Darrel Riekhof

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So you want to build a robot that walks around and bumps into things. But that's not enough for you (this is the year 2000, after all); you also want to control your robot over the Internet. What's more, you want to use Java to control it. We'll start by showing you the basics of controlling an electric motor over the Web. Specifically, we'll describe how to control radio control (RC) servo motors over the Web. Servos are electric motors popular for use in many applications, including robotics. The components of the system (see Figure 1 for an overview) include a front-end HTML form for entering commands to control the robot, and a Java servlet that accepts these commands and uses a free open-source Java software kit from FerretTronics to send them through a serial port to your robot. On the other end of the serial port receiving these commands will be a FerretTron... (more)