Reliable high speed wireless connectivity between two or more Arduino boards is something that everyone wanting to get rid of a tabletop tangle of wires will eventually need to implement. As part of my ongoing ERP project, I have decided to modify the ERP chassis to carry a GPS and an array of ultrasonic rangefinders. By establishing a wireless datalink, I hope to be able to build an outdoor mapping robot that would be able to map its surroundings and transmit a 3D image back to a base station.
The robotic arm is now fully operational. It has 6 Degrees of Freedom and can be controlled remotely from any laptop running the interface software.The robotic hand is capable of simple tasks such as lifting and carrying small objects. I have attached a wireless AV camera to the robotic hand. A human operator can now “see” what the robot is doing and issue commands accordingly over the wireless data link.
Now that I am a little more comfortable with Arduino programming, I thought it was appropriate to change gears and move from communications over a serial line to RF communications. The mess of wires from my earlier haptic control project also needs cleaning up.
Mess of wiring in my haptic control project
The solution – cheap and effective RF communications. These little units are unbelievably cheap (under US$1.50 for the pair). At first I was understandably sceptical whether they would even work at all, but after having played around with them for a few days now, I’m convinced that they work fine, as long as I don’t expect them to function as effectively as a Xbee.