcam’ is used for real-time video streaming from smartphone to smartphone;
2. Using IP Camera
Using an Internet protocol camera is the second solution to build a real-time streaming application. But this solution requires an IP camera compatible with an Android device. The IP cameras are designed to send video images to a router or a single-board computer like Raspberry Pi. Another Android device or a computer has to be connected to the router and display video images.
Below I explore a series of IP cameras that can be integrated with robots and tutorials that show you how an IP camera can be interfaced to display images.
PlugnView IC-3115W Network Camera – Color
- Android controlled RC Vehicle with real-time Video via Bluetooth & Wi-Fi – a comprehensive guide to building a wheel based robot able to send real-time video images captured by an IP camera;
- Wifi Lego Camera Robot – using a LEGO robot and a 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 devices and start receiving real-time images;
- Turn Android Phone Camera Into A Webcam For Pc/Laptop – a guide that teaches you how to turn your Android smartphone into a device to capture video images 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. In our case, the Raspberry Pi board is the best option to works with video images.
Raspberry Pi has enough power to handle HD video streaming and can be connected to an Arduino board. Connected to Raspberry Pi, the Arduino microcontroller act like a controller for the Raspberry Pi, while the Pi processes the video images. Adding add-ons, the Raspberry Pi can be featured with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections that are the shortcut to display images directly on the Android device.
Below are a series of tutorials that shows 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 – a 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 – a complete guide to build a 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;