WiFi/Xbee Robot Background

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I have always wanted to have a WiFi controlled R/C car of some sort. The idea started when a coworker sent me this one, Roboteq VIA WiFi Robot. If he reads this I think he will know it was him. This was about early 2000 and I added it to the list of projects I wanted to try, another one being a GPS controlled glider. Upon research I realized it would probably cost close to $1000 to build. I didn’t think the cool factor was worth that much.

Flash forward to 2008 when I moved to Monterey, CA and became an NGC employee. Upon getting to know a few coworkers I came to hear about the Maker Faire. For the past 3 years I have been attending one of the two days and subscribing to the Make Magazine. Most people who are familiar with Make are familiar with the Arduino microcontroller. At the time I didn’t think much of it or really see the possibility of what I could do with it. I saw projects here and there that you could buy but nothing that really got my attention.

Now it is 2010 and I find myself wanting to work with circuits and possibly take some classes. My background has been in IT but I find myself always wanting to play more with hardware than software. I did some research for some electronics kits, but found they were limited and I probably would get bored quickly as I am a fast learner. I remembered the Arduino but wasn’t sure I wanted to go that route. After talking to some friends and doing some research I realized that the Arduino has tons of possibilities. I am not sure if it was before or after I purchased one that I decided to create a robot. I have wanted to go that route but didn’t realize until now, especially since it is much cheaper and easier to play with robots at home.

After getting the basics down with the Arduino, I started to a lot of research for my robot design. I found that WiFi might not be the answer as it draws more power and uses a lot of pins on the Arduino. My WiFi robot has become an XBee robot but with the same goals.

I will try to post as much as possible to track my progress and where this project takes me. I already have some ideas for version 2 and hope to start that next year. Originally, version 2 was going to be an upgrade for my first bot but  I could actually create a 2nd one. 

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