So freaking sweet! I got the network!

I am so freaking excited! I am literally jumping up and down, while my stomach is crunching with excitement! I feel the blood rushing through my veins at Mach 1, as my heavy breathing almost warrants an inhaler puff. My chest hurts and my limbs are numb, and my mind is 10 years ahead in the world I am about to change. What I just found out, what has just made me scream “wahoo!” at 2:30 in the morning without regards for my neighbors, is that there is a simple way to make my robots talk to each other. There is a way to create a mesh network with low power consumption and tight security. I just found out about the IEEE 802.15.4 specification for low-rate personal area networks.

The 802.15.4 specification defines the physical layer and medium access control for communication among many nodes within a short distance of one another. I also found out about ZigBee, a specification for personal area mesh networks based upon the 802.15.4 standard. But what really made me jump up and down, and even do a very ridiculous victory dance that I’m glad nobody but Phoebe, my guinea pig, witnessed is the AppBee module for XBee devices. XBee is a transceiver for the ZigBee protocol, while the AppBee is a module to plug the XBee into the BASIC STAMP micro controller board and use it like a simple I/O pin.

With the AppBee/XBee, I can make my Boe-Bots communicate with each other easily and effortlessly. In fact, all I need to do is implement a few commands in my PBASIC code to either listen for or send bytes of data. On top of the basic security that IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee and AppBee/XBee offer, I can also implement a custom cryptographic protocol to secure the robotic network even more. This is the first step forward into my capstone project, and a huge step forward into making my blocks idea a reality.

Did I mention how freaking excited I am?

About Gabriel Mongefranco

Gabriel Mongefranco is your software developer for all things data: extraction, integration, analytics and security. He is also a blogger, a poet, a proud father and a faithful Christian. He is always eager to contract with faith-based nonprofits! Learn more.