I felt for getting a new hobby. I was thinking about controlling an Arduino through the Internet, and I'm not really sure yet how I'm supposed to do that. I was thinking about connecting it to a computer and then have a program on the computer and then communicate to the Arduino through another computer, but it feels very chunky and big.

To give you some more simple understanding ( <--> = communication):

Keyboard --> Computer A --> Internet --> Computer B --> Arduino --> Electrical Engine. This does sound chunky.

So I wondered if maybe it would be possible to do this:

Keyboard --> Computer A --> Internet --> Arduino --> Electrical Engine.

But yeah, I hope you get my idea.

So what I do want is this:

Make an Internet controlled car (same as radiocontrolled, same size, etc.) with a camera with live streaming.

Why do I want to do it? - I figured that I'm very bored most of the time so I felt for making a new fun project.

I've ordered an Arduino Nano AND a laptop AND a GPS transmitter for an Arduino in case you're curious.

So my question to YOU is, what exactly do I need? I'm not asking you to do everything for me. I'm asking you as an amateur what I should get in order for my project to go as smooth and best as possible.


Short answer

If you want to avoid a computer connected directly to an Arduino over USB or Ethernet, I recommend using a wireless option like 802.11, Bluetooth, ZigBee, or RF. I'll warn you right now, an Arduino cannot process video. It doesn't even have enough memory to store a higher resolution video frame. I recommend starting without the camera and just sending basic navigation commands using the wireless option.

Long Answer

Arduino has a concept of shields. These are modules you can add on to the Arduino for extra functionality. To get the Arduino to communicate over a wireless connection, options include the WiFly shield for 802.11B, XBee shields and adapters to connect over the ZigBee protocol (a low bandwidth, energy efficient protocol), Bluetooth Arduinos for Bluetooth connections and even straight up RF options (see JeeNode).

Most shields are not directly compatible with the Arduino Nano however. That doesn't mean you can't use them, just that you may have extra work related to wiring up the pins.

From a programming perspective, the easiest way to communicate is over the Tx/Rx lines of the Arduino. This is a basic serial connection that's easier to understand. See the Serial page for more details.


If you had a regular Arduino I would simply suggest that you get a WiFi shield to let your "Computer A" communicate with the Arduino via WiFi.

Since you have a nano, and nano's are designed to plug into breadboards and don't support shields the way a regular Arduino does, you may want to either design your own WiFi interface or simply get a regular Arduino depending on your goals and skill level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ breadboards :( me don't like the sound of that.. well then.. is it possible to let the Computer A communicate with Computer B which then communicates with Arduino Nano which handles the electrical engine control? \$\endgroup\$
    – Harry
    Apr 21 '11 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Buy a regular Arduino for now and save the Nano for when you get a bit more experienced. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24 '11 at 2:53

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