Configuring XBees for the ArbotiX

This guide will show you how to configure your XBee modules for your InterbotiX Kits. This guide assumes that you've already completed the ArbotiX-M Getting Started Guide.

Required Parts

InterbotiX Robot Kits that use the ArbotiX-M Robocontroller can be controlled wirelessly via XBee 1mW Series 1 Communication modules . These modules will create a transparent serial link between the ArbotiX-M Robocontroller and an external controller like an ArbotiX Commander or a computer via a XBee-USB Converter.

XBee modules are incredible powerful and can be configured with a wide variety of features. In this guide we're only going to configure the bare basics to get your XBee modules working with your kit. There are 4 parameters we will need to change as well as a fifth optional parameter.

  • 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.
  • Node Identifier (NI) (optional) This is an arbitrary name that you can give to your XBee. This can be useful if you're managing multiple xbees.

To configure the software you'll need to use the XBeeXCTU Software. This software is freely available from Digi, the XBee manufacturer. You can find installer files for XCTU here.

When you click on the link for your specific operating system, you may be taken to a page where you are encouraged to register up for Digi's website. However there is also a direct link to your download, just click on Or go directly to your content.

Once the file is downloaded, open the file to start the installation process. Once completed you should be able to run XCTU.

Mac users may need to install an older version of Java to run XCTU - follow the prompts/links to Apple's Website to Install the required version of Java.

The following video will walk you through connecting the XBees to your computer, configuring them, and testing them. Below the video there is a list of parameters for each XBee.

NOTE: XBee modules run on 3.3V. Be sure to set the switch on your UartSBee to 3.3V before plugging in or risk permanently damaging your XBee

Parameter XBee # 1 (For ArbotiX Robocontroller) XBee # 2 (For ArbotiX Commander)
Pan ID (Hex) 100 100
MY ID 1 2
DL ID 2 1
Data Rate 38400 [5] 38400 [5]
Node Identifier Robot Commander

Once your XBees are configured and tested, you can continue with the getting started guide for your robot. If you have not already setup your ArbotiX Commander. you will need to do that now. You will also need to install commander compatible code onto your ArbotiX Robocontroller/ robot

If you're having trouble with XBee range or are interested in advanced XBee features, see our Advanced Configuration Guide