I am working on a project in which I will have several flex sensors sending data wirelessly to my laptop. I will be less than 50 feet away. At first I thought the best bet would be to use XBees, which would mean two arduinos. It seems to me that a Wifi shield or even Bluetooth might make more sense since I don't need an arduino to do anything with the data that I'm sending. I really just need to be able to get at it via Pure Data or Processing, and since there is already Wifi and Bluetooth on the laptop, I'm wondering what my best option is.
Is it possible to send serial data directly to the computer via wifi or bluetooth? is there an advantage or disadvantage in using XBee?
Many thanks in advance!
At first I thought the best bet would be to use XBees, which would mean two arduinos.
Why? The XBees can collect analog input and broadcast it.
It seems to me that a Wifi shield or even Bluetooth might make more sense since I don't need an arduino to do anything with the data that I'm sending.
On which end? The bluetooth range is much less than 50 feet, and a WiFi shield can't collect sensor data directly.
is there an advantage or disadvantage in using XBee?
The advantage is that it is simple, and it works.
Yes, BT or wifi will mean you need only one remote RF node. With Xbee, you will need
at least 2 XBee modules, but as Paul mentioned it is possible to rig up the remote XBee as
standalone without an Arduino, although I don't know how many people have every actually
If you want maximum flexibility, you can keep your options open by getting a regular XBee
shield for an Arduino, and buying one of the following Bees, they should all be compatible
with an XBee shield.
There is also the RN-XVee module, which I have used, and which also plugs right into
the XBee socket, and will talk to your wifi PC directly using UDP or TCP.
I think that you could use the WiFly RN-XV module without an Arduino to collect analog and digital input readings also, since it has 3 analog input pins and 8 digital I/O pins and you can configure it to automatically post to a web server at a regular interval or output a UDP packet with the sensor data. Its also available from sparkfun here: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10822.