Getting Started with Arxterra

Arxterra Operating Modes

The Arxterra suite has the ability to operate in three modes: Autonomous, Remote Control (RC) and Community modes. The objective of this chapter is to configure your smartphone and PC to communicate with the Bluetooth module on the 3DoT board.

Autonomous: No Bluetooth connectivity is needed to operate the 3DoT in autonomous mode. Simply program as you would an Arduino using a micro USB cable.

Remote Control: In RC mode, the robot is piloted through the ArxRobot application and is not located on the robot. Communication takes place via Bluetooth between the Android or iPhone phone and the 3DoT Board. The Arxterra Control Panel is not present when operating in RC mode.

Community Mode: In community mode, the Android or iPhone phone is carried by the robot and communicates wirelessly via client‐server architecture with the computer.  The phone relays commands and telemetry to and from the 3DoT board while piloting is done through the Arxterra control panel.

The following sections provide step‐by‐step instructions on installing and operating the applications needed to operate the robot in the RC and community modes of operation:

Figure 3.1: Modes of Operation

Register for an Arxterra Account

First set up an account here on arxterra.com using the register tab under “My Account”.

Figure 3.2: Select “Register” from “My Account” tab.

The username provided on the registration page will be required by the Arxterra application and control panel. Fill in the fields shown in Figure 3.3.

Figure 3.3: Generation of username and inputting contact information.

Getting Access to Applications

To get access to the applications, email arxterra@gmail.com

  •  In the email state:
    •  Phone model
    • Android OS version or IOS Version
      • For IOS you must provide your phone’s IMEI number
    • Stating enrollment in the EE 400D course and wanting to gain access to the ArxRobot application
  • Please use the Gmail address associated with the Google Play account when sending the email (If using Android)

Will receive an email response containing an invitation to join the Google group “ArxRobot Testers”. Click the “Accept
This Invitation” button in the body of the email as shown in Figure 3.4 (invitation has an expiration date; accept ASAP).

Figure 3.4: Button to join “ArxRobot Testers”.

Download the Axterra App

Android

After accepting the Invitation you will gain access the following Google Play Store links.

Figure 3.5: Screen to access application download.

Method 1: Using Computer (must still be logged into your Gmail account)

After clicking on “Download ArxRobot from the Play Store”, it will direct to the “Apps” tab similar to what is seen below in Figure 3.6 (left image). Click “Install” on this page and the second window shown below in Figure 3.6 (right image) should appear. Choose the device the application will be downloaded to and click “Install”. Once the download is complete, a new window will show, click “OK” and the process is complete.

Figure 3.6: “Apps” window (left) to download the application to selected device (right).

Method 2: Using Android Phone

After clicking on “Download ArxRobot from the Play Store” on the phone’s browser, it will direct to that apps page on the Google play store. On the page shown in Figure 3.7, click “INSTALL”. When the App permissions window appears, shown in Figure 3.8, click “ACCEPT”. The app will then download to the phone.

Figure 3.7: ArxRobot app installation         Figure 3.8: App permissions page

IOS

You will a receive a direct download link to the most current IOS version of the ArxRobot Application after email communication. Then simply connect your IOS phone to a computer with iTunes installed then move the ipa file to your device.

  • Click on the download arrow near the upper right corner of the Google Drive page, and download the app file to your computer.
  • Open iTunes on your computer while your device is connected.
  • With iTunes versions prior to 12.7:
    • Drag the app file icon into the iTunes window to add it to your apps library.
    • Select your device in iTunes and click the “Sync” button.
  • With iTunes version 12.7 or newer:
    • Make sure your device is showing in the iTunes sidebar (under devices).
    • Drag the app file icon onto it (see example image below).

Figure 3.8 Drag the App icon onto your connected device in iTunes

Connecting on ArxRobot App

When initially opening the ArxRobot application, Choose a control mode by clicking on the Arxterra icon on top of the phone screen. Choose community mode for the next section. select “Connect” as shown in Figure 3.9. Do not change any default settings on this page.

Figure 3.9: Initial page when opening the ArxRobot application.

Assign a “Robot name”. For “Pilot name or names”, it cannot match the “Robot name” and MUST be the same as the username created on www.arxterra.com. Lastly, do not modify the third field and select “Login”. An example is shown below in Figure 3.10.

Figure 3.10: Enlarged view of Robot and Pilot name assignment.

Logging into the application was successful if the page shown in Figure 3.11 is displayed.

Figure 3.11: Successful application login.

“Custom” tab gives options to create custom commands. See the custom commands tutorial in section “Custom Commands telemetry” further along in this tutorial or jump to that subject using the link bellow. Clicking “Camera Info” and toggling “Monitor” gives you camera view as shown in Figure 3.12.

Figure 3.12: Camera view in the application.

Introduction to Application and Control Panel

If you have not done so already create an Arxterra Account using the previous section. Using the navigation tab above pan over “Control Panel” and click “Launch now!” as shown in Figure 3.13.

Figure 3.13: Select “Launch now!” from “Control Panel” tab.

Figure 3.14: Login screen.

Click on the padlock on the upper right-hand corner of the control panel as shown in Figure 3.14. Log in using the username and password previously created on www.arxterra.com.

If all steps have been done correctly up to this point, an indicator on the map with the generated robot name should appear. Clicking on the indicator will show the robot’s status and give an option to board. In the status window, click on the person to board your robot or “Teleport aboard as pilot”. Steps are shown below in Figure 3.15.

Figure 3.15: Robot identified on map (left) and user teleporting aboard robot as a pilot (right).

Once the user boards the robot as a pilot, the video feed from the robot, along with options to monitor and control the robot should appear in the control panel as shown in Figure 3.16.

Figure 3.16: Control Panel after user boards robot as pilot.