$26 Streaming Video WiFi Spy Tank

ercoerco Posts: 18,185
Somewhat related to T Chap's thread about streaming video, but he didn't want wifi. This is an AMAZING toy, I have no idea how they sell it for just $26. I have several, they work GREAT. Fun and useful. Use Android or iPhone app to control car. Touch screen controls overlaid onto heads-up video. Tank (differential) steering. Not proportional control but it works fine. 3 channels: left motor, right motor, PLUS camera up & down. Camera gives a great image, too. Saves videos & photos on your smartphone/tablet. Hackable, nice LiPo inside. JUST BUY IT. Double erco-approved. This is my keychain camera equivalent of 2016. This is the "Happy Cow" brand model 777-270.

I'll hack this into a Scribbler 1 soon. Don't nobody beat me to it, I call dibs!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wifi-i-spy-RC-Tank-Car-RC-Camera-Car-777-270-w-Camera-for-Phone-Controller-T7L7-/401105579862



"When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

- Pablo Picasso
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Comments

  • 105 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • If the WiFi tank worked with Android devices, I'd probably get one. I presently don't have any Apple devices.

    It doesn't take a lot to control a robot with an Android. A $3 HC-05 can communicate with any microcontroller with an UART and the program "Joystick BT Commander" works great on Android devices. This allows proportional control and you can even send data back to the Android.
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    Duane,

    erco indicated they do work with Android, though the video only lists Apple products.
    Chris Savage | Engineering Tech | Main Office: (916) 624-8333 | Direct to Tech Support: (888) 997-8267 | Website | Twitter | Google+
  • Thanks guys. I missed the Android mention.

    Darn, now I have to decide if I'm going to get one.
  • Yes - pretty cool and really cheap!

    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Order placed, Erco comes through again.
  • Duane Degn wrote: »
    Darn, now I have to decide if I'm going to get one.

    As if. Just click BUY NOW and get on with your life. No drama, no anguish.

    Yes, works with Android (it's all I have). Fully compatible with all my LG phones and the 7" RCA Voyager tablet I mentioned here previously. There's a 'gyro' option (acclerometer) to drive & steer the tank by tilting the phone/tablet. The only hardware compatibility issue I've found so far was a Fry's $50 (wow) 9" NAXA Android tablet. It worked except for the gyro axes were 90 degrees off. Forward/reverse was right/left & VV. No calibration option there, so back it went.

    Another neat feature is that you get an onscreen bargraph of the car's battery condition, (voltage I guess) so it's telemetering data back as well as video. Well done, Happy Cow (the Chinese manufacturer)!

    Another option for you flyboy types is the Cheerson CX-10W drone I mentioned here previously. Equally amazing video picture and HUD on your smartphone. Same tilt control option, works great. My only issue was that I found it hard to control throttle (yes, proportional here) with that touchscreen slider. This old man prefers the tactile feedback of a real joystick.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Seairth wrote: »

    Yes, that's it, version 2.0.9. Make sure the app says MINI i-spy wifi tank. I'm recommending the new mini version, model 777-270. There's a much larger I-Spy tank that looks similar but is twice as big and takes six AA cells. This big one is model 777-287: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Meco-HappyCow-777-287-Tank-PG-With-Camera-Via-A-Wi-Fi-Network-Random-Color/381646267613
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Pics of guts please

    You think teens could hack this into a bunch of unique projects with some guidance?

    Come with charger?

    Easy to replace the lipos with less scary batteries?
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,185
    edited June 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Photo attached. More guts pics at at http://www.picaxeforum.co.uk/showthread.php?28858-wifi-module-for-iOS-and-picaxe&p=297901&viewfull=1#post297901

    Pretty compact boards, not a good teen first hacker project IMO. Delicate cables & connectors, coax to antenna, ribbon to camera.

    USB charger included, only one small 450 mAH Lipo. Not too scary.

    777-270PCB.jpg
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    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Duane Degn wrote: »
    If the WiFi tank worked with Android devices, I'd probably get one. I presently don't have any Apple devices.

    It doesn't take a lot to control a robot with an Android. A $3 HC-05 can communicate with any microcontroller with an UART and the program "Joystick BT Commander" works great on Android devices. This allows proportional control and you can even send data back to the Android.

    Duane,
    I have used the JoystickBT Commander (thanks to JonnnyMac's code).
    It is very reliable, powerful and easy to use and I usually prototype my controls using it.
    However, it only has one joystick controller.
    Does anyone know of a similar Android-friendly joystick app that incorporates two joysticks?
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,000
    edited June 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    macrobeak wrote: »
    Duane,
    I have used the JoystickBT Commander (thanks to JonnnyMac's code).
    It is very reliable, powerful and easy to use and I usually prototype my controls using it.
    However, it only has one joystick controller.
    Does anyone know of a similar Android-friendly joystick app that incorporates two joysticks?

    I've spent a lot of time (much too much time) using MIT's App Inventor 2 (AI2). I made a couple single joystick apps with AI2 but none of them worked as well as Joystick BT Commander (JBTC). I'm currently learning to use Android Studio to develop Android Apps and I'll likely try my hand at another joystick app. I think an app written with Android Studio will likely be more responsive than my AI2 apps.

    I'm hoping I'll have time (and the know how) to write a two joystick app in the near future.

    I think I've seen some apps with button controls which kind or resemble two joysticks but these inputs haven't allowed proportional control. I'm not aware of any apps with dual proportional control joysticks.

  • What are the dimensions?
    Andy North

    My Index Page:
  • NWCCTV wrote: »
    What are the dimensions?

    ~4.75"L x 3.75"W x 2.25", camera down.

    Just pull the trigger, Andy! You'll thank me later.

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • WhitWhit Posts: 3,675
    edited June 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    @erco said, "This is the "Happy Cow" brand model 777-270."

    Perhaps something was lost in translation. Maybe it is HOLY COW! Looks like it could be for all you get for $26 bucks!

    If so, I could get one and write it off as a business expense...
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Funny lot the Chinese.

    There used to be a drinking den around here owned by a Chinese guy. It was called "Beef Number One".

    I speculated it meant something like "Top Bull" or "Alpha Male".

    Never was sure.

  • erco wrote: »
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    Darn, now I have to decide if I'm going to get one.

    As if. Just click BUY NOW and get on with your life. No drama, no anguish.

    Yes, works with Android (it's all I have). Fully compatible with all my LG phones and the 7" RCA Voyager tablet I mentioned here previously. There's a 'gyro' option (acclerometer) to drive & steer the tank by tilting the phone/tablet. The only hardware compatibility issue I've found so far was a Fry's $50 (wow) 9" NAXA Android tablet. It worked except for the gyro axes were 90 degrees off. Forward/reverse was right/left & VV. No calibration option there, so back it went.

    Another neat feature is that you get an onscreen bargraph of the car's battery condition, (voltage I guess) so it's telemetering data back as well as video. Well done, Happy Cow (the Chinese manufacturer)!

    Another option for you flyboy types is the Cheerson CX-10W drone I mentioned here previously. Equally amazing video picture and HUD on your smartphone. Same tilt control option, works great. My only issue was that I found it hard to control throttle (yes, proportional here) with that touchscreen slider. This old man prefers the tactile feedback of a real joystick.

    I suggest the JJRC H20W over the CX-10W. The H20W is a hexacopter and has an actual remote, but you can still use your smartphone to control it. It can be purchased for about $32:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/JJRC-H20W-HD-2MP-Camera-WIFI-FPV-2-4GHz-4-Channel-6-Axis-Gyro-RC-Hexacopter-New-/121977310317?var=&hash=item1c666a0c6d:m:mZ8F3NoUVuAslgw7Qw48aqA

    This is probably the most stable micro I have ever flown (next to the original H20), with a little trimming it will basically hover in place. Out of the box the range is somewhat limited (about 20 meters), but with some minor modifications to the antennas, you can easily push this to 50 meters. I was lucky that I found these on ebay for about $26 when I made my purchase.
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,000
    edited June 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    EE351 wrote: »
    I suggest the JJRC H20W over the CX-10W. The H20W is a hexacopter and has an actual remote, but you can still use your smartphone to control it. It can be purchased for about $32:

    I have several of those little hexacopters without the camera and you're right about them being stable. I love these little 'copters.

    Is the video stream good enough to fly FPV? It seems like a lot of the WiFi cameras have too much latency for FPV.

    Edit: What sort of mod do you do with the antenna? I've had a couple of these fly off because they went out of range. A fail safe apparently cuts in after a few seconds but the 'copter has usually flown into a neighbor's yard by the time the motor shuts off.
  • Duane Degn wrote: »
    EE351 wrote: »
    I suggest the JJRC H20W over the CX-10W. The H20W is a hexacopter and has an actual remote, but you can still use your smartphone to control it. It can be purchased for about $32:

    I have several of those little hexacopters without the camera and you're right about them being stable. I love these little 'copters.

    Is the video stream good enough to fly FPV? It seems like a lot of the WiFi cameras have too much latency for FPV.

    There is no latency on the H20W from what I can tell, but the bigger problem is the narrow viewing angle on the camera lens. This makes it difficult to fly using FPV. Most of the footage I've seen from other FPV micros suffer from the same limitation.

  • Edit: What sort of mod do you do with the antenna? I've had a couple of these fly off because they went out of range. A fail safe apparently cuts in after a few seconds but the 'copter has usually flown into a neighbor's yard by the time the motor shuts off.

    Basically you need to open the hexacopter, drill a small hole in the top and pull the antenna wire through to expose it. Also, a similar mod needs to be made on the transmitter.

    I took it a step further by adding a spare wifi antenna I had laying around to the transmitter. However, I didn't see that much improvement over just pulling the stock antenna wire through the transmitter, so I would probably just do that for future mods.


    2064 x 1548 - 875K
  • EE351 wrote: »
    Basically you need to open the hexacopter, drill a small hole in the top and pull the antenna wire through to expose it. Also, a similar mod needs to be made on the transmitter.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try.

  • Here's an add-on fisheye lens under a buck: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Pcs-Jelly-Lens-Fish-Eye-Wide-Angle-for-Phone-Cell-Phone-Digital-Lomo-Camera-CA-/191465706174

    Sickly green is the only color, but I have several and they make a huge difference. Discard the sticky ring it comes with and fashion your own connector. I make tight friction-fit holes and they haven't fallen off yet on ground-based vehicles. A bit more work involved for a tiny flying drone.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • erco wrote: »
    Here's an add-on fisheye lens under a buck:

    That one charges for shipping (of all the nerve).

    Here's a free shipping one.

    erco wrote: »
    Sickly green is the only color,

    It will match the green hexacopter.

    201605051543146593.jpg

  • Sweet! Dunno how I missed that shipping charge. You da man!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • BTW, I caved and ordered the $26 bot.

    I also ordered a H2OW.

    I also have two fish eye lenses on the way.

    BTW, if any of you don't have one of the original H2O hexacopters, get one (or more). They're about $18 from Banggood and, as EE351 points out, they're really stable. I fly my little H2O hex much more than any other flying device I own.
  • Duane Degn wrote: »
    BTW, I caved and ordered the $26 bot.
    ...
    BTW, if any of you don't have one of the original H2O hexacopters, get one (or more). They're about $18 from Banggood and, as EE351 points out, they're really stable. I fly my little H2O hex much more than any other flying device I own.

    Yeah I ordered one also - might chase my yorkie pup around the house with it. He'll just run under the bed..

    I've got two of H20 hexacopters as well. I bought a set of thirty props after losing some to a low hanging branch...

  • Duane Degn wrote: »
    BTW, I caved and ordered the $26 bot.
    Yeah I ordered one also - might chase my yorkie pup around the house with it.

    Just one each? You guys are lightweights. Don't know you can run TWO at the same time? Possibly even 3, I haven't tried that yet.

    Just hoard this one time. It'll be OK, no worries. It's very easy to stop hoarding, I've done it dozens of times.

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Duane Degn wrote: »
    BTW, if any of you don't have one of the original H2O hexacopters, get one (or more). They're about $18 from Banggood and, as EE351 points out, they're really stable. I fly my little H2O hex much more than any other flying device I own.

    That was an evil twist to suggest ordering more than one. So I did.

    My flying penguin saw a lot of use. Eventually long human hairs got wrapped inextricably around the motor shafts. It was either ditch the penguin or my 16-year-old daughter. Perhaps the H20s will be flown exclusively outside, where only trees, rocks, and dirt can affect them.

    Platåberget
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,000
    edited June 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    User Name wrote: »
    Eventually long human hairs got wrapped inextricably around the motor shafts. It was either ditch the penguin or my 16-year-old daughter. Perhaps the H20s will be flown exclusively outside, where only trees, rocks, and dirt can affect them.

    I regularly have to pull off props to remove my wife's hair. It's kind of dangerous to fly these outside. It takes the fail safe several seconds to cut in when the signal is lost and these things can go pretty far in a couple seconds.

    I fly my little H20 hex several times a day. I ordered one of the "5 at a time battery chargers" and a bunch of extra batteries. I've had a couple chargers go bad but I think I had a bad battery which shorted the charger.


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