Discontinuation notice: this original version of our Wixel shield has been replaced by a new version that offers improved level shifter circuits and adds pass-throughs for the four new pins on the Arduino Uno R3. Generally speaking, most users should not notice any other differences between the two shield versions.
The Wixel shield seamlessly enables a wireless link (with a typical range of ~50 feet) to duplicate the functionality of your Arduino’s USB interface, which means you can use the standard Arduino computer software to:
- wirelessly program the Arduino (this feature does work on the Leonardo or the A-Star 32U4 Prime).
- wirelessly debug sketches with the Arduino serial monitor.
- wirelessly communicate with the Arduino from your computer’s virtual COM port.
More generally, the shield can also be used for wireless communication between an Arduino or Arduino clone and other embedded systems (including additional Arduinos). Alternatively, this board can also be used without an Arduino as a general-purpose Wixel prototyping board.
The Wixel shield does not interfere with the Arduino’s existing USB circuitry, so the Arduino’s traditional wired USB connection can still be used while the shield is connected.
- Wireless sketch uploading using the standard Arduino IDE
- General-purpose wireless serial communication between an Arduino and a computer or other electronics
- Prototyping space for easier/cleaner construction of custom circuits
- Shield-accessible Arduino reset button and pin 13 LED
- Four general-purpose 2/3 voltage dividers (can be used to safely connect 5V signals to 3.3V inputs)
- Two general-purpose MOSFETs (can be used as level-shifters or high-current outputs)
- Wixel socket allows the Wixel to be removed and used for other applications
- Comprehensive user’s guide
The Wixel shield ships with all of the surface-mount parts populated. However, soldering is required for assembly of the included through-hole parts. The following through-hole parts are included with the Wixel shield:
- two extended 1×8 female headers (for Arduino shields)
- two extended 1×6 female headers (for Arduino shields)
- one 1×12 female header (Wixel socket header)
- one 1×11 female header (Wixel socket header)
- one pushbutton (Arduino reset button)
This provides everything you need to plug an assembled Wixel into the shield and the shield into an Arduino.
The Wixel shield for Arduino opens the door for many new Arduino projects. Here are just a few project ideas:
- Program, debug/fine-tune, and control your Arduino-based robot without having to touch it.
- Stream data from a remote sensor (e.g. your outdoor weather station) to your computer or Arduino.
- Build a wireless remote control for your Arduino project.
- Maintain projects installed in hard-to-reach places or places where wires and cables would be impractical.
- Enable communication among a swarm of Arduino-based robots or a field of interactive elements (requires additional Wixel development).
- Use the Wixel as a secondary, parallel processor to add more computing power, I/O lines, and hardware peripherals to your Arduino (requires additional Wixel development).
Advanced users can write programs for their Wixels to make use of the its 12 free general-purpose I/O lines, including 5 analog inputs, or to develop more complex wireless communication networks.
Documentation and other information
- Wireless Serial App for Wixel (version 1.3) configured for the Wixel Shield for Arduino (25k wxl)
- This Wixel application is a special version of the Wireless Serial App that has been configured to work well with the Wixel Shield for Arduino. This app allows wireless programming of an Arduino and also wireless use of the Serial Monitor. See the Wixel Shield For Arduino page for a tutorial and see the Wixel user’s guide for more details about this app.
- Wixel shield for Arduino schematic (39k pdf)
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