Let's Make Robots!

Bluetooth Dongle Comms

This is an Open Source, Collaberative project blog.

The aim is to use commonly available Bluetooth USB dongles to enable a PC to control a free roaming robot.

In my case the missing link which I have been trying to get working since about 2001.

The idea is to have an autonomous PC controlling the robot remotely (WITHOUT A CONNECTING WIRE ), so that I can test some rather radical Artificial Intelligence ideas that I have.

Many hobby robotics purists consider this idea to be absolute heresy and are convinced that I should be burned at the stake immediately but in my case, I need a whole bunch more processing power and a lot of data storage (MSSQL, MySqL, even Access) if I am going to get the robot to "learn" on its own out there in the real world. 

So, after starting this project twice before on my own, having built 3 or 4 different versions of the boards each time and smoking 2 PC's along the way, I have come to the conclusion that I am NOT going to get it right on my own without having  nervious breakdown.

That is where the idea of an Open Source, Collaberative project was born.

The idea is to use commonly available Bluetooth USB dongles (the type that you get with many cell phones these days) as the basis. On the PC side, a controller app can be developed in VB, C++, dotNET or any other programming language to send commands and receive sensor readings.

On the robot side, the Bluetooth feeds a micro-controler (I plan to use a PIC as I already have the programmers, PICBasic and all the other stuff) which will simply pass any signals coming from the PC to one set of pins which will then trigger whatever control circuits may be needed and another set of pins that will have sensors connected to them which will be read by the PIC and sent to the PC every cycle.

This project started in the Electronics Forum but I put it here so that it would be more "findable".

So I ask that all the knowlegable electronics people keep an eye on this blog, mentor myself and anyone else who wishes to join me in this project and PLEASE warn us if we are heading down the "blue smoke" path.