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Thread: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

  1. Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    I've found this gadget that appears to handle most of the work of being a BT controller (aka master).

    Additionally, a UART interface is available that can be used as the Bluetooth host controller interface.
    It's not a complete module; one would still need an antenna and a few other components, but it sounds like it handles all the really tricky parts. Looks like it only supports Bluetooth 1.1, but then again, this is just the first thing I found once I started pursuing this angle. There are probably similar gadgets that support BT 2.0.

    At any rate, I'll keep y'all posted on my progress (such as it is).

  2. #32
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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    ROFL! That's an ARM7 microcontroller. The thing that's most amusing is here: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/sh...7&postcount=21 I wrote "It's easy if you have a SAM7[...]"
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  3. Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    I really don't care what the controller is, if I can buy it at a reasonable price and plunk it into my project where a UART would normally go.

    But it may turn out to be even easier than I had supposed. "phishguy" on the SparkFun forum claims (in this post) that BlueSMIRF, and most any other BT module, can simply be configured as a master. He's talking in the context of linking two such modules together, but I don't see why it wouldn't work just as well to link a PS3 controller to one of these modules.

    As a supporting data point, the Parani-ESD module I use in my RoboBuilder can, according to its manual, act in either master or slave mode. It's a little unclear exactly how the pairing in master mode should be done, but surely they wouldn't have bothered to put that in if it weren't possible.

    As another supporting point, the Roving Networks modules (such as BlueSMIRF) says in its command manual that its modules have three different Master Modes (differing in how the connection is established and broken).

    So, I'm cautiously optimistic Ś it's beginning to look like all I have to do is configure my favorite BT module in master mode, and pair it with the PS3 controller. Then it will appear to my MCU as a serial port, same as before. (Then I'll need to dig up or reverse-engineer what data the PS3 controllers send, but that part doesn't worry me so much.)

  4. #34
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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    I wasn't aware that BlueSMIRF had an HID-master implementation. I was thinkin' it was just a raw serial stack. Would you shoot me over the linkage for the HID reference for it?
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    I hate to burst the bubble but the ps3 controller only pairs wired to USB. It only communicates with HID protocol. You'll need a processor capable of handling the HID stack and the USB interface to use it. Good news is that there are many such as Gumstix, the RoboBoard etc....

  6. #36

    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    As Bullit describes, the initial pairing of the PS3 controller is done as a HID device over wired USB. After that it uses Bluetooth HID. Pairing can be done on a seperate device from the bluetooth. The Wiimote also uses Bluetooth HID, though the pairing is done on bluetooth too.

    Devices such as BlueSmirf are specifically designed for serial interface using an AT command set and do not support Bluetooth HID. Master or slave is not relavent here. I don't know of any existing device which converts PS3 bluetooth HID to commands directly usable by simple robot controllers.

    There are devices which offer an HCI level interface and you can whatever you like on top. The most common of these is the USB dongle, though serial HCI devices are also available. If you use these devices then you have to implement HCI, L2CAP, and HID protocols in your software. Also the USB or serial protocols as approporiate. Of course Linux and Windows do this for you.

    I have no doubt an AtMega168 can do this based on my own work, but would not be able to do much else.

    My progress to date on this is that I have programmed a small ARM7 device with a MAX3421 USB interface to talk Bluetooth HID (inc HCI and L2CAP) to a Wiimote. USB is greatly simplified by knowing all about the bluetooth dongle in advance. Similarly the Bluetooth for both the Wiimote and the dongle is well know, so much of the pairing can be simplified and the Service Discovery Protocol is not required. Most of the complexity in both USB and Bluetooth is the support of many different devices. The trick is knowing what to discard from thousands of pages of specification.

    I have stopped using the MAX3421 because it is going obsolete. I did look at the HCI serial devices though they are more expensive than the USB dongles. Also for a serial interface to the robot, you need a micro with two serial ports ( not AtMega 168 !). I have just prototyped up an AVR32 with onboard USB host, which is a low cost device and can support the USB dongle direct. I will use this likely with FreeRTOS and the lwbt stack. This will allow using both HID and serial at the same time.

    This will also work for the PS3 controller. Let me know if you are interested to collaborate.

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    Re: best wireless system for humanoid competitions?

    Count me in. That sounds pretty interesting.

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