I have made several robots from small hobby projects up to an autonomous driving car (college team). For all of those we used C or C++, with one exception that used Java. For the Java controlled robot I built a web interface that allowed you to control it remotely over wifi (similar to this, without the repeaters).
I have been thinking about using Python or Ruby for the high level logic while using C/C++ down low controlling motors/sensors. Or maybe running a JVM and doing the high level logic in Closure or Scala with JNI over the drivers.
* Since it's easier to write js code than c/c++ code (for me), I would personally prefer it; assuming that the performance degradation is within allowable limits
edit: Apparently, Arduino uses its own programming language: "Arduino hardware is programmed using a Wiring-based language (syntax and libraries), similar to C++ with some slight simplifications and modifications, and a Processing-based integrated development environment." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino
Did you look at Ubiquiti devices? Their PicoStation would be perfect for this.
Also, and this depends on what you consider cheap, I would have used 900Mhz for the connections between repeaters, base station, and robot since it will go further through rubble. Use HWMP for mesh across the repeater links & use 2.4Ghz "access" at each repeater for access/interop with other devices. This could be done for under $500 per repeater with Mikrotik router boards and Ubiquiti mPCI cards in 900Mhz & 2.4Ghz.
Very nice build
You have to have enough capital to be able to wait until something bad happens as well as enough inventory to service all the requests when the disaster occurs.
Raspberry Pi non-profit is awesome - but they made a very low cost, very versatile product. This is so unlike disaster equipment as to be impossible to their firm design.
Feature Request: Rocket Launcher.
Fukushima has lots of problems for robots - hard radiation, not enough in air bandwidth to support radio communication and control, and terribly difficult maneuvering and communication conditions.
unless it's disposable
I second the nice build and impressive work.
I confess that I just gave a quick look at the article, but it seems like a small remotely controlled radio tank. Is it possible to give the thing instructions on what to do (e.g. follow a path along some infrastrucutre while taking pictures of it) and then let it do the job on its own?
Does the robot actively seek WiFi weak spots in the communication mesh or does it have to be driven to a certain locations?
Let me know when one of you hackers starts it up.
Not that I support such exploitation. But that's 'outsourcing'.