Installation and Configuration
Hardware and Software Installation
There’s not much “hardware” to install with the Rovio. All users need to do in install the 6 volt battery above and find a suitable area to plug in the charging station. Pretty simple stuff for that portion of the “installation”. Let’s move onto what needs to be installed software wise to get the Rovio up and running.
There are a couple ways to install the software used to operate the Rovio. The first is by using the setup CD that comes with the unit or you can go to www.myrovio.com and download the latest software. I chose to get the latest software to ensure I had all the updated drivers. Here is the first screen you see after starting the setup process.
Pretty self explanatory stuff here, but I wanted to show how easy it is to setup and configure the Rovio.
The Rovio needs to be initially linked to a computer via mini USB cable so it can do the initial configuration on the unit. It also will let you install any firmware updates too. This installation process will also walk you through connecting the Rovio to your local network. The default URL to access the Rovio from your local network is 192.168.10.18. There are other steps you’ll need to take to set up the Rovio to be accessed outside your local network, but you’ll need to go on the WowWee support website for this information because there are a couple configuration options you have available to you. I’ll discuss the approach we took to setting up our Rovio in the performance testing portion of this review.
The next software program that needs to run is for the Rovio user interface that can be accessed via any internet browser after you configure the unit and your home router to allow the Rovio to be controlled from other remote locations.
Pretty simple stuff again here. It just wants to know the file path to where you want to install all the software files to. Next step please.
Software installation completed. Now that we’ve covered the hardware and software installation, let’s move on to Rovio user interface and show our readers some of the configuration options they have when they setup the Rovio in their home or office.
Here’s the initial screen on the Rovio control panel after you setup your local network settings. You’ll notice several tabs at the top of the control panel that will help you tweak the Rovio to perform at your exact specifications. The right side of the control panel gives you all your movement options as well as three buttons for changing the head position on the Rovio. You can also take a quick snapshot from the right side of the control panel as well as turn on the LED lights for increased visibility. Under the video tab, you’ll notice that the highest resolution is only 640×480 at 30 FPS for this unit. This is a fairly standard resolution, and I’m sure they had their reasons (like bandwidth and frame rates) for not making the onboard camera a higher resolution like 1280×720.
The movement tab allows users to configure the movement speed, turn speed, and angle speed as well as if they want to enable or disable the IR radar.
The Photo tab allows users to set up an e-mail address where the Rovio system can e-mail random images at set intervals. Those users who set up the Rovio using Ad hoc mode will not be able to use this feature.
The security tab controls all of the user accounts that can access the Rovio interface over the internet or local network. We just used the default admin account for our review.
The network tab is where you can configure the wireless settings from your local router. You can also set up your IP as well as your internet access port. The user manual can walk you through how to connect the Rovio to your network.
The domain tab allows users to set up a dynamic domain to access the Rovio from an external website on the internet. There are several free dynamic DNS solutions available to users, but we chose to use DynDNS because it is reliable and free. If your local network requires a proxy to access the internet, you’ll have to input this information under proxy settings.
The final tab on the main interface is the system tab. Here you will find the firmware version as well as options for rebooting the system and restoring its default settings. You can also upload new firmware images using this tab. Pretty basic stuff, but very important for any device you are connecting to your local network, especially for ones that require a dynamic DNS so you can access it via the internet.