with my current robotics project, i wanted to include some way to manually control my bot instead of only having him (named ralph for no reason) run through sonic rangefindings to move in a Zigzag.

my first thought was using an Infared remote. more typically, an Infared attached to my calculator. however, i dont know how infared works, other than that it is a light spectrum above red.

an extremely big question i have would consist of:
►can you only send one bit at a time through such remote?
LuxenD wrote:
with my current robotics project, i wanted to include some way to manually control my bot instead of only having him (named ralph for no reason) run through sonic rangefindings to move in a Zigzag.

my first thought was using an Infared remote. more typically, an Infared attached to my calculator. however, i dont know how infared works, other than that it is a light spectrum above red.

an extremely big question i have would consist of:
►can you only send one bit at a time through such remote?

Infrared light is exactly like visible light, except that its frequency is below that of visible light. You would be very accurate in thinking of an IR emitter as a light bulb that emits light at IR frequencies. Radio waves, black lights, X ray emitters, all work the same way, just with different frequencies. (Well, there might be different methods for getting those frequencies out, but you get the point).

So, when you are doing infrared communications, you can think of two Boy Scouts communicating in Morse Code in the middle of the night: one boy (your calc) flashes patterns with his flashlight (IR emitter), which the other boy (your robot) sees with his eyes (IR reciever, which can be a reverse-polarity IR emitter, actually) and writes down in his logbook (frame buffer) to carry out later.

This has a few implications:
► You need a clear line of sight from your remote to your receiver. If the Boy Scout can't see your flashlight, he can't get your message. Also, your message needs to repeat and have a clear start and end, so that your receiver can start getting the message at any time and start working.
► Yes, you can only send one bit at a time using IR. Especially when you consider other IR sources in the room, it would be too much to send an analog signal.
► However, computers can do things very, very fast, so nothing is stopping you from sending hundreds of pulses a second (have fun teaching a Boy Scout to do that Smile ).
If you're thinking IR on the calculator, you should check out some of the things benryves has done:
http://www.benryves.com/products/sonyir
http://www.benryves.com/products/infrared
That being said, it might be easier to just use a standard IR remote. I used a cheap one I bought at Radio Shack for this:
  
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