Years ago, if you wanted to remote control a model vehicle or robot, easily accessible options were limited to using an R/C transmitter or infrared control. Things have progressed significantly though, and number of add-on module options which make it easy to implement control via WiFi or Bluetooth.
But the new trend is to do away with separate boards for microcontroller and wireless solution in favor of single-board solutions. For this purpose, Electronut Labs has released “Bluey,” based around the Nordic nRF52832 BLE SoC (system on a chip). In addition to Bluetooth and an ARM controller, Bluey comes with several sensors, as well as push buttons, a coin cell holder, and a breakout header for connecting to off-board components.
Using its built-in sensors, this device can be used to give the operator remote feedback, or even for remote signalling via its RGB LED, but it’s capable of much more. As you can see here’s its the brains of a small rover, connecting to motors for t he wheels and an ultrasonic rangefinder on the nose.
You can find more examples of how Bluey has been used, and a few ideas that the creator has come up with for it on the project’s GitHub page. Wireless isn’t limited to Bluetooth, there is also a built-in NFC antenna and the 2.4 GHz radio can be used for some proprietary protocols as well. Additionally, if you’d like to learn how it can be programmed wirelessly, or OTA—over the air—info on this procedure can be found here.
Finally, for more info on Bluey’s development, be sure to check out the project’s Hackaday.io page.