Wireless communication with Arduino – Part 1

I’ve been using part of this week to sort through the various tech that I’d like to use in my projects, as a means of keeping the troubleshooting/learning time to a minimum so that I can focus on the architecture. The electronics and tech are integral parts of creating interactive architecture – through sensing and adapting we can create surfaces and structures that create a personal connection to the visitor/user.
I was successful in using XBees (wireless radio modules) to communicate wirelessly between two Arduinos. In the example below I demonstrate how closing a circuit on one Arduino turns on a LED on another Arduino. The electronics are very straightforward and the XBee devices communicate via serial, so you only need to send/receive/process serial messages to work with the data.
When the switch circuit is open, the LED on the other Arduino is off.
When the switch is thrown (circuit closed), a LED illuminates on the other Arduino.

My next step is to learn how to work with two-way communication, so that a sensor could send data to a base Arduino, and then receive information from that Arduino to affect a local component – it could be a motor, a shape-memory alloy, or something creating a similar means of actuation.

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