Wireless USB?

I was reading a book about implementing wireless (802.11) on micro controllers and they settled on using CF card wireless devices.

This got me wondering if it would be possible to interface a USB 802.11 dongle with the arduino? Anybody have thoughts on this? I'm not looking for .11g speeds but just in general would it be possible? Any pitfalls (driver issues?)

The short answer is "Yes, it's possible". But only because "possible" also encompasses "walking from NYC to LA" and "establishing a permanent manned lunar base" :)

It would be like building a bicycle out of recycled popsicle sticks: yes, you can do it, but it would be a huge amount of work, and would only be a novelty, not a practical tool.

The problem is that the Arduino is kinda like a Swiss Army Knife: it's very handy for a wide variety of small jobs, but it's just not possible to change a flat tire on your car with it. And using it as your only tool for a big job might be do-able, but it's difficult and wasteful.

Someone just recently started shipping a WiFi shield, and has posted about it here.

Another possibility would be to get an Ethernet shield, and connect it to an old WiFi bridge bought cheap at a garage sale or off ebay. That would give you the flexibility of connecting to a LAN if you wanted to, and connecting multiple Arduinos (and maybe other gadgets) at the remote location.

Ran

What about using one of the AT90USB chips that can act as a host (I'm looking to use this for a project anyway, Arduino was just my gateway drug chip)

That would certainly make a big difference in feasibility. You need to look into what sort of host drivers are already written for it. My guess (not a terribly well-informed one, because I haven't used the AT90USB at all) is that you'll find good support for HID (mice, keyboards, etc) and mass storage (memory sticks, picture storage in some digital cameras), and not much else. Those drivers can be a huge task: look at what it's taken to get many devices working under Linux as an example.

If this is something that you're interested in as an end in itself, don't let my comments discourage you. But there are relatively cheap and simple solutions available off-the-shelf if you just want a tool for use in accomplishing some other goal.

Ran