Turn your smartphone into a remote control for a robot with the RoboCam app


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In all previous articles about the RoboCam application, I described how to use it to control the robot in the first person. But sometimes we don’t need first-person control, but we just need to turn the smartphone into a control panel. The latest version of the RoboCam app has this feature.

Local control of the robot using the Robocam app

The article describes the new features that appeared in the RoboCam application in the version 1.4.2. All articles about the RoboCam app can be found here. You can install the RoboCam app from the Google Play store.

Everything that was done in previous versions of the application remained unchanged. Version 1.4.2 only added local controls. By default, they are disabled and everything works as before. To enable local controls, go to the server settings and check the box «Use local controls«. After that, all other server settings will disappear. Click on the «Save» button. If you do not know where to find the server settings, read the first article about the RoboCam application first.

Enabling Local Controls in the RoboCam App

After that, return to the main screen of the program, and you will see that the left green button has changed. Now it shows a joystick. You will also see that the camera is now turned off.

RoboCam main screen after enabling local controls

Click on the middle purple button to connect to the robot. Details on how to connect to the robot and configure it are described in the first article on the RoboCam application. Then click on the left green button to open the screen with local controls, i.e. joysticks.

Connecting to the robot to use local controls

As you can see, the joysticks look the same as they do in the browser when you control the robot in first person using the RoboCam app.

RoboCam Local Joysticks

But on a smartphone with a small screen, small joysticks are inconvenient to use, so go back to the server settings, check the box «Maximize Joysticks» and click the «Save» button.

Enabling the maximum size mode of RoboCam local joysticks

Now, when you open the local controls screen, you will see that the joysticks have become larger.

Large Local RoboCam Joysticks

By the way, if you connect the keyboard to your smartphone, you can control it. However, for the keyboard to work, the RoboCam app must be active and the phone must be unlocked. Read more about keyboard control in the third article about RoboCam.

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