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The C Shore

Connecting to Robo-Care Wirelessly

You built the RoboCar – but it won’t run unless we load it with a program.  We know our RoboCar can’t have any wires attached, so how do we load the program?

We will use a wireless communication network called WIFI. Luckily the Raspberry Pi has its own WIFI chip (underside near the SD holder.)

So how do we get the laptop computer to talk to the Raspberry Pi?

Block diagram of Wifi connection with Laptop, Pi, and Router

Step One – Raspberry Pi Gets a Network Name

When you turn on the Raspberry Pi it runs a program that searches for WIFI connections and then obtains a network name that it will use for WIFI communication. It uses a protocol (rules for communication) called VNC – Virtual Network Computing. The network server stores all of these names.

Step Two – You Get that Name from the Server

  1. Use your laptop to communicate with the network server and find out what the network name is that you need to talk to your own Raspberry Pi.
  2. Turn on laptop. Turn on your Raspberry Pi.
  3. Click on ICON – “Pi Address List”. Will open a window.

    [Screenshot of 'Pi Address List' icon]

  4. Look for the text “mpl-pi-#” where # is the number of your Team. So if you are in Team 2, look for mpl-pi-2.
  5. In that same row where you found your Team number, you will find your Raspberry Pi’s network name. It’s at the start of the row and begins with three numbers “10.20.19.” and ends with a fourth number. Your complete Raspberry Pi WIFI name looks something like this - 10.20.19.162.  Copy down all four numbers and keep them handy.

Step Three – Talk to the Raspberry Pi over the Wireless Network

In this step you connect your laptop directly to your Raspberry Pi via the WIFI network

  1. Click on ICON – “vncviewer6”. It will open a window.
  2. A pop-up box will ask you for your network address. Type in the four numbers that you obtained in STEP TWO exactly as shown. Remember that periods separate each of the four numbers
  3. If you have connected properly you will see the normal Raspberry Pi opening screen. You can now operate the Raspberry Pi just as if you were connected through a hard wired keyboard and mouse.
  4. Try out the Raspberry Pi screen connection to make sure it is working.
  5. One thing to remember, every time you switch off your RoboCar it will lose its network connection. So you will have to go through the three step procedure to re-establish communication.