Let's Make Robots!

Need Guru Help Regarding Micro-Controller + Wireless

Hello !
What is the most inexpensive, yet stable robust and relatively fast micro-controller + wireless setup?

I have been asking this question to myself for way too long... Now, I'm curious of your experiences in the different flavors available..

In my specific situation talking back and forth to a computer or laptop would be the primary objective.

For the computer this is great (because often there are no needed parts - most modern computers or laptops come with bluetooth) - so that makes it cheap on the computer side $0

#1 On the micro-controller I've always been partial to BBB arduino boards $16 ...   +  BlueTooth Silver Smirf $39 @ 115K (have'nt got one)

#2 There's this do-hicky http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8255  which has already come and gone (retired) .. where have I been?

#3  I've tried 2400 RF modules with BBB - I would say "not very stable" - "FritsMayHaveSavedHisHairButThisThingIsNotThatStableNorFast".... and there is always contention with Servos (Grrr)

#4 I made a IR transciever which worked off my computers serial port and its twin for the BBB - was very slow, not that stable.. bit banging solutions always seem problematic...

#5 MSP420 $5 + CC2560 ?  @ 2.6 Ghz 

#6 MSP430F5438 Experimenter Board - $149 (too spendy .. and not even on the market yet..)

Any Ideas O' Gurus?

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Thanks - I'll pay the extra $16 to save hair-pulling 

It says these modules have password 1234 ... which is fine, but what about BT identifiers?  Do they all come with unique IDs like ether MACs?  or can the id's be programmed?

you typically can't reprogram a bluetooth MAC address, but they should be different.  on the other hand you can likely change the module name which shows up during a search, but that feature is module dependent.

Everyone gets their own mac address. I will do some tests but I am pretty sure they will just show up as different com ports and thus, eclipse or processing would simply run multiple serial lines. --one for each unit.

MRL could just create a new serial line for each Bot  (if that is the case)

Swarm On !

in windows each bluetooth device with serial port profile will have a unique COM port associated with it.  You can discover it by right clicking the bluetooth icon in the windows tray and clicking Show Bluetooth Devices, then right click the bluetooth device and click properties.   Then by viewing the different tabs of the properties window it will show a COM port for the Bluetooth services offered for that device.  Helpful when you have a swarm and you need to determine which device is communicating on which COM port.

By the fact that Windows (or other OS) understands them as seperate devices was the part I was concerned about.  When I get the pieces together, I suspect that MRL will ask each uC who it is.  That way regardless of how the OS identifies the BT/Com devices, MRL will identify with the uC's response and bind them with the appropriate SerialService during runtime.

In the past I have seen com ports register differently depending on bootup, and many other variables.

But having the uC respond (as long as there IS a connection) would allow identification of the each uC consistently..

Good for when the bots have slightly different capabilities, e.g. IR sensor on bot #1 vs WiiDAR on bot #2 vs Servo gripper on bot #3..

Be warned. Don't expect unique MAC addresses from cheap BT modules made in china.

I got a brand new Bluetooth Bee from Seeedstudio and wonder why my Android phone won't pair with it because of a duplicate MAC address.

Although @ $10 bucks a pop, I'm willing to risk it (possibly attempt to hack a MAC if it comes to that)

Just ordered 6 from Rogue's suggestion & link - http://www.goodluckbuy.com/arduino-serial-bluetooth-rf-transceiver-module-rs232-with-backplane-.html 

Now just got to wait 7 days for by "GOOD LUCK BUY" blue tooth to arrive....

Heh, I hope its a "good luck buy" :)

sweet, let us know how they work out! (I hope you don't get burned with identical mac addresses)