I'm working on an underwater robot project. The goal right now is to have an ROV with a camera and sensors (pressure, heading, etc.) communicating through a tether to a wireless router located in a buoy. The wireless buoy will transmit the data to a laptop on the shore. A user will be able to see the data being collected by the ROV and send commands back to the vehicle.
If I've lost you already, it looks something like this:
Most of this design is based off of the wireless RC car found at http://www.jbprojects.net/projects/wifirobot/
I've already got a network camera working. What I need is some input on is how to interface a microcontroller (in my case, an arduino) to the wireless router.
The methods I've seen so far are:
1. Hack the wireless router to have a serial port, as shown in the RC car tutorial. Requires physical and software hacking.
2. Hack the firmware on a router that has a USB port (like this: http://todbot.com/blog/2010/12/16/wifi-for-arduino-with-asus-wl-520gu/
) Requires a similar amount of software hacking, and no physical hacking.
3. Use an arduino ethernet shield.
My background is in electrical engineering, but networking and communication protocols are new to me. I would appreciate some input as to what would be the best way to send and receive data between a laptop and an arduino using a wireless router.
Also, if someone could clue me in as to what has to be done on the laptop side, I'd appreciate it.