Last week Steve Comer from RobotC wrote a great article on using the NXTBee’s with the Lego Mindstorms NXT to create a swarm of robots. In fact, in this project, they used 7 (SEVEN!) robots.
The NXT is able to send and receive messages over a wireless network in the form of string-type data. There are a few simple commands added to ROBOTC with the “XBeeTools.h” header file. The commands are quite user friendly even though multi-robot communication is typically a graduate level concept.
Multi-robot communication is an advanced topic that users can explore after mastering a single robot. It is important to understand how to program a single robot. However, the future of robotics centers on robots working in teams to accomplish complex tasks. Areas of exploration include team based sports such as soccer and putting autonomous vehicles on our roads.