New to Arduino

Hi !

I'm toally new to the Arduino community and I hope some of you will be able to answer my questions !

I want to do a small robot, who could be controlled wirelessly. I have a (Very) little experience in programming, but i'm totally new to electronics, so I really don't know what material to choose. Arduino leonardo, arduino uno, wifi shield, ethernet shield, bluetooth, what should I choose for a "simple" project like that ?

Thanks in advance !

DeWitt

what should I choose for a “simple” project like that ?

What kind of robot do you want to build? A 6 foot tall walking humanoid robot that can ride a segway is quite a different project from a line-following wheeled vehicle.

How much data do you need to send to the robot? Over what distance? How reliably?

What is your budget?

Generally, shields simplify a lot of the logistics of connecting hardware, so a shield-compatible Arduino is a better choice.

Ethernet requires a wire. WiFi, bluetooth, XBee, and cheap 433 MHz radios do not.

WiFi has connection and reliability issues. But range is good, though the client/server nature of communication can be a difficult concept for people with a background in networking.

Bluetooth generally has range issues, and a LOT of people have trouble with even getting two bluetooth devices to talk (often from assuming that two slaves will communicate).

XBees are great, though they are not cheap. They would be what I would choose. Good range, very reliable, and the easiest to get communicating. IMHO.

433 MHz radios are cheap, but range can be a problem, and the Arduino must do all the work involved in sending and receiving data, dealing with missed packets, etc.

It's more about a small wheeled vehicule, than a humanoid, haha !

I won't need to send much data, but the reliability is important. For the distance, the bigger it is, the better it is, but it's not a major factor. (About 50m would be the minimum I guess.)

Your explanations on the different shields and technologies is very usefull, thank you ! I'll look at all of them in detail, but for the moment, XBees or 433MHz radios are he ones that corresponds the best for what I imagine.

Do you have an idea of which arduino board I should choose?

Thanks a lot, I couldn't find all those informations by myself !

Do you have an idea of which arduino board I should choose?

There are shields for connecting an XBee to the Arduino. To make use of that, you should choose an Arduino that can take shields. The Leonardo has the advantage that pins 0 and 1 are connected to Serial1, not Serial, so talking to the XBee and to the PC at the same time is easy. It has two disadvantages, though. The first is that it has slightly less program space compared to a UNO. The second, and probably more important one, is that it is discontinued.

It is possible to use SoftwareSerial to talk to the XBee and Serial to talk to the PC. The shield you choose may limit which pins the XBee can talk to (typically allowing you to choose between pins 0 and 1 OR pins 2 and 3. On the Mega, SoftwareSerial will not work on pins 2 and 3.

Those pins are also the external interrupts on all Arduinos, so using them as communications pins is not the best idea.

The Arduino is about compromises, though. Convenience vs. capability. Gaining convenience, through the use of a shield, means giving up capabilities, generally. The question for you to decide is when the convenience outweighs the loss of capability.

DeWitt: Hi !

I'm toally new to the Arduino community and I hope some of you will be able to answer my questions ! I have a (Very) little experience in programming, but i'm totally new to electronics,.....

DeWitt

This suggest to me that you have a lot of learning of the basics to do. You will need to learn how to read buttons to select the action to send control the Tx and Rx control outputs to control the robot. The remote control robot is not a trivial exercise for a beginner. I suggest you start with a UNO or similar and get the basics of inputs and outputs working first. Once you have them working and have a design for the program control, then put the bits together with the wireless. Weedpharma

DeWitt: Do you have an idea of which arduino board I should choose?

If you are a beginner get an Uno. Most software and add-ons will work with it.

Then learn how to program the various techniques you will need to use to make your Robot work.

When you know how to write the program you will be much better placed to decide the extra hardware you will need.

I don't think the NRF24 2.4GHz wireless transceivers have been mentioned. They are cheap and reliable and have more capability than the 433MHz wireless devices. And the ESP8266 is a cheap WiFi device. One advantage of WiFi (and XBee and Bluetooth) is that you can control an Arduino directly from a PC. With 433Mhz or 2.4GHz wireless you will probably need a second Arduino to act as the controller.

There are many example programs with the Arduino IDE and many tutorials on the web. You might also look at planning and implementing a program.

You will also learn a lot from reading other Threads on this Forum even if they are not directly related to your project.

...R