Beacon Information

Light the beacon!!

Last Update, 01-23-2020: Added Instructions for XBee configuration (COSGC Beacon Users Guide: Part 1), some "working notes" on the XBee Arduino code (XBee, Arduino, and Code Documentation), Guide for the current Challenge Beacon (2019BeaconGuide), and the current versions of Arduino code referred to in the documentation.

Here is the current information regarding the beacon for the Robotics Challenge Beacon. We are in the process of updating the materials for the beacon system, so please check back periodically for the most up to date information and code.

We will be using the same beacon as in previous years, based upon series 1 XBees communicating using the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol. The Xbee series 1 modules have been discontinued by the manufacturer, however the XBee series 3 modules can be configured to work with the series 1. This means that if you already have series 1 XBees from previous challenges, you can continue to use those modules. If you need to purchase a new XBee, you will need to purchase a series 3, and configure it to use IEEE 802.15.4. 

Important Note: We have verified the basic functionality of XBee series 1 and XBee series 3 working together using the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol, instructions on how to configure and do basic testing on the series 3 are given in the COSGC Beacon Guide Part 1.

Current Documentation and Code

 COSGC Robotics Beacon Users Guide: Part 1 Instructions on configuring an XBee series 3 to work with series 1

XBee, Arduino, and Code Documentation Some basic user notes for the "Receiver" and "Transmitter" codes, along with some basic user notes for the XCTU software (used to configure and test XBee modules.) 

2019 Robotics Challenge Beacon Guide Instructions on how to construct the current version of the Robotics Beacon. Base set of Arduino code for configuring and testing an XBee, and receiving and transmitting from the Robotics Beacon. STL files to create the body for the current beacon sytem.

Beacon References from Previous Years

Older reference materials for configuring XBee modules and building a Beacon system are provided below. In some cases, the information is out of date (e.g. links to code in the GitHub are broken), however there is enough useful information to keep them available until we have finished updating the Beacon Users Guide.

How to Build and Use the Beacon System Link to the GitHub for the robotics beacon. Includes the code to run the XBees, as well as documentation on how to configure the XBees and build the current Beacon system. 

Robotics Challenge Beacon Video This Video provides some context as to how the beacon system works and what you should expect. When building your robot, please make sure it can move first, then navigate with a simple obstical avoidance sensor system then implement the Beacon Receiver system.  You want to make sure you can move at minimum first then build in complexity.