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Report of a wireless communication and protocols for the Lego Robot Game

development via Bluetooth.


By William Read
Our team reached a point, during development, in which we wanted to
communicate with it outside of the hardware that had been supplied to us. In
order to do this we used Bluetooth which is officially defined as by: A brand
name for a wireless networking technology that uses short-wave radio
frequencies to interconnect cell phones, portable computer, and other wireless
electronic devices. (The definition of Bluetooth, 2015) and its range is relatively short and this
can be any distance up to 10 metres. (Bluetooth Technology Basics, 2015)
This feature was intended to allow our Robot to send signals to a phone so you
could interpret it without having to have direct access to the Robot. In our LRG
this would be a message to represent time, so we didnt have to look back across
all the previous times by uploading the file from the programmable brick to the
computer and allowed us to easily track, after each lap, the time the Robot has
taken to complete it. The application which we used for this was the Android App,
EV3 Mailbox, and this would connect to the Bluetooth mailbox labelled times
and receive messages through this from and match the Programmable Blocks
Bluetooth frequency.
As well as this we had tried experimenting with a movement override via
Bluetooth and used the app Lego Mindstorms Commander, the official application
developed by Lego. Using the app to create a virtual controller, allowed us to
control the robot directly from our Android Phones. This system ended up not
being used, due to fact two Bluetooth applications being unable to connect at the
same time, meaning we could either only control the robot or view the times
from each lap as mentioned before.
Bluetooth follows a list of Protocols, which are defined as: a set of rules
governing the exchange or transmission of data between devices. (Google, 2015) by
looking at the applications we used as examples to understand these rules.
All the applications follow the Bluetooth Protocol Stack and commonly connect
via the Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol (L2CAP), which is the basis of
package segmentation and reassembly of packets sent over a specific frequency
range. (List of Bluetooth protocols, 2015) This allows for a system to communicate between a
host ACL (Asynchronous Connection-Less) connection and a receiving ACL
connection. (List of Bluetooth protocols, 2015)
From the system decoding the signals from our phones (ACL receiver), in terms
of our LRG, the transfer of packages such as a string message storing the value
of a time to be sent from one location to another and this L2CAP protocol allows
the transmission of data of up to a total of 64kB (List of Bluetooth protocols, 2015) which is
more than enough data required to send the time to a receiving device from the
Programmable Brick.
Overall, Bluetooth is an important part of our game which made tracking of times
easier and is easily controlled through a protocol system making it possible to
view times on an external device.

Reference:
1. Bluetooth Basics learn.sparkfun.com, Learn.sparkfun.com, 2015 https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/bluetooth-basics[27th November
2015]
2. Bluetooth, Wikipedia, 2015 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth[29th
November 2015]
3. List of Bluetooth protocols, Wikipedia, 2015 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bluetooth_protocols[29th November
2015]
4. Bluetooth Technology Basics, Developer.apple.com, 2015 https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/DeviceDrivers/C
onceptual/Bluetooth/BT_Bluetooth_Basics/BT_Bluetooth_Basics.html[29th
November 2015]
5. Google, Google.co.uk, 2015 - https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?
sourceid=chromeinstant&rlz=1C1CHWA_enGB604GB604&ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=U
TF-8#q=protocols+definition[27th November 2015]
6. The definition of Bluetooth, Dictionary.com, 2015
-http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bluetooth[27th November 2015]