Idea, but I need your help.


I was recently given an Arduino as a present and these things are great! I have experience with programming hardware, studying Computer Engineering (Final Year), but we have only ever done it on a really low level and I require some help as to want I need to buy to do what I want.

My Idea: I want a colour LCD, preferably with a touch screen (will settle for one without due to cost) that will link up with my Arduino. I then want to wirelessly send images to the Arduino/LCD screen from a computer. I want the communication to be duplex so I can send button presses/touch screen coords back to the computer. I also want the ability to have multiple Arduinos connecting to the same computer.

Effectively, I want to create a dumb computer with the Arduino that will be constantly be receiving images from the computer.

My Thoughts: To me, this doesn't sound too difficult (famous last words) as I am pretty confident in my skills at programming an application for the main computer to do what I want. I am just uncertain on the hardware side of things.

My questions to you: How can I link multiple Arduinos to a single computer? Will the Arduino/LCD screen be able to update it's screen without flicker? Will the XBee modules to suitable for what I want? If so, How do I go about setting them up to speak to one XBee module? Are there any screens compatible with the Arduino that are large than 1.5"? I mean that is really tiny!

Thanks, Mark

To me, this doesn’t sound too difficult

It’s great what you can think of if you don’t know anything. I would like to make an anti gravity machine to fly to the Moon.

The point to remember is that the arduino has a very limited amount of memory so you will not be able to store images of any great resolution. There is about 2K of memory all in. That leaves about 1.5K free for everything you want to do.
Assuming you can get an LCD display that has it’s own internal memory you are going to have to feed it bytes as slow as the wireless will allow you to send. That is very slow when you are dealing with an image.

Best bet is if you do some more research into what you want and what memory requirements / speed requirements you have.

Thanks :)

I would like to make an anti gravity machine to fly to the Moon

Let me know when this is done.

I've just a bit of maths and have figured it to be infeasible the way I was thinking of doing it.

My Theory:

This Xbee has 250kbs data rate

This LCD is 130x130 pixels

At address each pixel you need 8 bits for x and another 8 bits for y, 16 bits for coordinates. Colours are 12 bits per pixel, so 12 + 16 = 28 bits per pixel

130 * 130 = 16,900 pixels 16,900 * 28 = 473,200 bits per frame = 59,150 bytes per frame = 59.15 KB per frame

24fps * 59.15KB = 1419.6KBs

Xbee 250bps = 31.25 Bps

31.25 / 24 fps = 1.302 B available per frame in 1s

So no where near, my maths could be a rusty.

Well this has just saved me lots of ££££! Hmmm... next project....

It's great what you can think of if you don't know anything. I would like to make an anti gravity machine to fly to the Moon.

LOL, I love that comment!

It is perfectly feasible to do what you want to do (and I mean your project, not the anti gravity machine :)) - just not with an Arduino, it's just a matter of finding the right tool for the job. The Arduino is great for certain projects as a low cost solution, but other projects are well beyond its capabilities.

There are boards out there that could do this, you can get almost fully fledged computers now for around £80, which would have enough power to do the job. Have a look at the Beagle boards, ALIX boards etc, there's quite a bit of choice and they have a lot more power than the Arduino.