It Moves > Bluetooth

In addition to the Bootstrap robot being a learning platform in its basic form, it is also intended to be easily extendable with additional inexpensive sensors and modules. The first example of this is a Bluetooth adapter, which allows two-way communication with another Bluetooth enabled device such as a smart phone.

The HC-06 (and similar modules) is a <$10 Bluetooth module that is widely used with Arduinos. It provides a simple serial interface to the Ardiuno, using two pins for serial as well as power and ground pins. Here are a couple of pictures of a Bootstrap with a HC-06 mounted. The module is permanently soldered in, as are the power and ground pins. The serial (RX and TX) pins are connected by jumpers to allow the use of different pins in the future. The HC-06 does not need to be soldered on–it could be attached with tape and use jumpers for all 4 pins so that it could be removed later.

Bootstrap with a HC-06 Bluetooth module attached
Bootstrap with a HC-06 Bluetooth module attached


In the included video a simple demonstration of Bluetooth control of the robot is provided. A rough app was put together using MIT App Inventor that allows the phone to connect to Bootstrap and to control basic drive functions and the buzzer. App Inventor creates Android only apps, but many other tools could be used to create an app to connect to the HC-06.

The HC-06 has been tested at 30+ meters (100 feet) indoors, line of sight, with the phone app and was receiving a strong signal at that distance.

A more detailed presentation of setting up Bootstrap for Bluetooth control, including sample programs for two-way communication, will be provided on a Variations and Upgrades page in coming weeks.