Trident onboard Wifi Interface


I’m looking at integrating a manipulator arm into the trident. I have a MeArm kit on order, and want to set it up to work through wifi with the idea that the work now will transfer well to the Trident. Any ideas on what the wifi interface will look like, and how to connect to it in the browser? As much as possible I don’t want to go down a path that won’t be compatible later on.


There is pretty limited info on the trident wifi interface and external payload options. Most of it is contained in this thread. Info is subject to change too.


Hi @Jesse,

I am currently working on the external payload module as @Brendan has mentioned. So the idea is to have this general development board with a WiFi chip on it(I am currently designing a board using ESP8266, will post the update on this project later tonight). So this module will then connect to the wifi access point that is running on the Trident. To communicate with the wifi module, we can use TCP/IP,GET/POST, etc., whatever that ESP8266 supports.

On the browser side, the user should create a cockpit plugin (using nodejs/javascript), depending on what you want to do with it. For example, if we want to add and control external lights using this external payload module, we can then create a cockpit plugin that will send GET/POST request (or whatever you are convenient with) to the ESP8266 whenever the user press a certain button.

On the ESP8266 side, we can just say “if ESP8266 receive X command/request, turn on/off external lights, then respond back to Trident”

This module will be powered by 14V battery. On the board itself, you will have access to several GPIOs, ADC, 14V out, 5v out (3A max), and 3v3 out (1A max) (I will post the layout of the prototype board with ESP8266 that I just designed later tonight).

I hope this helps. Please let me know if there’s any confusions, I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.




Thanks Reza, great to hear. Judging from the spec sheet it looks like the ESP8266 can do PWM, so in theory could run servos.


@rey_reza How are things going with the Particle P1? Has the ESP8266 been selected instead? or are you still comparing the two? I’m a lot more interested in the ESP8266 as it would retain some arduino compatibility in the system… I’m looking forward to your update on this later tonight.


Yes, ESP8266 can do PWM.


That’s a good point.

It’s yet to be decided. As of now, I’m currently working with ESP8266, and as you just mentioned, ESP8266 works with Arduino IDE, and can be programmed wirelessly without internet connection so you can change your code while flying your Trident (your laptop and ESP8266 just need to be connected to the same network). So those are the big advantages of using ESP8266.

On the other hand, P1 is more powerful (more GPIOs, ADC, ARM cortex M3, etc.)

So I’m also curious what people want to use the external payload for. If most people just want to use it for external lights, lasers, sensors, then ESP8266 is enough (and more user friendly).



Here is the layout of the ESP8266 prototype board (units are in mm)

You can see that the users will have access to those pinouts. It will be programmable via micro usb (UART) or over the air. Note that VBAT IN and VBAT OUT are 14V (this is useful for things like external lights)

Note that this is just a prototype, there might be some changes in the final design.

I will update the original thread ASAP as well, hopefully tonight, or tomorrow