30 December 2011

NXT Wifi Sensor by Dexter Industries

So, after some midterm and final tests are out of the way, I'm back and ready to play.

Well, for Christmas, I got the Dexter Industries Wifi Sensor.


I'll will be using it to start a new project in swarm robotics, and will post every now and then with updates on my project. When everything is done and under wraps, I will post it as a new project under the Projects page. But for now, the details.

I am going to dabble in User-Based Swarms, where the user will have access to all the coordinates and sensor feeds from the robots in the swarm. The user will be able to readily control positions, rotation, and other actions of all of the robots either individually, or collectively.

Step 1: Following a tutorial. I will be using NXC for this project, as my RobotC subscription is already half done and lasts only for a year, and because NXC is free. I will create a simple web server and learn all the essential commands required for communicating with the web server through the NXT.

Step 2: Start building a Ruby-on-Rails application. This application will be the user interface, in which anyone who I have given the password can log in and mess around with the position of the robot and see how it works. Later on through this project I will write a post concerning the specifics of this user interface, and maybe include a couple of diagrams.

Step 3: Launch. Simply launch the website, and let my family be the debuggers, looking for ways to hack/break the code I have written (my family is pretty good with computers).

Step 4: Purchase more Wifi Sensors. As of right now, I am using only 1 robot because I have only 1 Wifi Sensor. Later on, I will purchase more, and hopefully connect all of them to the application I have built. Then a true swarm will be born

Step 5: Setup Bluetooth connections between the multiple NXT's. This way, while there is no user logged in, I can let the NXT's roam freely in the environment I have given them, and let them do the multitasking in order to not hit objects, or play follow the leader, or any simple random task. This will create an autonomous swarm, which I will run, again, when no one is logged in.

Well, those are the basics. I will start the tutorial this week and pick up on the basics. If this project proves to be too long (I am off to college next year), then I will just post some theory about it, and diagram what I was thinking of doing-stuff like that.

Till the tutorial is done, then.



P.S. I got Battlefield 3 and MW3 for Christmas too, in case anyone was wondering...