New NXTBee Radio Modems for the NXT    Send article as PDF   
A pair of NXTBee Radio Modems for use with my LEGO Mindstorms Robots, arrived late this afternoon from Dexter Industries in the United States. I’ve been waiting for a while for someone to develop such a NXT add-on for me to play with. They only where in transit to Tasmania for 8½ day from the U.S.A. Which is very acceptable, considering the time I’ve waited for many other items from that part of the world!

These Dexter Industries NXTBee sensor brings the ‘Digi XBee’ radios to the Lego Mindstorms NXT system. These high-speed, long-distance radios allow your NXT to communicate with your robot up to 1.2 km. That’s 10 times farther than bluetooth, and far more reliable. The XBee 802.15 communication protocol is the standard for robots everywhere so opens a lot of possibilities.

One of the most exciting aspects of the NXTBee, is its ability to mesh network. Mesh networking is the ability of devices to “mesh” together. A single NXTBee can automatically finds other XBee radios (other NXTBee’s or devices using XBee’s) relaying information to them and between them with no set-up: they do it automatically. XBee radios pass on data and information from other XBee’s, allowing further and more reliable information to be passed. You can create a whole network of up to 65,000 different devices talking to each other!

Now I have to learn how to use them, and come up with a suitable robot which can show off the NXTBee’s capabilities My 5 year old son, Anthony has suggested to me that he could take a robot to school, which is within range I think and then I could control it from home for him. May be just a little to adventurous to start with, but I won’t discount it completely for the future?

For more information, visit Dexter Industries website.

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