RR and GPS
Melanie from United States  [21 posts]
16 year
We were just wondering if RR API has a module for a commercial GPS?

Ricardo Sampaio from Portugal  [32 posts] 16 year
Atm don't have, but if u really want u can do the same as me, make a program in one of the several API language to get the data from a USB-serial GPS (i have a bu-323) or use the integrate serial connection of RR and make a script to pass the protocol, normaly NMEA to a variable whit x,y,z coordinates.
Anonymous 16 year

Ricardo has it right. There are ways to integrate a GPS into RoboRealm using the various interface abilities of RR.

Having said that we would be interested in creating a module that is built to specifically interface with GPS devices. Could you and/or Ricardo recommend a particular hardware device? Is the Bu-323 any good? Is the NMEA protocol the most widely used protocol for GPS devices?

Melanie from United States  [21 posts] 16 year

Our group is new to GPS devices. We are currently looking a few models on Sparkfun though:

Ricardo Sampaio from Portugal  [32 posts] 16 year
Bu-323 is one of the best usb gps avaiable and a cheaper tho, have a magnetic base and a very good gps sensor.

As the protocol NMEA its one of the most used and if u googlet u can find the protocol samples for lots of languages.
Melanie from United States  [21 posts] 16 year
Gumstix has a GPSstix http://gumstix.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=157
Anonymous 16 year
Each GPS manfacturer has a proprietary format BUT they all support the generic NMEA protocol.  It is a RS232 serial protocol at 4800 8N1.  If you point your com software at the serial port your gps is hooked up to you will start receiving NMEA messages.  

If you strip off the header you get comma delimited Lat/Long/Altitude and time.

Most of the newer USB based GPS devices use RS232 internally and then have a RS232/USB bridge!

My page on interfacing a GPS is here:

I had a group of students do a GPS project last summer, but I don't know if the write up made it into an electronic form.  We logged GPS data on a high altitude balloon flight and the students decoded it and fed it into google maps to make an animation for the flight.  

I have an extra USB GPS dongle I will try to bring on Saturday
Anonymous 16 year
Thanks for all the tips. I guess we will look into supporting the NMEA protocol directly in RR. Seems like a basic serial type interface so that should not be much of an issue.

Profmason, yea, if you could bring the dongle on Sat that would be great. Will help us get a head start!

Melanie, let us know what you decide on in terms of a GPS device.


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