Archive for February 5th, 2007

Serial Bluetooth Adapters – Wireless PC Based Robotics!

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Many of our customers have always asked the question, “how do I communicate with this controller/ IO board via wireless”? Well, unfortunately, WUSB is only limited to hubs and a very limited array of peripheral devices. Sure, it’ll be great once WUSB is integrated into devices such as Phidgets with their sweet high level API’s, but in the meantime we can still use Serial Bluetooth Adapters for devices that communicate to the PC via Serial Ports. Here are a few that we have come across the last couple of weeks:

Socket Cordless Serial Adapter
Socket Cordless Serial Adapter

free2move Serial Adapter
Free2move Serial Adapter

AIRcable Serial
AIRcable Serial module

AIRcable mini OS
AIRcable mini OS

AIRcable Serial OS
AIRcable Serial OS

Combine any one of these with a Serial device such as the SSC-32 Servo controller, Step1 Stepper Motor Controller, or a Sabertooth DC Motor Controller and viola! You have a wireless PC based Robot!

Virtual Racing Inside 1/4 Scale R/C Cars

Monday, February 5th, 2007
MiniFastCar
MiniFastCar
MiniFastCar

MiniFASTCAR is a company that allows people to race 1/4 scale R/C cars in a virtual reality envirionment.

THE MINIFASTCAR RACING SYSTEM

MiniFASTCAR lets you drive a real car on a real track from the safety of a remote driving station. An in-car camera gives you a live-action video feed as you drive the car. A wireless lan computer in the car ensures you have precise control. MiniFASTCARs are real quarter-scale, gas-powered cars, 48� long by 12� high by 18� wide.

Driving Stations

Racers sit at driving stations with steering, throttle, and brake. An in-car microphone gives real engine feedback so the driver is aware of RPM and other race noises. The live video feed is displayed on a high-definition monitor.

In addition, a timing and scoring system tracks lap times, car rankings and other statistics so each racer receives a copy of the results at the end of the heat.

Track

MiniFASTCARs are raced on oval tracks that may be banked. Most racers find this to be more of a challenge than they expect. Bumper walls keep the cars on the track. The track is roughly 170′ long and 100′ wide. There is a start/finish line and a pit lane for change overs. Rumble strips discourage drivers from cutting corners. A tall antenna in the center of the track feeds video information from the cars to the driving stations.

When a car wrecks, the Track Marshall stops the field; simply turns the car down the track; and restarts the race. Damage is typically minimal and since no one is physically in the car, even a roll-over is simply a matter of turning the car right-side up– and the race is on!

Watch the videos here.

The technology behind these cars was built by Robotics Group.