RoboticApp - Apps for your Robots
RoboFriend

RoboFriend 1.0 User's Guide

Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Robot Setup
  3. Accounts Setup
  4. Server Setup
  5. Getting Started
  6. Controls and Commands
  7. References
  8. Trademarks

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Introduction

RoboFriend empowers your robot with autonomy, intelligence and personality. It allows you to talk to your robot the same way you would any human being. It is a Web application that can be used with any browser from any computer or device on any platform. It is optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. No homemade electronics or programming is required. Basic computer skills are required.

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide users with a step-by-step guide on how to setup and use RoboFriend.

Scope

The scope of this document is limited to providing guidance on RoboFriend. For assistance on the hardware required by RoboFriend, contact the manufacturers of this hardware.

Architecture

RoboFriend can be used in one of two different configurations:

  • Basic configuration: RoboFriend client running on a computer or device not attached to your robot.
  • Mounted configuration: RoboFriend client running on a device mounted on your robot.

Basic Configuration

Basic Configuration

Mounted Configuration

Mounted Configuration

All components required for the two configurations are installed together on the same server computer. Everything described in this guide is required for the two configurations except when stated otherwise:

  • BA: required for basic configuration only.
  • MT: required for mounted configuration only.

Features

RoboFriend provides the following features:

  • Web remote control graphical user interface.
  • Interact with your robot using speech or text.
  • Email and SMS alerts with Gmail.
  • Sensors tracking dashboards with MyRobots and ThingSpeak.
  • Social networking with Facebook.
  • Web server and browser included with the application.
  • Client running on any browser, any device and any platform.
  • Server running on Windows.
  • Web application.

Requirements

RoboFriend requires the following components:

  • Client computer or device with a Web browser and Internet connectivity.
  • Server computer running Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 (32 or 64 bit) with Bluetooth wireless, Internet connectivity, and speakers with microphone.
  • Roomba (any model manufactured after October 2005), Create or Mindstorms NXT.
  • RooTooth Bluetooth device (required only for Roomba and Create).
  • iPod touch 4th generation with mounting device (MT).
  • Solar charger with adhesive Velcro (MT).

To view the robot components.

The Rootooth is a class 1 Bluetooth device which provides a range of 100 meters (330 feets). The Mindstorms NXT is equipped with a class 2 Bluetooth device which provides a range of 10 meters (33 feets). To get the best range and performance, you should have a Bluetooth class 1 radio on your server computer.

Robot Components

The robot components required by RoboFriend can be ordered from the following links:

Limitations

RoboFriend has limitations relative to response time, battery autonomy of the iPod touch and speech recognition:

  • Response time: There can be a perceivable delay between sending a command and the execution of that command by your robot when commands are sent through the Internet.
  • iPod touch battery autonomy: The iPod touch and solar charger fully charged can provide autonomy of your mounted iPod touch for up to 10 hours with the mounted configuration (MT).
  • Speech recognition: Speech mode works best in a quiet environment since background noise can create confusion with the speech recognizer.

Assistance

If you need assistance in setting up or using RoboFriend, visit www.roboticapp.com/support.html or send us an email at support@roboticapp.com.

Overview

This document is organized into the following sections:

  • Introduction: Introduction to this document.
  • Robot setup: Steps to setup hardware on your robot.
  • Accounts setup: Steps to setup accounts for alerts, dashboards and social network.
  • Server setup: Steps to setup software on your server computer.
  • Getting started: Steps to start RoboFriend.
  • Interaction: Instructions on how to interact with your robot using RoboFriend.
  • References: Useful references.
  • Trademarks: Trademarks used thoughout this document.

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Robot Setup

To setup your robot:

  1. Setup Robot Hardware.
  2. Configure Auto-Lock (TM).

1. Setup Robot Hardware

RoboFriend uses the RooTooth Bluetooth device to communicate with your robot wirelessly. It uses an iPod touch mounted on your robot to display its face. The iPod touch is mounted on your robot using a standard car windshield mount (MT). The iPod touch is connected to a solar charger to increase the autonomy of its battery using a standard iPod touch USB cable (MT). The solar charger is mounted on your robot using adhesive Velcro (MT).

To setup your robot hardware for Roomba and Create:

  1. Remove your robot from its docking station.
  2. Turn off your robot by pressing and holding the "CLEAN/POWER" button until it powers down.
  3. Remove the faceplate or serial port protector from your Roomba, or the serial port protector from your Create.
  4. Connect the RooTooth to your Roomba or Create 7 pin mini din serial port.
  5. Turn on your robot by pressing the "CLEAN/POWER" button.
  6. Attach the iPod touch windshield mount to your Roomba or Create using the suction cup (use an adhesive base if necessary) (MT).
  7. Attach the iPod touch to the windshield mount (MT).
  8. Put one Velcro adhesive strip on your robot (MT).
  9. Put another Velcro adhesive strip on the back of the solar charger (MT).
  10. Attach the solar charger to your robot (MT).
  11. Connect the solar charger to the iPod touch (MT).

To view the procedure with screenshots.

To setup your robot hardware for Mindstorm NXT:

  1. Build the robot from the "Lego Mindstorms User Guide" (pages 5 to 15) provided with your kit.
  2. Connect the sensors according to the standard port settings as described in the "Lego Mindstorms User Guide" (pages 16 to 17) provided with your kit.
  3. Build an iPod touch mount at the front of your robot using Lego bricks (MT).
  4. Attach the iPod touch to your robot (MT).

To view the procedure with screenshots.

2. Configure Auto-Lock on iPod touch (TM)

Auto-Lock must be set to "Never" on the iPod touch when using RoboFriend.

To configure auto-lock on your iPod touch:

  1. Start the iPod touch mounted on your robot.
  2. Press the "Settings" app.
  3. Press "General".
  4. Press "Auto-Lock".
  5. Press "Never".
  6. Press "General".

To view the procedure with screenshots.

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Accounts Setup

RoboFriend provides optional capabilities for Email and SMS alerts with Gmail, sensor dashboard displays with MyRobots and ThingSpeak, and robot social networking with Facebook.

To create accounts for alerts, dashboards and social network:

  1. Create Gmail Account (optional).
  2. Create MyRobots Account (optional).
  3. Create ThingSpeak Account (optional).
  4. Create Facebook Account (optional).

1. Create Gmail Account

RoboFriend requires a Gmail account to send Email and SMS alerts. This account can be your own or you can create one for your robot.

To view the list of alerts.

To create a Gmail account:

  1. Visit mail.google.com.
  2. Click "CREATE AN ACCOUNT".
  3. Fill the following mandatory fields: Name, Choose your username, Choose your password, Confirm your password, Birthday, Gender, Prove you're not a robot and Location.
  4. Click "Next Step".
  5. Click "Continue to Gmail".

To view the procedure with screenshots.

2. Create MyRobots Account

RoboFriend provides capabilities to transfer your robot sensor data to an account on the MyRobots portal. This allows you to see the evolution of your robot sensors over time. When your robot is active, sensor data is transfered once every minute. When it is not active, sensor data is transfered once every hour.

To create a MyRobots account:

  1. Visit www.myrobots.com.
  2. Click "SIGN UP".
  3. Fill the following mandatory fields: User Name, E-mail, Password, Confirm Password, First Name, Last Name, Gender and Country.
  4. Click "Create Account".
  5. Click "ADD ROBOT".
  6. Set "Robot Type" to "IRobot Roomba".
  7. Click "Create Robot".
  8. Click "Ok".
  9. Click "MANAGE ROBOTS".
  10. Click the magnifying glass to get the API key required by the installer.
  11. Close "Robot View".
  12. Click "DASHBOARD".

To view the procedure with screenshots.

3. Create ThingSpeak Account

RoboFriend provides capabilities to transfer your robot sensor data to an account on the ThingSpeak portal. This allows you to see the evolution of your robot sensors over time. When your robot is active, sensor data is transfered once every minute. When it is not active, sensor data is transfered once every hour.

To create a ThingSpeak account:

  1. Visit www.thingspeak.com.
  2. Click "Sign Up".
  3. Fill the following mandatory fields: User ID, E-mail, Time Zone, Password and Password Confirmation.
  4. Click "Create Account".
  5. Click "Create New Channel".
  6. Click the "Channel Settings" tab.
  7. Fill Fields 1 to 6 with the following values: Left Wheel, Right Wheel, Vacuum, Bumper, Cliff and Battery.
  8. Click "Update Channel".
  9. Click the "API Key" tab to get the API key required by the installer.

To view the procedure with screenshots.

4. Create Facebook Account

RoboFriend provides capabilities to automatically create posts on the Facebook account of your robot.

Limitation: The access token generated by Facebook and used by RoboFriend has a lifespan of only a few hours. You will need to generate a new one and update your RoboFriend settings once it has expired if you want your robot to keep on posting to its wall.

To view the list of posts (same as alerts).

To create a Facebook account:

  1. Visit www.facebook.com.
  2. Fill the following mandatory fields: First Name, Last Name, Your Email, Re-enter Email, New Password, Birthday, and Male or Female.
  3. Click "Sign Up".
  4. Visit developers.facebook.com/tools/explorer.
  5. Click on the "Get Access Token" button.
  6. On the "Select Permissions" window, click "Clear".
  7. On the "Select Permissions" window, click "Extended Permissions".
  8. Under the "Extended Permissions" tab, select the following options: offline_access, publish_stream and read_stream.
  9. Click the "Get Access token" button.
  10. On the "Graph API Explorer" window, click "Log In with Facebook".
  11. On the "Request for Permissions" screen, click "Allow".
  12. Get the access token required by the installer from the "Access Token" field.

To view the procedure with screenshots.

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Server Setup

To setup RoboFriend on your server computer:

  1. Setup Bluetooth Serial Connection.
  2. Setup Speech Recognition (required only if RoboFriend is to be used with speech recognition).
  3. Install RoboFriend.
  4. Setup Router (required only if RoboFriend is to be used over the Internet).

1. Setup Bluetooth Serial Connection

This procedure will setup the connection between your computer and your robot. Once the connection is established, you should be able to remove the Bluetooth device from your robot and put it back in without having to re-execute this procedure.

To setup the Bluetooth serial connection to your robot:

  1. Plug-in a Bluetooth class 1 USB radio to your computer (not required if Bluetooth class 1 radio is already embedded in your computer).
  2. Click "Start > Control Panel".
  3. In the "Control Panel" window, click "Hardware and Sound".
  4. In the "Hardware and Sound" window, click "Devices and Printers".
  5. In the "Devices and Printers" window, click "Add a Device".
  6. In the "Add a Device" window, double-click "FireFly-XXXX" for RooTooth or "NXT" for Mindstorms NXT.
  7. Click "Enter the deviceís pairing code".
  8. Enter "1234" for the pairing code of RooTooth or Mindstorms NXT and click "Next" (you need to accept pairing on the Mindstorms NXT screen).
  9. Click "Close".

To view the procedure with screenshots.

2. Setup Speech Recognition

This procedure will setup speech recognition on your server computer.

This procedure is required only if RoboFriend is to be used with speech recognition.

To setup speech recognition:

  1. Click "Start > Control Panel".
  2. In the "Control Panel" window, click "Ease of Access".
  3. In the "Ease of Access" window, click "Speech Recognition".
  4. In the "Speech Recognition" window, click "Start Speech Recognition".
  5. In the "Set up Speech Recognition" window, click "Next".
  6. Select "Desktop Microphone" and click "Next".
  7. Click "Next".
  8. Read the text on the window to test your microphone and click "Next".
  9. Click "Next".
  10. Select "Enable document review" and click "Next".
  11. Select "Use manual activation mode" and click "Next".
  12. Click "Next".
  13. Check "Run Speech Recognition at startup" and click "Next".
  14. Click "Skip Tutorial".
  15. Click on the microphone button to start speech recognition.

To view the procedure with screenshots.

3. Install RoboFriend

The RoboFriend installer will install RoboFriend on your computer under the default home directory "C:\Program Files\RoboFriend" or any other folder. It will also create the shortcut "RoboFriend" on your computer desktop and the following shortcuts under "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend":

  • Start RoboFriend
  • Start RoboServer Console
  • Start RoboServer
  • Start RoboSpeech
  • Start Web Server
  • Stop RoboServer
  • Stop RoboSpeech
  • Stop Web Server
  • Update RoboFriend
  • Uninstall RoboFriend
  • View RoboFriend Userís Guide

To install RoboFriend on your server computer:

  1. Download "robofriend.exe" from www.roboticapp.com to a temporary folder.
  2. Double-click the "robofriend.exe" self-extracting executable.
  3. Follow the instructions.

4. Setup Router

This procedure will setup your router and firewall for RoboFriend. RoboFriend and RoboServer Console use the HTTP protocol for communication between the Web browser on your client computer or device and your server computer. RoboServer also uses the TCP protocol for communication with RoboFriend. RoboFriend and RoboServer require your router to have the HTTP protocol port of your choice (80 by default) mapped to your server computer private IP address. RoboFriend and RoboServer also require your server computer to have the port of your choice (80 by default) opened on your Windows and anti-virus firewalls. The steps that follow are based on a Cisco Linksys router. Depending on the make and model of your router, these steps may vary.

This procedure is required only if RoboFriend is to be used over the Internet.

To setup the router:

  1. Open a Web browser and enter the address of your router (for example 192.168.1.1).
  2. Enter your "User name" and "Password" if your router requires authentication, and click "OK".
  3. Select the "Applications & Gaming" tab.
  4. Select the "Single Port Forwarding" tab.
  5. Enter application "RoboFriend" with the following parameters:
    • External port: Port you selected for RoboFriend during installation (default 80).
    • Internal port: Port you selected for RoboFriend during installation (default 80).
    • Protocol: TCP.
    • To IP Address: IP address of your server computer.
    • Enabled: Checked.
  6. Enter application "RoboServer" with the following parameters (required only if using iRoboControl):
    • External port: Port you selected for RoboServer during installation (default 12345).
    • Internal port: Port you selected for RoboServer during installation (default 12345).
    • Protocol: TCP.
    • To IP Address: IP address of your server computer.
    • Enabled: Checked.
  7. Enter application "RoboWebCam" with the following parameters (required only if using RoboWebCam):
    • External port: Port you selected for RoboWebCam during installation (default 12346).
    • Internal port: Port you selected for RoboWebCam during installation (default 12346).
    • Protocol: TCP.
    • To IP Address: IP address of your iOS device running RoboWebCam.
    • Enabled: Checked.
  8. Click "Save Settings".
  9. Close the Web browser.

To view the procedure with screenshots.

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Getting Started

To get started:

  1. Start Web Server.
  2. Start RoboServer.
  3. Start RoboSpeech.
  4. Start RoboFriend.
  5. Start RoboServer Console.
  6. Stop RoboSpeech
  7. Stop RoboServer
  8. Stop Web Server
  9. Update RoboFriend.
  10. Uninstall RoboFriend.
  11. View RoboFriend Userís Guide.

1. Start Web Server

The Web server needs to be started prior to using RoboFriend. It can only be started and stopped from your server computer. To ensure availability of the Web server at all times, set your server computer to never sleep. To set your server computer to never sleep, click "Start > Control Panel", under the "Control Panel" window, click "System and Security > Power Options > Change when computer sleeps" and set "Put the computer to sleep" to "Never".

To start the Web Server from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Start Web Server".

2. Start RoboServer

RoboServer needs to be started prior to using RoboFriend. It can be started from your server computer or from any computer or devide connected to the Internet. To ensure availability of RoboServer at all times, set your server computer to never sleep. To set your server computer to never sleep, click "Start > Control Panel", under the "Control Panel" window, click "System and Security > Power Options > Change when computer sleeps" and set "Put the computer to sleep" to "Never".

To start RoboServer from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Start RoboServer".

To start RoboServer from any computer or device connected to the Internet:

  1. Start a Web browser on any computer or device connected to the Internet.
  2. In the address field of the Web browser, enter: "your http server address/robofriend/server.html" (for example "http://www.xelaration.net/robofriend/server.html").
  3. Enter your User Id and Password, and click "Login".
  4. Press the red power button to start RoboServer (Once started, the power button turns green).

3. Start RoboSpeech

RoboSpeech needs to be started prior to using RoboFriend. It can only be started and stopped from your server computer. To ensure availability of RoboSpeech at all times, set your server computer to never sleep. To set your server computer to never sleep, click "Start > Control Panel", under the "Control Panel" window, click "System and Security > Power Options > Change when computer sleeps" and set "Put the computer to sleep" to "Never".

To start RoboSpeech from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Start RoboSpeech".

4. Start RoboFriend

RoboFriend can run directly on your server computer or on any Web client connected to the Internet. On your server computer, it can be started from the Start menu or from the RoboFriend shortcut located on your computer desktop. On the Web client, it can be started by entering the RoboFriend URL in the address field of any Web browser. To ensure availability of RoboFriend at all times, set your server computer to never sleep. To set your server computer to never sleep, click "Start > Control Panel", under the "Control Panel" window, click "System and Security > Power Options > Change when computer sleeps" and set "Put the computer to sleep" to "Never".

To start RoboFriend from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Start RoboFriend" or double-click the "RoboFriend" shortcut located on the desktop.
  2. Enter your User Id and Password, and click "Login".
  3. Control your robot as described in section Controls and Commands.

To start RoboFriend from any computer or device connected to the Internet:

  1. Start a Web browser on any computer or device connected to the Internet.
  2. In the address field of the Web browser, enter: "your http server address/robofriend/index.html" (for example "http://www.xelaration.net/robofriend/index.html").
  3. Enter your User Id and Password, and click "Login".
  4. Control your robot as described in section Controls and Commands.

5. Start RoboServer Console

RoboServer Console can run directly on your server computer or any Web client. On your server computer, it can be started from the Start menu. On any Web client, it can be started by entering the RoboServer Console URL in the address field of a Web browser.

To start RoboServer Console from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Start RoboServer Console".
  2. Enter your User Id and Password, and click "Login".
  3. Press the red power button to start RoboServer (Once started, the power button turns green).
  4. Press the green power button to stop RoboServer (Once stopped, the power button turns red).

To start RoboServer Console from any computer or device connected to the Internet:

  1. Start a Web browser on any computer or device connected to the Internet.
  2. Enter your User Id and Password, and click "Login".
  3. In the address field of the Web browser, enter: "your http server address/robofriend/server.html" (for example "http://www.xelaration.net/robofriend/server.html").
  4. Press the red power button to start RoboServer (Once started, the power button turns green).
  5. Press the green power button to stop RoboServer (Once stopped, the power button turns red).

6. Stop RoboServer

RoboServer can be stopped from your server computer or any Web client. On your server computer, it can be stopped from the Start menu. On any Web client, it can be stopped by entering the RoboServer Console URL in the address field of the Web browser and by pressing the green power button.

To stop RoboServer from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Stop RoboServer".

To stop RoboServer from any computer or device connected to the Internet:

  1. Start a Web browser on any computer or device connected to the Internet.
  2. In the address field of the Web browser, enter: "your http server address/robofriend/server.html" (for example "http://www.xelaration.net/robofriend/server.html").
  3. Enter your UserId and Password, and click "Login".
  4. Press the green power button to stop RoboServer (Once stopped, the power button turns red).

7. Stop RoboSpeech

RoboSpeech can only be started and stopped from your server computer.

To stop RoboServer from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Stop RoboSpeech".

8. Stop Web Server

The Web server can only be started and stopped from your server computer.

To stop the Web Server from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Stop Web Server".

9. Update RoboFriend

The Update RoboFriend utility will update RoboFriend on your server computer.

To update RoboFriend on your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Update RoboFriend".
  2. Follow the instructions

10. Uninstall RoboFriend

The Uninstall RoboFriend utility will uninstall RoboFriend from your server computer. It will remove all RoboFriend files, folders and shortcuts from the following locations:

  1. Home directory "C:\Program Files\RoboFriend", or any home directory you selected during installation, and all its content.
  2. All shortcuts under the folder "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend" and the folder itself.
  3. Shortcut "RoboFriend" on your computer desktop.
  4. Folders "cgi-bin\robofriend" and "htdocs\robofriend".

To uninstall RoboFriend from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > Uninstall RoboFriend".
  2. Follow the instructions.

11. View RoboFriend Userís Guide

The View RoboFriend User's Guide shortcut links to this page.

To view the RoboFriend User's Guide from your server computer:

  1. Click "Start > All Programs > RoboFriend > View RoboFriend Userís Guide".

To view the RoboFriend User's Guide from any computer or device connected to the Internet:

  1. Start a Web browser on any computer or device connected to the Internet.
  2. In the address field of the Web browser, enter www.roboticapp.com/friend10.html.

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Controls and Commands

RoboFriend is organized in 2 different panels:

  • Friend: Face of your robot.
  • Settings: Settings and instructions.

To view the list of all valid controls.

To view the list of all valid commands.

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References

  1. iRobot Roomba Open Interface (ROI) Specification (Adobe Reader required).
  2. iRobot Create Open Interface (Adobe Reader required).
  3. iRobot Roomba 500 Open Interface (OI) Specification (Adobe Reader required).
  4. RoboDynamic RooTooth User Guide (Adobe Reader required).
  5. Mindstorms Support.

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Trademarks

  1. RoboFriend and RoboServer are trademarks of Xelaration Software Corporation.
  2. Xelaration is a registered trademark of Xelaration Holding Corporation.
  3. Roomba and Create are registered trademarks of iRobot Corporation in the United States.
  4. Mindstorms is a trademark of the LEGO Group.
  5. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.
  6. iPhone and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.
  7. Cisco and Linksys are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems Incorporated.

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