Asked — Edited

Ez-B Questions About Connectivity, Plus A Couple Of Other Things

Hi all, I have been considering ez-b but I have a couple of reservations.

  1. My robot will have an onboard pc, I really don't want the bot to have to depend on my Wi-Fi network for anything except when I ask it to do something like give me the weather or when the pc's OS needs to do updates (normal pc tasks basically).

Basically I don't want the communications between the Micro controller and the pc to be Wi-Fi based. There are a few reasons:

  1. Wi-Fi isn't really secure, and with the bot rolling around the house with a web cam and microphones I am just too paranoid, plus if I understand correctly I would need two Wi-Fi cards in the bot if I were to use the ez-b as a hotspot?

  2. What Wi-Fi security features are available with the ez-b?

  3. I guess there is no good/recommended way to hard wire the ez-b to the pc from what I have read elsewhere on the forum?

  4. I know a lot of people seem to like it, but I am not really interested in having to write a lot of central code in a language that that features goto's and labels as a form of code navigation. So how much programming can be done by using C# or vb.net and still get what is pretty obviously some awesome functionality?

Finally, I have a web cam I want to use already; is that possible with the ARC software?

this is all I can think of for the moment.

Your responses are much appreciated Thanks, Brian


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#1  

#1 You can set the EZ -B to act in AP mode, so the only communication is between the EZ-B and the on-board computer and not the rest of your network (however, then your computer won't have internet access either unless you have two WiFi connections on it, and they need to be different subnets. The EZ-B in AP mode must be on the 192.168.1.0/24 subnet.

#2 It supports WPA2

#3 Not with the EZ-B v4. If you find a used EZ-B v3 you can replace the Bluetooth board with a Serial to TTL connector for a direct connection, but you won't have any new V4 specific features, and someday support for the V3 will probably end.

#4 ARC is not all goto's and labels. It is mostly visual objects. The scripting language is to take it to a higher level, and it still very EZ. However, if you want to do all of your coding in C# or VB.NET there is an SDK that exposes all of the functionality (or can be used in combination with ARC, letting ARC handle the tasks it is good at, and your application in C# or VB.NET extending the capabilities beyond what ARC currently does. You will likely find if you build a function, it will show up as a feature in a later version of ARC (for instance, a user build facial recognition using the SDK, and within a few weeks, face and other object recognition were standard features in the app).

Finally, probably yes. ARC can see most camera that your computer can see, and remote cameras that support jpeg stream. There are a few that don't work for unknown reason, probably having to do with non-standard resolution. For instance, the cameras on my ACER-W3 don't work. You can download and install ARC for free before ordering an EZ-B and test it with your web cam.

Alan

#2  

Thanks for the response! I think that pretty much answers those questions, one more quick one: Does the ARC have some sort of emulation mode, so that I can mess with it and see if I like the way things work before shelling out for the micro-controller?

#3  

Pretty much yes. A few functions like making the EZ-B play sounds or read data on a UART or ADC port require a device connected, but you can create a project, and interact with the various objects and script variables without having an EZ-B.

Alan

United Kingdom
#5  

Most of what I make in ARC is done without connecting to an EZ-B. Using variables and the variable watcher, graphs and the controls gives an idea of how it'll work in practice but as Alan said, it has limitations.

#6  

Haha! I was thinking and figured out that I can line the inside of the robot with some of those anti-static bags that pc parts come, creating a faraday cage which should block any external signals to and from the ez-b. Then I will use some sort of antenna on the outside for the pc's Wi-Fi connection to the internet.

This solves a problem that has been keeping me from wanting to purchase the product.

#7  

Don't forget that there is also a IP port (Wi-Fi) needed for each EZB(4) controller.

#8  

yep I will get a usb wifi stic for the ez-b which will be plugged into one of the on board pc ports, then in pci slot I will use a card and put its antenna on the outside of the body. this should keep anyone except the on board pc from seeing the ez-b which will be running in AP mode I guess.