Feb 21, 2006

Bluetooth on my iPAQ

I started playing around with the Bluetooth settings on my iPAQ. I didn't get far, though. Take a look at this collection of screenshots off my iPAQ - you'll see that it's waiting for a response from a BT-enabled device.

I can't wait to use this thing as a control device.

(And as something only a techie could love - my iPAQ has a little blue blinking LED when BT is turned on. It's a nice, calming color.)

13 comments:

Jannet said...

mind if I ask ... so if that NXT is detected on your PDA.. what ya going to do next? Install the software on your PDA..... so is it like install the lego software that is usually on your computer to your PDA... so you can program your lego on the move ?

Jannet said...

Mind if I ask.. I have so much fun with mindstorm 2.0 . But hmm.. what is the set try to teach his students and engineering wannabes ?

Its fun to assemble...but what do I learn ... come see it from an enginnering perspective? Jim

Jim Kelly said...

I imagine that the bluetooth control will be 'broadcast' to my PDA. These controls are probably very limited (or maybe not!) and may allow me to send instructions such as forward, back, left, right. Even better, the feedback may come to my PDA as sensor output that can be read (and interpreted) by a spreadsheet or other data gathering software.

I really don't know... very little is known about the bluetooth functionality - one article DID mention Soren Lund getting a return signal from a robot to make a phone call! That alone tells me there's got to be a little programming to it (either from the PDA or, most likely, within the LabView software).

As for students - you're thinking like me! Did you read last week's Time Magazine coverage about how US students are suffering in Science and Math? I am a firm believer that students should be learning something from all this tinkering... but that may come primarily from the Lego Education curriculum and not the retail version.

From an engineering perspective, a student can obtain some good understanding of basic geometry, structural design, CNC programming, wave theory (from the ultrasonic sensor), trigonometry, and, ultimately, the scientific method we all love - hypothesis, testing, theory.

Thanks for your questions. Anyone else want to add their thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I think that the Bluetooth control wont be able to actually download any software to the PDA to use it. So this will be up to programmers to actually implement. I beleive it wouldnt be too difficult to not together a basic control program as long as you can initiate a bluetooth session with the NXT easily enough, and bearing that in mind that you can easily implement bluetooth commands (or at least some way of actually initating the session, then sending the command, and the ability for the bluetooth command received by the NXT to have some action like motor A on).

This said programming some app in Java for a PDA (depending on it running the JRE for that) shouldnt be a hugely difficult task as I understand it. The JRE for the pocket pc's should have built in support for bluetooth, but quite, the big question is how we are going to get a session started, and then how we can send commands and then act on them.

We will have to wait and see. Also are you in the Dev program as you seem more and more eager in the last few days to explore certain possibilities with the NXT, considering the launch is 5 months away :)

Jannet said...

hmmm.... got some question in between... good understanding of basic geometry (ok)

structural design ( ? elaborate),

CNC programming (What this?),

wave theory (from the ultrasonic sensor)(Ok..but pls elaborate what students can expect to see so it reflects from the different surface and student see a difference waveform is it?),

trigonometry (ok guess its ruler and compass), and,

scientific method we all love - hypothesis (How, I thought it is by trial and error?), testing, theory ? (Curious... can give example)

Is it in the new software? Wow, I missed out a lot, dammed ...

What is CNC programing?

Jannet said...

hmmm.... got some question in between... good understanding of basic geometry (ok)

structural design ( ? elaborate),

CNC programming (What this?),

wave theory (from the ultrasonic sensor)(Ok..but pls elaborate what students can expect to see so it reflects from the different surface and student see a difference waveform is it?),

trigonometry (ok guess its ruler and compass), and,

scientific method we all love - hypothesis (How, I thought it is by trial and error?), testing, theory ? (Curious... can give example)

Is it in the new software? Wow, I missed out a lot, dammed ...

What is CNC programing?

Jim Kelly said...

Jannet,

I'll address all of your questions below, most likely tonite. My 'Real Job' just kicked in and I've got a few things to complete before 5pm rolls around. Rest assured, I've got some thoughts (not necessarily definitive answers) for you on the items below...

Jim

Koshdukai Yordarth said...

About Bluetooth, from what I know, every BT device, after the usual "handshake" procedure, will reply (if asked) with what services it provides (what can a device ask of it to do). So, for instance, if my BT enabled PC asks my BT enabled Mobile phone, it'll get a list like: Phone access (to access the modem capabilities); File tranfer (to get/put/list any files with sound, images, videos, Java applets, etc); general serial port (BT supports the creation of virtual "RS-232"-like serial ports for standard serial comms through BT, and I suspect this is one of the ways to communicate with NXT over BT); and a lot more other possible BT services...

Anyway, my point is that, I'm expecting at least that the NXT can support various usual (and usefull) BT services out-of-the-box and not only the basic virtual Serial port over BT. If not, at least I'm hoping that the (new) standard LEGO software makes it possible (and easy?!) to program most of the usual BT services into the NXT.
...if not, well, we'll just have to wait for 3rd-party OS (NextBrickOS?) or languages (like NQC).

Usefull URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth#Bluetooth_profiles

PS: Sorry for the long (and maybe confusing? ;) comment :)

lyrids said...

Regarding the BT discovery and connection, I\'d like to suggest the following as a checklist:

On the device:

1. BT enabled?
2. Is it discoverable by unknow devices ?
3. Does it support service discovery? If it does not,then the iPAQ won\'t be able to enumrate all available services on it.

On iPAQ:

1. If the deivce is found after a neighbor search, what kind of devices are available on that device?

2. Most BT devices support Serial port profile, try to connect to this service.

3. You may have to specify a PIN on either the device or the iPAQ, and then input it again on the other end to make the Paring work out.

Lyrids

Filip said...

Regarding the why Mindstorms issue, I wrote a blog entry of my own on the subject.

Sorry, it was too long for a comment.

Filip
bNXT.com

Jim Kelly said...

Jannet,

How would designing and building robots use certain skills or studies? Here's my take, but I'm sure there are LOTS more:

GEOMETRY: If I wish to design a robot that follows a specific path and return to its starting point, it would be beneficial to understand the basics of 2D travel (along x and y axis) and how to plot points along a path. Feedback to the brick could determine if it is OFF the path or ON at specific test points by using standard geometry equations. Geometry also would figure into the possible design of a frame for a robot. Certain shapes and angles can come in quite handy (for strength) if you know how to do the math.

TRIGONOMETRY: For a robot to follow a circle (or near-circle) of a certain size, you need to know how to calculate radius, diameter, and/or calculate points along a given circle of radius X.

STRUCTURAL DESIGN: Now, I have an engineering degree, but I'm not a structural engineer. There are standard designs (in nature and man-made) that lend to certain functions; structures can be built only so high without reinforcement. When can a tripod design be used instead of one with four or more feet? A simple understanding of how form vs. function plays in a design is a great thing for young (and older) designers.

WAVE THEORY: Okay, I may have stretched it a bit, but check out one of my earlier posts and you'll see that there is a science article for the ultrasonic sensor. An understanding of sound and light waves (even a basic one) leads to a better understanding of infrared, ultraviolet, microwave, radio, and other subjects that fall into this 'invisible' category.

CNC PROGRAMMING: While the NXT isn't going to give the designer a complete education in CNC, it can come close to providing the basic understanding of plotting. CNC stands for Computer-Numerical-Control (there are variations). Have you ever seen those machines that cut into metal using lasers or water-jets or simple drilling and follow a programmed shape on a computer screen? That's a version of CNC. In college, we used CNC to cut out parts from aluminum and steel. We designed the part using software first - we had to know trig, geometry, algebra, and other stuff to properly draw something as simple as a 1/4-inch hole in the material. Programming a robot to follow a path or to perform a certain movement has characteristics of CNC.

and my favorite, the SCIENTIFIC METHOD: In high school (and engineering school) I was taught to keep a lab book. The lab book was the student's way to prove to the instructor that we could follow proper technique when it came to verifying a theory and/or testing a hypothesis. It's the same with robot design. You can either take all the pieces and throw them on the table randomly, trying to figure out how to build a robot that performs X, Y, and then Z. This is possibly a VERY time consuming tasks... shooting in the dark, if you ask me. I could write pages on this method, but I'll end this by saying that this is how I build my designs. I propose what I want to do (Hypothesis), I test various solutions (testing), and what works becomes a permanent part of my solution collection (Theory). (I still keep a lab book - multiples, actuallY- and will use them when I work with NXT.)

I don't think NXT is going to teach kids the details... I think NXT is going to give them a curiousity than can only be satisified by more study (in school or out).

Jannet said...

Thanks

Sean said...

Umm, I have an iPaq. And I got it to connect and See the NXT just fine but the iPaq cannot do anything with the NXT and the NXT cannot send to the iPaq. We need some kind of driver...

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