Configuring XBees for the ArbotiX

Before you can communicate wirelessly between your ArbotiX Commander and the ArbotiX Robocontroller in your robot, you'll need to configure your XBees. There are 4 parameters we will need to change.

  • PAN ID (ID)The ID for the personal area network. For any XBee to communicate with other XBees, they must have the same PAN ID
  • 16-bit Source Address(MY) This is the ID for the XBee module itself.
  • Destination Address Low (DL) This is the Source Address of ID of the XBee you are trying to communicate with.
  • Interface Data Rate (BD) This is the Baud rate that the XBee will operate at.

The following instructions are for Windows users. For other platforms click here

NOTE: This guide has been designed for the 'Old-Gen' version of X-CTU, 5.2.8.6. We are currently investigating the 'Next-Gen' Version, 6.1.0

First download and install version 5.2.8.6 of X-CTU. You will also need to download and unzip our XBee Profiles.


Click here to download a zip file with 2 XBee profiles. Unzip the files
  • xbeeuart1.png
    Plug in your first XBee (call this XBee # 1) into your UartSBee or other USB-XBee device. Then connect your UartSBee to your computer. Your device will not be recognized if you plug it in after you open X-CTU
  • xbee1.jpg
    Open X-CTU. Pick your Serial Port from the list under 'Select Com Port'. If you are unsure which port your device is on, see instructions on finding your port here
  • xbee2.jpg
    If you are configuring an brand-new XBee, you can leave the 'Baud' Drop-down at 9600. Otherwise, set the baud accordingly. If you do not know the baud, just leave it at 9600.
  • xbee3.jpg
    Click 'Test/Query' to test your XBee
  • xbee5.jpg
    You should now see a pop-up window that will say 'Communicating with modem...Please wait'. Once X-CTU has found the XBee, you will see a confirmation screen. Click 'OK' NOTE: If you chose the wrong baud from the first menu, or there is a problem with your XBee, then you may see this screen. If you do, hit the reset button on your UartSBee, and X-CTU will scan multiple baud rates.
  • xbee6.jpg
    Go to the 'Modem Configuration' Tab
  • xbee8.jpg
    Click the 'Read' button and X-CTU will read the current parameters of the XBee. This operation make take a few seconds.
  • xbee9.jpg
    The screen should now fill with a list of the default parameters.
  • xbeeload.jpg
    Click the 'Load' button.
  • xbeecommander.png
    From the file browser pick the file named 'xbee_for_commander.pro'
  • xbeeloadcommander0.jpg
    Loading this profile into X-CTU will populate the correct parameters in the parameter list. The gold color of the parameters means that they have not yet been written to the XBee
  • xbeeloadcommander3.jpg
    Click the 'Write' button to send the parameters to the XBee
  • xbeeloadcommander2.jpg
    At the bottom of the window you should see a 'Write Parameters...Complete' message.
  • xbeeloadcommander1.jpg
    Notice that the colors of the parameters have changed. This confirms that you have successfully sent the parameters to the XBee
  • xbeeuart2.png
    Once you receive a success message, your XBee #1 is set up. Now remove it from the UartSbee, and plug in your second XBee, XBee #2
  • xbeeload.jpg
    Click the 'Load' button.
  • xbeecontroller.png
    From the file browser pick the file named 'xbee_for_robocontroller.pro'
  • xbeeload2.jpg
    The second profile is only slightly different from the first. The baud and the PAN ID remain the same, but the DL and MY parameters are swapped.
  • xbeeload3.jpg
    Click the 'Write' button to send the parameters to the XBee.
  • xbeeload4.jpg
    At the bottom of the window you should see a 'Write Parameters...Complete' message'. Once you receive the success message, your XBees have been setup! Now you can plug XBee #1 and XBee # 2 int the ArbotiX Commander and the ArbotiX Robocontroller respectively.

If you would prefer to manually enter the XBee parameters, you can click on each parameter to change it. Here is a table of the necessary parameters

Parameter XBee # 1 (For ArbotiX Commander) XBee # 2 (For ArbotiX Robocontroller)
Pan ID 3400 3400
MY ID 1 2
DL ID 2 1
Data Rate 5 5

For more information on manually configuring your XBees, check out this great forum post about working with Using the XBEE-API Terminal to Send AT Commands Directly

Mac users can now use the "XCTU Next Gen" avaialble on the X-CTU download page. We have not yet tested this application.

X-CTU is only available for windows and Mac. Linux users may want to try the following option: