Hackers build robot for people affected by COVID-19

February 3, 2024

Engineering students Niccolò Avogaro and Edoardo Palladin recently put their heads together to create a robot that could help people affected by COVID-19. Based in Italy, the pair have seen up close how difficult it can be to acquire supplies when the community is being ravaged by the global pandemic. Their collaboration resulted in “Pepsi,” a remotely controlled robot that can be used to collect and deliver essential supplies without social contact, reducing risk for all parties involved.

The little helper robot enables an operator to see with a mast-mounted digital camera and can be controlled over a 4G connection using a Python Flask-enabled joypad. You can read about their project here on

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In their article, the builders note that some communication challenges occur when you try to take your robot off your LAN and want to drive it in the outside world. Outside of the USA especially, a public IP address can be expensive to obtain, and without it, it can be difficult to address your device properly. Luckily, as you might have guessed, one solution they recommend was to install to create a port forwardless private IP so you can communicate with your robot regardless of the kind of network you’re on, and without the risk of opening ports in your personal network. When using in P2P mode, you benefit from a fast, direct connection with minimal latency for your helpful bot.

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