3D Robotics

Remote control with Xbee

3689468023?profile=originalFrom Hackaday:

The XBee Handheld Controller may be just the ticket to remotely control any project that comes off your workbench.

This isn’t the first remote controller we’ve seen that does just about everything, but it is the first one to include an XBee wireless transceiver to easily interface to your robotics project. The controller comes in two models, the Q4, which uses four Playstation-like joysticks, and the Q2, which uses proper remote control gimbal joysticks. Both the controllers have a slew of buttons, toggle switches, four rotary pots and a 2×20 LCD display.

After the break you can check out [Paul]‘s pitch explaining what these controllers can do and showing off a hexapod robot under the control of his Q4 controller. A very neat project, and we can’t wait to see this controller out in the field.

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  • I decided to back it...I went with the Q4 as I liked the idea of 4 joysticks. Not sure what to use it on. I don't think X-Bee's are quick enough to fly by....

  • Looks really cool, I wonder if I can build my own.

  • What would be amazing is see someone flying a Multirotor with a hacked up joystick similar to what we see, Id love to be able to fly, GPS lock, and use a 3rd joystick to control the gimble while I frame a shot all with one controller!

    Why hasnt anyone built a Multirotor does all, one man band controller?

  • Hans, what I would want to do is make a new Tx, from scratch, using new joystick modules from Servo City:


    Some knobs, buttons, and LED's, an Arduino, and the FrSky hack module, to create an all-new transmitter.

    I already want something larger that anyway, to support my hands so I can "pinch" the sticks.  Many people use trays, but given we want different functionality anyway, why not just make a whole new box?  If it could implement Ardustation, and have 6 mode "radio buttons", and a 3rd joystick for the camera gimbal channels... it would be awesome!

  • Xbee == no thanks for now:

    We've had an APM burn it's negative trace (between layers!) losing power to the xbee pro (>50mW). the Xbee was fine, USB explorer was fine, It was the APM. I think it's because the ground pin is on the very edge of the board: not so good with heat, along with that ground trace going under the bottom layer of the board (under other traces) vs. being on the bottom ground plate/trace. And running a high power XbeePro just overheated the trace (something happened). I'm running ground to the Xbee from another pin for now...

    Since you're running RC_Override commands in Xbee mode, that means the code continues on the last command and if it's not hovering when it happens you've just created a very, very bad situation (i.e. fly away) for a 5lb object moving at say 3mph.

    Unless the APM gets failsafe logic on the xbee (there  is none) or the algos change on RC_Override, I'd pass on this. Looks nice though.

  • Thanks Hans.  I'm not looking to read the signal from the Rx, since the APM already does that.  I'm looking at the transmit end, basically if you can get an Arduino to output to something like this:


    So, parsing to PPM I think, as you mention.  I'll look for more info, thanks.

  • It currently says:

    Things not included in the kit.

    • XBee Modules. 


    But really anything is going to need the 3D Robotics/Sparkfun seal of approval.



  • Wow... a lot of latency.  I certainly wouldn't use this on anything flying.

  • Would be nice with the 3DR radios, not xBees.


  • Ardustation hardware?

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