Spy-Bot: Controlling and Monitoring a Wi-Fi-Controlled Surveillance Robotic Car using Windows 10 IoT and Cloud Computing

A. Diana Andrushia, J. John Paul, K. Martin Sagayam, S. Rebecca Princy Grace

Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, India

Lalit Garg

L-Universita, Malta, Malta


The Internet of Things (IoT), a booming technology, will change the way we look at the world today. IoT-based solutions facilitate business by improving and simplifying tasks. The IoT consists of a huge number of sensors, each with a unique address, grouped to form a network entity that exchanges data internally or with other internetworks and intranetworks, using different internet protocols. The IoT paves ways to do business and sendees in almost every domain, such as health, logistics, agriculture, etc., by connecting these objects/things to microcontrollers, such as a Raspberry Pi, or Node MCU, which are Wi-Fi or Bluetooth compliant.

The IoT helps to broadcast the information from a single source to multiple clients. Hence, IoT implementation is incomplete without cloud computing, which can be considered the backbone of the IoT. In the early days, the buzzword “cloud” was just used as a symbolic representation of the internet. Later, the term cloud computing was coined, to signify data storage, data processing, or data analysis carried out remotely from various sensor nodes (i.e., a doctor remotely accessing patients’ health records, or remote monitoring of the physical condition of a smart car). Nowadays, with huge functionalities such as the mammoth storage of data for data analytics, managing a wide arena of networks, operating systems (OS), and virtual machines (VMs), a bunch of key market players are providing cloud computing services, such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, IBM Bluemix, Amazon Web Services, etc. IoT systems with various sensor networks will surely take advantage of these cloud-based services, because the market for IoT devices is expected to grow to $3.7 billion, comprised of 30.7 billion devices. Cloud services provide much more flexibility and speed for devices to operate, and we pay only for the service provided by the cloud, not for the infrastructure.

In 2017, the Gartner research firm predicted that by 2020, there would be an excessive amount of data due to the genesis of billions of IoT devices. The disruptive technology of the IoT, and swift improvisations in existing technologies, are creating an extensive aggregation of things, which leads to enormous collections of data to be handled and stored in the cloud. For instance, if an employee has to submit a report to a manager, it is now easy, with no need worry that memory space will run out. Instead, if his device is connected to the cloud, he can push most of his data/reports to the cloud platform.

Cloud robotics [24] is a field of robotics, wherein technologies such as cloud computing, cloud storage, etc., are used as beneficial services. Through these services, robots can be made to share information with other machines wirelessly, so that they can be controlled and monitored from anywhere, anytime, around the globe. Also, humans can assign tasks to robots remotely. Thus, simplification and ease of access will be top priorities. The security issues of robotic cars are now leveraged in terms of deep learning strategies [30,31,32,33]. Gesture-features are also added in most robotic cars, to control the overall operation [34,35,36,37]. The IoT's numerous applications range from smart appliances, smart health care, smart farming, smart wearables, smart buildings, smart cars, and smart cities to smart robots, paving the way to a fully networked ecosystem [25].

In the proposed system, a prototype of a surveillance assistive robot (spy-bot) is developed, which helps to monitor or identify any change in the usual behavior and records it in order to manage or protect one’s asset or position. The spy-bot is an intelligent system, with Raspberry Pi as its controller (brain), four cameras, two DC motors, and a secured Windows 10 Azure cloud platform. The Raspberry Pi is an intelligent controller, with Raspbian OS installed with Noobs installer. The four cameras help provide a 360° view of the ambience. The DC motors attached to the Raspberry Pi controller help the spy-bot move forward, backward, right and left.

The Azure cloud platform stores images or livestreams videos, with built-in security services. A webpage is developed using the HTML scripting language, which gives access only to authenticated users. These authenticated users can control the spy-Bot using control commands/button widgets available in the webpage; the spy-bot’s movements can be controlled remotely through Wi-Fi, by means of a secured Windows 10 cloud platform [26]. The motivation behind this is to capture images and videos remotely and store or retrieve them from a secured Azure cloud platform.

The organization of this chapter is as follows; Section 3.2 discusses related works by other researchers, on using wireless robotic vehicles for different applications. Section 3.3 presents the proposed work on a WiFi controlled robotic car, with block diagrams, and operational details. Section 3.4 presents a flow diagram. Section 3.5 shows the hardware implementation of the proposed work, with experimental conditions. Section 3.6 presents the results of the work, with a discussion. Section

3.7 concludes the proposed research, and Section 3.8 describes the future scope and possibilities for enhancing this robotic technology.

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