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I'm starting a new project in my Electrical Engineering degree at my university and I need help.

Overall, my project is about a mini robot that collects data and sends it (via wireless communication) to the main control unit from a distance of about 100 meters.

It's main specification demands are: small, lightweight, use an STM32 microcontroller for the mini robot and it is preferred that the data that is sent from the mini robot to the main control unit will be secure as possible.

Here is where I need help. I have 2 options for the wireless communication: Bluetooth and RF.

I know that RF has a larger distance communication capabilities, but I'm afraid that the RF module weight will be heavier than the Bluetooth module.

My questions are:

  1. What are the main differences between RF communication and Bluetooth communication (weight, dimensions, power demands, communication distance, data transfer speed and secure data transfer)?
  2. What communication method do you recommend me to use (with respect to my project demands)? RF or Bluetooth?

Thank you for your help.

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closed as too broad by Finbarr, Voltage Spike, Bimpelrekkie, PeterJ, RoyC Apr 7 at 21:02

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Bluetooth is RF, because RF stands for Radio Frequency, and Bluetooth happens to operate at a frequency of 2.4GHz, which is within RF bandwidth. Bluetooth is just a protocol for sending data over at 2.4GHz.

In general, RF frequencies range from 20KHz up to 300GHz, and some are used widely and have their own name. So an "RF" transmitter can be anything really.

Regarding your question - Bluetooth devices are classified in 3 categories. To comply with your requirements, you would need class 1 Bluetooth transciever, since it can communicate at around 100 meters.

Another thing worth mentioning is that it might be wise to pick a popular, widely used RF module, since you know it works and will be able to spend time implementing it nicely, rather breaking your head over how to get it to work at all.

Small and lightweight are not specifications. 100 grams, 200, 3kg? What are the actual parameters? What are the maximum dimensions? The best is to formulate requirements SMART, Specific and Measurable being the key here.

Security does not necessarily have anything to do with the way you send data, rather how you encode it. My guess is that using a non-standard frequency would add another layer of security, but that is definitely not the most important thing.

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Atizs has summed it up quite nicely. I would just mention that you could possibly just use Wi-Fi with an better antenna than the normal dipole commonly supplied? A parabola or Yagi antenna at your side should be enough if you have line of sight and point it in the direction of your robot.

Security by using a non standard freq is security by obscurity and does not improve security by much, anyone with a "HackRF one" or any other software defined radio(SDR) could read your signal, using a known and good cryptographic library will make the security much better.

Depending on the amount of data you need to send you could possibly send data over LoRa navigating the robot would not be possible but logging and simple commands should be possible.

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