Project update 5 of 8
Building a bot or a drone is one thing, but controlling it over a particular wireless network is a different task altogether. You need to see to it that the control signals are received without any delay from the controller to the receiver, so that the bot or drone can perform actions accordingly in real time.
Winkel Board makes this process easier. With an NRF24l01 radio module on board, you can easily configure a Winkel Board as a receiver or as a transmitter. With just three or four wires, you can interface a joystick module to the Winkel board and build a controller for your drone or bot. Not only that, you can also use Winkel on the receiving end at the drone or bot and use it to receive joystick values to provide real time control.
On the campaign page we showed you how you can control your PC mouse using Winkel boards. Similarly, the joystick co-ordinates are sent over Radio network. The Winkel board connected to the laptop receives these co-ordinates and sends it to a Java program running on the laptop over COM port. The Java program processes these coordinates and moves the cursor respectively.
We got our inspiration from from Syntaxian, who plays MineCraft with his Arduino joystick which is fantastic. He has written an amazing Instructable on PC Mouse Made With Arduino Uno and Joystick where you can find his Java program and Arduino codes.
We just modified a few things and got it working over a Wireless Radio Network to show that transmitting and receiving works without any delay. Have a look at this detailed video which also includes Joystick Clicks.
One could argue that a Java program running on a laptop could be used to process the coordinates, but we tried on board processing as well and the results were still amazing. We will have a project repo for you to browse soon after we are done with shipping out the boards to initial backers. The repo will include several builds specific to the Winkel board.