Posted   —   № 7

Direct Connect Beta Test

A new way to connect to Marty

We often get asked about whether it’s possible to connect to Marty without using a WiFi network, or what the easiest way to connect to Marty when you’re out and about - when there’s no wifi network handy. It’s often the case if you want to show Marty off at a school visit or makerspace, that getting access to WiFi can be tricky.

We’ve been developing a way to directly connect to Marty, to control and program him with your phone or computer connected to the Marty Setup network. The drawback is that you’ll lose access to the wider internet, but the advantage is that you can skip the wifi setup, and use Marty in other places more easily.

Please help us test - you might get a free T-shirt or distance sensor!

Our testing in Robotical HQ has shown that Direct Connect works really well if you follow a few basic rules. But as with anything that uses WiFi, it’s really hard to test every possible type of device.

Before we launch this feature more widely, we’d like to get as much real world testing as possible. We’re also checking that our instructions make sense!

We’re inviting all Marty users to give Direct Connect a go using the instructions below. Then please get in touch by e-mailing hello@robotical.io, or via the comments section here. All feedback is welcome, let us know if it worked, didn’t work, or if you think the instructions could be better!

We’ll pick three people at random from those who send in feedback to receive their choice of either a T-shirt (available sizes only), or a distance sensor for their Marty. The distance sensors aren’t released yet, so this will be your first chance to get one!

How to Direct Connect

Four basic rules:

Here’s a summary graphic (click for pdf)

Direct Connect Rules

Direct Connect Scratch Quick Start

Basic Rules

1) Clear WiFi settings using the app

2) Disconnect phone from Marty

3) Load Scratch Direct connect on your computer

The direct connect version of the Marty Scratch interface is here: http://scratchx.org/?url=http://robotical.github.io/scratchx/scratch_extensions/martyExtended-direct.js#scratch

With your computer connected to the internet, load the Scratch Direct page. We’re working on an offline version that you can download, stay tuned for that.

4) Connect your computer to the Marty Setup network

5) Double click on the Direct Connect block in Scratch Direct Connect

The connection status indicator will turn green once your Marty is connected:

Direct Connect Connection Status

Video Guide

Here is a quick video guide to show you what to do:

Detailed Instructions

More detailed instructions are available in a pdf here

If you have any trouble or want a bit more detail please look there

Direct Connect Remote Control

From the app, you can now remote control Marty over Direct Connect too! So you can get your Marty moving wherever you are, using just a phone and without any internet needed.

Discussion

We're talking about this article on the Forum:


Direct Connect Beta Test Feedback

We're testing a new feature that lets you control Marty directly through the Marty Setup network, rather than using an external WiFi network, it's called Direct Connect.

From the app you can now remote control and calibrate Marty without needing to connect to a WiFi network, and if you load up this version of the Scratch interface, you can then switch to your Marty's Setup wifi network and program it directly.

The blog post online here has a lot more info on how Direct Connect works, and we'd like all feedback either here or by e-mailing hello@robotical.io

Read On & Join the Discussion  

3 Comment Replies   |   Posted   |   Edited 06th September 2018   |   Thread № 121

Pete

This is just what I've been waiting for. No problems running this in a Chrome browser on a Macbook Air. Connection was lost after a long sleep of the laptop but connection returned on turning Marty on and off. Will experiment on windows laptops next week. Minor issue with the useful "Heads up" notice - with a reduced size stage the message hides some of the blocks you need to make the message close. Could this possibly float so it could be moved out of the way? The icing on the cake will be the release of the complete offline version then my use of Marty can really take off. Do you have a timescale for this? Thanks for all you've done so far.

11:09:10, 21st September 2018
angus STAFF

Hi @Imagios - thanks for the feedback! We're actually looking into config-over-USB-cable as a future option... This direct connect actually works with all existing Martys, back to the original IndieGogo ones from last year. Still, we're taking a lot of time at the moment to look at how we handle WiFi connection and configuration and we're pretty confident that we'll have some big improvements to show off later in the year

If you've had frequent issues with switching around networks, we'd be happy to hear from you what they are so we can try and address them - obviously we end up switching networks to demo Martys a lot, but perhaps we're used to our own quirks?!

17:54:41, 07th September 2018
Imagios

Hi There, its a great idea, I always struggle to present Marty when I take him somewhere, at home on my network he always works, but I had so many issues on other networks. Will try this steps, but can't you just compile a update to Martys firmware? Or find a way to connect via cable even if it would be USB to IO? Thanks Daniel

17:49:36, 07th September 2018