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Thread: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

  1. best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    I'd like to set up a wireless controller for humanoid robot competitions. I expect to do the programming myself, so I'm really not asking what works out of the box; I'm asking what frequencies and protocols are most widely accepted, and what controller hardware works with those.

    I'd like a PS3-style controller (you know, two 2-axis analog sticks and a slew of buttons), rather than something like a TV remote or RC vehicle controller. I could maybe just use a PS2 wireless controller, which I've heard is pretty easy to interface with, but I don't know that those would be allowed in competitions.

    Are there PS-style controllers that already speak Zigbee or Bluetooth? Are those good protocols to use? Or would you suggest something else? Any recommendations will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    - Joe

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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    The PS3 controller is bluetooth.

    I'd say bluetooth or zigbee are going to be your best bet.

  3. Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyberius View Post
    The PS3 controller is bluetooth.

    I'd say bluetooth or zigbee are going to be your best bet.
    That's interesting Ś I didn't know that about the PS3 controller. However, I haven't been able to find any information on interfacing with it, except this unanswered question. Perhaps my google-fu is not strong today. Anybody have a clue?

    Thanks,
    - Joe

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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartL
    FYI:

    Our Playstation interface for the Bioloid bus is through home-prototyping and is currently in the first small-quantity production-style-prototyping phase.

    We're hoping to have demo units out to the resellers in the next month or two.
    http://robosavvy.com/forum/viewtopic...r=asc&start=45

    I think both PS2 and PS3 are fine for competitions(?). What is the difference between PS2 and PS3 anyway?

    The StuartL/Random Matt board looks much better then the Boomerang. The total cost may be higher, but the control is much greater. This is not a plug and play solution and will need you to program it until BCP programs are uploaded by users.
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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    Only issue I see with StuartL's solution is that it uses the standard 2.4ghz of the wireless PS2 controller, so it's not as protected against interference as something like bluetooth or zigbee.

  6. #6

    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    I believe that Bluetooth is in the 2.4ghz range. The RC transmitter that I use with all of my vehicles (not robots) is bound to the receiver and does not suffer any interference from other sources. I kind of figured that the PS2 controller would be the same way. The wireless controller that I have for my PS2 only works with its receiver.
    "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." ~ Groucho Marx

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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    >> does not suffer any interference from other sources

    Your confidence in the hardware is touching - but misplaced (I've always wanted to say that, thanks! ). It may be a digital state (there/not-there) rather than the analog "sorta-there" - but ANY radio hardware, no matter how hardened, can be jammed by something else.
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  8. #8

    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    I see what you're saying. I'm sure if there was an evil robot warrior bent on affecting my ability to battle, he could probably jam my transmission. Interference from some stray signal seems very unlikely though. The system I'm referring to is the Futaba FASST, which is marketed as an interference free 2.4GHz system, but it has a special ID code that will not allow it to accept other signals.

    As for the other 2.4ghz controllers, I figured that they would have no chance of interference, but I guess I need to research more before I open my mouth with a blanket statement.
    Last edited by icecreamslick; 10-29-2008 at 01:01 PM.
    "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." ~ Groucho Marx

  9. Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    Our experience of wireless controllers in the 2.4GHz range (which encompasses the large majority of modern telemetry, including the new generation of RC model units) is that they all play reasonably well together and the inherent frequency hopping/channel allocation they're ALL supposed to comply with is very good.

    What seems to make the difference is the antenna design. The antenna on the Robotis Zigbee units isn't great and only works reliably when there's nothing in the way. Strangely you can get a surprisingly high range from this unit but it's sensitive to obstructions and interference even when it's very close to the transceiver it's talking to.

    On the other hand the PS2 controllers we've played with seem to be (to all intents and purposes) immune to interference. We have yet to try them en masse but with two of them running and a bunch of other 2.4GHz units kicking around (wireless LAN, Bluetooth, zigbee) the PS2 seemed to be the second most reliable of the lot. The only one that was more reliable was Bluetooth but Bluetooth has a real data rate problem and only works with dedicated solutions, such as the built in solution in PS3/Xbox controllers, and the renegotiation overhead kills you if you do lose the signal.

    The dedicated RC solutions (i.e. the Spectrum and Futaba solutions) are, of course, very good. However they usually have a channel limitation (only up to 7 channels or so), are unidirectional (no feedback) and don't have the variety of buttons useful for Robotics.

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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    We used PS2 controllers for a while. The ones we used were Logitech, very nice and ergonomic.
    We have since come to learn that they only support 7 controllers or frequencies at a time. We heard this from our friends from Japan before finding supporting documentation ourselves. We found the Logitech PS2 wireless controllers to be largely immune to most noise and their range is good. We did however experience problems with them at RoboGames 2007. The kind of interferece you get is not like the old RC days. Someone will not take over the control of your bot but you will loose connection and you may not easily be able to reconnect if all the frequencies are taken.

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