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Tech Thursday #023: Wireless Robot Control with an xBee

When you want to take your robot wireless but want to take it a step past R/C, an xBee is a prime candidate. The system works over 2.4GHz, similar to WiFi but what it provides is a simple wireless serial bridge. Meaning you can send a packet to the module and it’ll appear at the outputs of all xBees on that network. You don’t have to worry about subnets and IP addresses or any other networking fundamentals, just simple serial communication.

xBee Arduino ATR

System Design: The Remote

The first step is to design our system. To keep things simple, we’ll have our remote use an Arduino Uno (MCU-050-000) for our microcontroller, an xBee pro (TE-204-AWI) for our radio and a Wireless SD Shield (MCU-064-000) to connect the two together. We’ll also need a joystick to direct the robot. For this project I used our 2-Axis Joystick (TE-128-002).

tt023_2

System Design: The Robot

For the robot side, we’ll need the same control scheme, but instead of taking in analogs and sending out data we will be listening to our data stream and sending commands to a motor.

tt023_3

The Code

The majority of the code will largely be a derivative of the Arduino Serial to Serial code from Tech Thursday #005 (Blog Post) (GitHub). However, we’re going to take this a bit further and apply it.

The Code: Remote

The Code: Robot

Documentation

#techthursday #arduino #xbee #sabertooth

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