Petter Reinholdtsen

My first perl GUI application - controlling a Spykee robot
1st September 2010

This evening I made my first Perl GUI application. The last few days I have worked on a Perl module for controlling my recently aquired Spykee robots, and the module is now getting complete enought that it is possible to use it to control the robot driving at least. It was now time to figure out how to use it to create some GUI to allow me to drive the robot around. I picked PerlQt as I have had positive experiences with the Qt API before, and spent a few minutes browsing the web for examples. Using Qt Designer seemed like a short cut, so I ended up writing the perl GUI using Qt Designer and compiling it into a perl program using the puic program from libqt-perl. Nothing fancy yet, but it got buttons to connect and drive around.

The perl module I have written provide a object oriented API for controlling the robot. Here is an small example on how to use it:

use Spykee;
Spykee::discover(sub {$robot{$_[0]} = $_[1]});
my $host = (keys %robot)[0];
my $spykee = Spykee->new();
$spykee->contact($host, "admin", "admin");
sleep 2;
sleep 2;
sleep 2;
sleep 2;

Thanks to the release of the source of the robot firmware, I could peek into the implementation at the other end to figure out how to implement the protocol used by the robot. I've implemented several of the commands the robot understand, but is still missing the camera support to make it possible to control the robot from remote. First I want to implement support for uploading new firmware and configuring the wireless network, to make it possible to bootstrap a Spykee robot without the producers Windows and MacOSX software (I only have Linux, so I had to ask a friend to come over to get the robot testing going. :).

Will release the source to the public soon, but need to figure out where to make it available first. I will add a link to the NUUG wiki for those that want to check back later to find it.

Tags: english, nuug, robot.

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