This experiment demonstrates that by using ESP Now protocol we have the capability to control multiple blimps from a single joystick controller. We can switch between different control modes at the click of a button. In the following video -

  1. 1 ESP32 microcontroller is connected to the motors.
  2. 1 NodeMCU is connected to the laptop with its serial output on the right side of the screen (white)
  3. The right screen shows the input value of the controller
  4. The R1 button is used to switch control

There are 3 control modes in my current implementation -

  • Control the ESP32 microcontroller
  • Control the NodeMCU
  • Control both the microcontrollers simultaneously

Implementation Details -

  • The program is state based. Packets are sent to the microcontroller only if the state is changed

I also tried to create interference in the communication by setting the microcontroller next to a microwave. I was not able to deduce any significant impact on the connection. I find this behavior strange. I will try to look into it.

Limitations of the System -

  • If multiple instructions are sent to the controller ( eg. moving the joystick quickly in all the directions), the packets stay in the buffer creating a delay in the communication
  • I need to implement a method to change the PWM duty cycle.

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