Flexible GUI (Android,iOS) possibility and ROS interface using a cheap WiFi dev board


#1

Hi guys,

Recently i fooled around with some cheap (about 6$) WiFi development boards (ESP82866).
Those modules could be used to easily add more sensors (outside temperature/humidity, light, rain, etc.) that connect back to the PCF via WiFi.

What makes them interesting to me are the following points:

  • They can be programmed using standard Arduino IDE.
  • Lots of GPIO pins
  • Support STA / AP / STA + AP three operating modes
  • Micro-USB serial port
  • Very cheap => 6$

Blynk to ROS bridge (POC)

The board was connected to my computer running ros-serial via usb (serial connection). The board itself was also connected to my home WiFi for internet access.
Using the Blynk App, I was able to create a custom GUI that allowed me to get and display data from ROS topics. Furthermore, I could send data (values of sliders, buttons, GPS position, magnetometer, etc) to ROS via the GUI.

Links:
ros.org
blynk.cc

I was wondering, what you guys think about it :slight_smile:

Cheers MrGadget!


#2

Cool! This is why I’m so excited about the new FC2.0 API. It makes it easy to build new or custom GUIs on top of the FC!

I’m also interested in investigating wireless hw for sensors… maybe Zigbee (lower power draw vs WiFi)? I could imagine a future where one Raspberry Pi runs several Food Computers via Zigbee connected sensors/actuators.


#3

Hey gordon,

Zigbee is awesome, it is reliable and stable. The downside of Zigbee modules is the price. If you plan to run a sensor network, where the nodes are placed far away from each other, then Zigbee is the way to go. In a home environment, I would stick with WiFi :slight_smile:

IMHO programming the WiFi boards is as easy as coding for Arduino boards. And I have to admit I grew very fond of the Blynk platform. You could even run a local server if you don’t want to use the blynk servers.

BTW: ESP-8266 Mesh Demo