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Systems within sytstems project : Best approach?

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Hal9000:
My team for next year has been assigned the project

"This project will focus on how ‘systems within systems’ can be demonstrated in an uncertain environment
We will aim to show how it is possible for the larger system to monitor, and reconfigure the smaller systems when necessary"

Meaning bascally that each system will be busy doing something, but the PC is monitoring them to see whether they are doing the right thing at the right speed etc. If not, it will send 'correction' commands to the robots in question, and perhaps also to the other robots so that they can go and 'help' that robot if needed.

There is lots of talk about using Lego NXT because it is kind of a 'perfect' system to start doing things with.

However, this is very expensive, and may not prove difficult or bespoke enough for the project. I was thinking also, just now, about using some sort of radio link, simply sending information to all the robots, but then the robots can select what information belongs to them, if you see what I mean.

I was just wondering what you guys would do for this project, like, what sort of robots/communication you would use. i would be very interested to find out!

(I guess, the question really is, what do people use for robosoccer?)

Somchaya:
Oh I work in the 4-legged league for Robosoccer, and the AIBOs use wireless communications.. I believe the small-sized league (which is probably what you're interested in) uses radio for communication. I'm not too sure of the details though..

hgordon:
Take a look at the Zigbee radios, e.g. XBee or XBeePro from www.maxstream.net.  You can configure the radios to be individually addressable in a mesh network or share the same channel as a broadcast network.  The radios are quite inexpensive ($20-$35) and use a standard serial interface, so no special driver software is required.  We've been using these radios since 2005 with good results.

The Robocup 4-legged league uses WiFi.  I'm not certain what radio is used by Small Size League, though they don't need a sophisticated network, as everything is controlled from a central computer and robot positions are determined by overhead camera, so it's not a very good example.

Hal9000:
Thanks for your replies :)

ZigBee was actually way up our list when we first started getting ideas. It sounds really good. It's certainly cheaper than NXT. I like them. I might just buy some for myself to test stuff out with.

Thanks :)

Admin:
bluetooth is a little more expensive, but is designed to have many peripherals connected simultaneously with no additional programming by the user.

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