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  • Control Your Car Over the Internet

    If you've seen my project page, you know I can control my car across the internet. I never released any of the programming that went into that project because it was a horrible, inefficient, combination of Python daemons, php pages on an apache server, and mysql in between. It was one big hack and ate up almost 60% CPU on my sheeva plug, with total ram usage over 100 mb. I needed a more efficient implementation for the next revision of my car computer so I decided to do it right and also release it to the community.

    I bring you: Micro Control Center Alpha 1.
    Head on over to:
    http://paulfurtado.com/?page=microcontrolcenter
    to check out what I've put together so far.

    It works on Linux, Windows, and theoretically Mac OS X and exposes an HTTP interface which allows you to control the Fusion Brain v4. This not only allows you to control the brain across the internet, but also gives programmers and extremely easy way to control the fusion brain locally from any programming language. I'll work on making a Mac Os X app package soon.

    Give me all the suggestions you can throw at me and I'll decide whether they're feasible for me to implement.
    My Nearly Complete Car:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
    http://paulfurtado.com/

  • #2
    Sounds awesome!

    So what do you control over the web? Remote start?
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

    Comment


    • #3
      Right now I'm at school, so I just have it controlling all the lights in my dorm room, but it's been working pretty well. I've let a copy of the program run for a week without any crashes or issues.

      With the old software that's in the car right now, I don't control remote start, just because I haven't had enough time to put the remote starter in. Once it's there I'll definitely be controlling remote start.
      Currently I use the brain to turn on and off the main computer in the car since I have the Fusion Brain attached to my sheeva plug which is on 24/7. It also controls turning on and off all of my amps, accessory lights, fog lights, power inverter, battery isolator, etc.

      With the software in the car right now, I can control my car from a web interface, centrafuse, and text messages, but it's all mostly-reliable hacks, but still hacks nonetheless, so that's where this program is coming from.

      I have big plans for the next revision of my CarPc which is why I'm coding this while at school so when I get back home for the summer I can just worry about hardware.

      Hopefully this will make the Fusion Brain as viable a solution on Linux and Mac OS X as it is on Windows and also help out those on systems that can't handle the load of MDX.

      I also have a few interesting implementation ideas with running it on DD-WRT on a wireless router with a USB port which would provide a pretty slick solution for the android-in-the-car camp.

      ---------- Post added at 01:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:58 AM ----------

      Oh and also a question for you, is there any way to get the brains to uniquely identify themselves?
      My Nearly Complete Car:
      http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

      Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
      http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

      Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
      http://paulfurtado.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Paul looks good. I saw your bit on web prettly slick. I am wonder how did you run the shiva plug? Can you run it off 12v? or is it 110 only?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PaulF View Post
          Oh and also a question for you, is there any way to get the brains to uniquely identify themselves?
          I believe you need a custom flash - talk to the fusion guys.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Iamthehor View Post
            I believe you need a custom flash - talk to the fusion guys.
            Toaster is the fusion guy.
            1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

            Comment


            • #7
              this is killer. now we can do whatever chevy can i wouldnt mind setting up door locks with it, especially if you can get a status either way if the locks are engaged or not.

              remote start over the net would be great too, because even though my keyfob works from a few blocks away, theres a lot of times im getting driven to my car so it would be nice to start it from 10min away....

              would also be a good way to activate your 4-way flashers when your car gets stolen, like onstar does.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by themlruts View Post
                Paul looks good. I saw your bit on web prettly slick. I am wonder how did you run the shiva plug? Can you run it off 12v? or is it 110 only?
                Externally, the Sheeva Plug has only a standard American wall connector, but accepts a range of 100-240 volts AC.
                Internally it takes that, and converts to 5 volts DC. So with a 12 volt -> 5 volt power supply you can easily connect it to a car.
                Check out: http://paulfurtado.com/?page=sheeva12v
                Pretty simple hack.


                Originally posted by Iamthehor View Post
                I believe you need a custom flash - talk to the fusion guys.
                Originally posted by kegobeer View Post
                Toaster is the fusion guy.
                Yeah. I'm waiting for toaster to reply haha. Really hoping it doesn't require a flash, but I guess people with multiple brains who disconnect and reconnect them frequently and in different USB ports is an edge case.


                Originally posted by trader007 View Post
                this is killer. now we can do whatever chevy can i wouldnt mind setting up door locks with it, especially if you can get a status either way if the locks are engaged or not.
                Let's take chevy down
                Getting the status of the door locks would be an interesting question. Maybe do something with the little alarm light that blinks on the dash?

                Originally posted by trader007 View Post
                remote start over the net would be great too, because even though my keyfob works from a few blocks away, theres a lot of times im getting driven to my car so it would be nice to start it from 10min away....
                Just wait till I implement some security features haha
                My Nearly Complete Car:
                http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                http://paulfurtado.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow I'm very interested in this. I thought about having a sheeva plug as the always on system but needed a slick way to control the car and turn the real computer on. This should be perfect. I wish I knew any advanced programming!! My final goal, through either a web app or a real app would be to have something I could open up quickly on my iPhone, control the remote start, hvac, locks and windows. Plus turn the computer on after an overnight hibernation. The car with the fusion brain will already be able to control all that, not having to find a way to supply the main computer always on for more than a day would be nice. I could even upgrade from the low tdp atom to something with more balls.
                  I'll be staying very close to this project !! Let me know if you need any hardware support or ideas, that's more my thing.
                  Old School MP3CAR.com member!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dscustoms View Post
                    My final goal, through either a web app or a real app
                    You can have both. The server side of this software, including the AJAX web app, should be feature complete in about a week. I really haven't ran into stability issues yet, so feature complete could really mean complete.

                    I intend to eventually release an iPhone app, but the web app should definitely do everything you want in the meantime. On the iPhone you can even set up web shortcuts on the home screen, so you could actually set up shortcuts on the home screen that directly control things.

                    Originally posted by dscustoms View Post
                    would be to have something I could open up quickly on my iPhone, control the remote start, hvac, locks and windows. Plus turn the computer on after an overnight hibernation.
                    This will definitely do all of that for you. You'll even be able to schedule things to happen automatically.

                    Originally posted by dscustoms View Post
                    not having to find a way to supply the main computer always on for more than a day would be nice. I could even upgrade from the low tdp atom to something with more balls.
                    I've been doing this for almost a year now, albeit, less reliably than it will be possible to do now. But it's definitely real nice, to pop my phone open while I'm brushing my teeth and turn the carpc on.

                    Originally posted by dscustoms View Post
                    Let me know if you need any hardware support or ideas, that's more my thing.
                    Will do, thanks.
                    My Nearly Complete Car:
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                    http://paulfurtado.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Which Sheeva plug should I get, multiple manufacturers and choices. Are there any minimum limits to what you are proposing here? Is yours a wifi model, and do they handle wifi well?

                      For always on, mounted in the car, it's going to need a good stable connection. Should I just get the most basic plug computer and add a USB wifi card?

                      I'm a little concerned about the power draw of a persistent wifi connection, need to keep it low.
                      Old School MP3CAR.com member!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As a little update on the status of the coding: I had to make an unexpected trip home from college this weekend, so I'm going to be a weekend behind on this project. The aim now is to get a mostly perfect version 1.0 sometime next weekend.

                        Originally posted by dscustoms View Post
                        Which Sheeva plug should I get, multiple manufacturers and choices. Are there any minimum limits to what you are proposing here?
                        The minimum limits are likely almost anything that can physically run python. On my linux box, I haven't seen the program surpass 12 MB of ram and 5% CPU. The 5% cpu only happened when it was searching for devices or getting absolutely spammed with HTTP requests (50 requests/second). The normal CPU usage when it isn't doing anything except waiting for an HTTP request is 0%. I'm sure that once I add a rules engine, there will be a bit more constant CPU usage, but it should really just result in similar, quick spikes of only a few percent. Overall, I've designed this for efficiency in terms of both CPU use and ram accumulation since it is designed to run long term without being touched on low-power platforms. Eventually I would like to get it to run on something as low power as DD-WRT router.

                        Originally posted by dscustoms View Post
                        Is yours a wifi model, and do they handle wifi well? For always on, mounted in the car, it's going to need a good stable connection.
                        Mine is not a wifi model, but I wish it was. I'm sure they wouldn't put a junk wifi chip in it though. I have the most basic, original sheeva plug as I was an early adopter, and I am definitely envious of the newer plugs. On a side note, to satisfy that envy, I'm now toying with the idea of a complete arm-based always-on linux car PC based on the http://www.pandaboard.org/ that will replace my current x86 pc, sheeva plug, and wireless router in one fell swoop. The existence of openMobile makes that look more possible than before.

                        Originally posted by dscustoms View Post
                        Should I just get the most basic plug computer and add a USB wifi card?
                        I'm a little concerned about the power draw of a persistent wifi connection, need to keep it low.
                        For power, check out: http://www.lesswatts.org/tips/wireless.php


                        Anyway, to be make your decision a little more cloudy, here's some pros and cons I can think of right now:
                        -The wifi sheeva plug also adds more features. Whether you need them or not is up to you.
                        -USB wifi cards may consume more or less power depending on the card
                        -Many USB cards offer poor performance (although this doesn't require much)
                        -I'm not sure if the wifi sheevaplug has an onboard IPEX connector for an antenna, as an antenna will likely make a big difference.
                        My Nearly Complete Car:
                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                        Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                        http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                        Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                        http://paulfurtado.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I just wanna say, welcome back PaulF. It's been a while .

                          Also, the pandaboard could be quite awesome. It's on my list of things to try out.

                          Finally, osdash has a generic "remote control" service that seems to try to accomplish the same goal. maybe there is a way to combine resources here.
                          Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                          Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                          Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tripzero View Post
                            I just wanna say, welcome back PaulF. It's been a while .
                            Thanks, feels good to be back!

                            Originally posted by tripzero View Post
                            Also, the pandaboard could be quite awesome. It's on my list of things to try out.
                            Definitely is awesome. I finally got in the mail this week. Performance is awesome so long as you put the OS on a USB hard drive rather than SD card. At least this is the case for Ubuntu. We need to have a conversation about which OS/software path I should go down for getting a decent carpc setup out of this. Let's not hijack this thread though.

                            Originally posted by tripzero View Post
                            Finally, osdash has a generic "remote control" service that seems to try to accomplish the same goal. maybe there is a way to combine resources here.
                            I didn't realize all the OpenICE stuff was still under development...
                            Anyway, from how I see osdash, the individual project goals are slightly different, but our overall CarPC goals are similar. Ex. my project goal is very focused on getting microcontrollers controlled with roughly no work from the end user. OSdash, has a higher level goal of getting everything in your car under control and require more setup. Making a daemon for every microcontroller, for every platform would be a pain. So how do we bring these two together...

                            My project right now is structured as...
                            --Devices (plugins)
                            A simple python class that provides 3 dumb-simple methods for a device and one additional function for finding devices.
                            --Abstraction for devices
                            Wraps device classes with all the nice functions that a control program would require
                            --Manager
                            Maintains connections with all the devices, naming for devices, processing for commands, and routing commands to devices.
                            --Commanders (plugins)
                            Control the devices through the manager. Each commander has a set priority so that if you, say, send a command through the web interface to turn on an output, but the rules engine wants the
                            output to be off, the web command wins.


                            But with this setup in place, I can easily write a "commander" for the DBUS or OSdash or both. This way we complete each other's overall goals...

                            Sound good? or what are your thoughts?
                            My Nearly Complete Car:
                            http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                            Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                            http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                            Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                            http://paulfurtado.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Update on this... I got a lot busier during finals than I though I would but now I'm out of school and have much more free time. In roughly 1 and a half weeks this should pretty much be done and reliable. Also, should have FBv6 support by then too. Sorry about the wait!
                              My Nearly Complete Car:
                              http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                              Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                              http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                              Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                              http://paulfurtado.com/

                              Comment

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