Let’s go back in time.
Near the end of my time at college, students had to take a design “capstone” course where we were assigned a certain project to complete by the end of the year. The kinds of projects were varied but some examples were automatic gate openers, weather stations and fly trackers. I’m sure most EECS departments had something like this and we were no different.
So what was my project? It was a signal processing unit for a robot which I was later more involved with but enough about that. I want to focus on a different project. I had a few friends whose project was a wireless light switch and I was pretty intrigued and a bit jealous that I didn’t have that project.
Fast forward to the present where I got my hands on a few XBees. Now I could make my own wireless switch!
I whipped up a quick program that would enable the user to control a red, green or blue LED with PWM. The PWM values (0-255) are transmitted by the XBees from the program to a microcontroller which would read the values and configure PWM accordingly.
Now, my friends’ project involved an incandescent light bulb so there were more difficulties than you would find from just lighting LEDs but hey, at least I satisfied my inner desire to somewhat recreate it.
I used the XBee Explorer Dongle and the regulated breakout board from Sparkfun. partyBot is using an Arduino Lilypad which takes in the PWM values from the XBees and does an “analogWrite()” accordingly.