There’s no doubt that Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) was impressive hardware when it was released in 2004, but for all its technical wizardry, it wasn’t able to shake Nintendo’s stranglehold on the handheld computer market. This perhaps explains why we still see so many nostalgia-fueled hacks for Nintendo’s Game Boy and Dual Screen (DS) systems, while PSP hacks tend to be rare.
But watching projects like this that turn the PSP into a capable robot controller (video, embedded below), we can’t help but wonder if the community has been missing. Thanks to an open source software development kit for the system, [iketsj] was able to write a WiFi controller program that can be run on any PSP with homebrew compatible firmware.
The other side of the equation is a simple robot powered by an ESP8266. To take control of the bot, the user connects their handheld to the WiFi network offered by the MCU and launches the controller application from the main menu. It’s all very smooth, and the fact that you don’t need to make any changes to the PSP’s hardware is a huge plus. From the video after the break, we get the impression that the remote software is pretty simplistic in its current form, but we imagine the only limitations are your ability to write C code for what, by industry standards today, would be considered a fairly limited resource. system. We’d like to see that widescreen lit up and display live first-person video from the bot’s perspective.
Most of the PSP hacks we’ve seen over the years involved repurposing hardware or, in some cases, replacing internal system components with something raspberry-flavored. These projects have certainly been interesting in their own way, but we really like the idea of being able to push a heavily stocked system into a new role just by writing custom code for it.