WiFi NETMF Gadgeteer robot controlled from Windows 8

Pete Brown continues to inspire us with his bright ideas, projects and talks. In this video he shows how he built a wifi robot using a $15 chassis and gadgeteer components. What makes this project even more special is that he used WiFi drivers written originally for netduino but thanks to open source, contributors (Stefan in this case) and the standard NETMF, it is easy to share projects among NETMF devices.

Watch the video http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Visual-Studio-Toolbox/Windows-8-and-the-NET-Micro-Framework

Other resources:
FEZ Cerbuino http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/351
The chassis is this one https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10825
WiFly module in xbee format http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Roving-Networks/RN171XVW-I-RM/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMsSm7LhMeloEDuLr0wvUPSm and http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/RN171XVW-I%2FRM/740-1044-ND/2673186
The WiFly (WiFi to serial bridge) drivers are found at http://netmftoolbox.codeplex.com/SourceControl/changeset/view/17446


Great project!

It’s great to see how many Gadgeteer robots are realized, using various components and control systems.

Thanks guys :slight_smile:

I love working with NETMF. For me, one of the other interesting parts here is that I was able to control the whole thing from a very simple Windows 8 app suing streaming TCP sockets. I suspect we’ll see a lot more integration like this in the future (app controlling device over wifi); I know I’m personally working on a few things, especially as we see Win8 on more touch devices with more portability.


You’re right. Also my current project will include an administration part that can be controlled from a Windows 8 app.

I have a lot of ideas in mind, the problem is to find the time to realize them :slight_smile:

Time? who have time? I got time! LOL.

Joke’s apart we can try share some ideas to work around.

@ Pete, thanks for pulling the thread showing to community how easy could be “jump start” to the new possibilities with connected devices and Windows 8.
Sorry for be daring, but may be possible share some code with us “seems more complex if you try read the code watching the video”, I think that will be a good start for many people trying to follow your experiences.


I’d love to get some technical details too, as it happens I’m about to start building a vehicle that will communicate over WiFi with a Windows Phone 7.5 device.

Do you have something particular in mind?

Blog post is mostly written. Probably out tonight or tomorrow.


Blog post:


Perfect as always, thanks Pete.


I hope to follow your example and share my small achievements “when I learn a bit more” :slight_smile:

Thank you Pete,

@ mfDevices


For you: share early and often. The “first time with device X” type posts are both useful and popular, and they set a great example. I’m still learning a lot of this stuff – there are people here who know tons more about it than I ever will.


Cool, thanks. Between you and Marco I think I’ve got a fairly good idea how to go about building a WiFi/RF robot.

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

Keep us informed about your progress!

I got all my hardware (Cerbuino, xBee WiFly, MotorDrier & LCD interface) together and updated the firmware on the Cerbuino to the latest from http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/topic?id=8498 and I have some code running. I’ve started to implement the code shown in Pete’s blog and things are beginning to work. I think I have a couple of firewall issues to get around and then I can start on the xaml stuff. I’d really like to get things working with my WP 7.5 device (don’t have a Windows 8 machine) and so I think I’ll need to spend some time sorting out the socket stuff. It seemed so easy using .net 4.5 on Windows 8. But the accelerometer of a phone or slate makes controlling a moving robot seem like sooooo much fun. I’ll keep you posted and if anyone has any useful tips of coding sockets in WP7 then please drop me a line.

1 Like

@ jamesjl - Welcome - Sounds like you hit the ground running in NETMF world!

I’d played a little with some netduino (4.1) stuff a year or so ago, but this blog post really got me pumped up again. I’ve done a good bit of WP7 dev with some apps in the market place but I really want to have a crack at some networking stuff. I can’t wait to see what can be achieved, and what my children make of it. Let’s hope they get as inspired as I am. I can’t help but smile over how cool a show-and-tell might me with a slate controlled robot to talk about…

@ jamesjl - You can refer to my article “Wi-Fi Gadgeteer Robot controlled by Windows Phone with image streaming”, available at Wi-Fi Gadgeteer Robot controlled by Windows Phone with image streaming | Integral Design, to see an example of sockets in WP7.

Marco, I’ll be sure to take a look. Thanks for the link.

It seems like I’ll have to reverse the roles, since the Roving xBee I have on my Cerbuino using the 4.2 netmf toolkit doesn’t allow for a socket server to be created. First off I am going to try and get things working from a windows PC (acting as the server) and then think about how to move towards the server being on the netmf device and the client will then be ok on the phone. This stuff always throws up one issue or another.

Definitely pester Stefan about what he thinks it would take to make his code into a server. I poked through it, but didn’t have enough time to really dig into it. The xbee protocol is like a serial terminal protocol.