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Is there any USB adapter that you can plug in your PC and will convert the USB output in wireless and then have a second USB adapter that will receive the wireless signal and reconvert it to USB input? The second USB adapter would preferably have to be relatively small.


What I'm really trying to do is: a really long USB cable, but without the cable; in other words, "wireless USB". I'm trying to connect a robot that I built and that has a USB port. Of course, I could add a wireless interface but it'd be long and complicated... that's why I came up with this idea. USB hubs aren't really an option since the said robot has to move around.

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so you want a USB extender that uses some wireless tech, because the robot is a USB device? or is the robot a USB host? you can't connect two USB hosts directly via USB, even using extenders. you need some kind of network for that. – quack quixote Mar 14 '10 at 2:45
I assume he means that the robot acts as a USB device rather than a host, and is looking for something that has a "to device" end for the robot and "to host" end either directly connected to the PC or inside a hub like the one I linked to. I have seen extenders where one end is as small as a typical wireless adaptor but I can't remember if that was at the host end or the device end (probably the host end, as this would be most convenient for laptops, which is not the way around Olivier is looking for) though I can't find any to link to after a cursory search. – David Spillett Mar 14 '10 at 16:09
The USB host would be my computer and the robot would be the device. Thanks for helping out but it seems what I'm looking for doesn't really exist :/ – Olivier Lalonde Mar 15 '10 at 10:34

Wireless USB hubs and extenders do exist (this hub, for instance) but they appear to be rather expensive. I would expect their to be noticeable speed and latency issues so I wouldn't want to run an external drive or video device using one, but for something like a printer it should work well (though for that particular use you might find it significantly cheaper+easier to buy a new printer with wireless built in and connect it to your existing wireless AP as a network printer).

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interesting device. uses wifi (802.11g) for the link extension so it may conflict with other wifi, but does seem useful. – quack quixote Mar 14 '10 at 2:48

Every simple USB-Dongle (they're the size of normal USB-Stick or smaller) should work for this. But you have to setup a WLAN-Access-Point on one of your PCs.

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I don't think he means this (Wi-Fi). Rather, a really long USB cable, but without the cable; in other words, "wireless USB" -- not "USB Wi-Fi adaptor". – Alexander Burke Mar 12 '10 at 9:05
Alexander is right ;) – Olivier Lalonde Mar 14 '10 at 1:21

Your questions are a little ambiguous -- we don't know what you're trying to connect. There are two possibilities: a USB device, or another computer.

  • To connect another computer, you'd use a NIC. USB Wifi NICs exist and are on the market; put one on each computer, and configure an ad-hoc network (or use a wifi router or AP). You could also use a USB serial port to connect two computers, but existing products will probably be designed for wired use.

  • To connect a USB device, you'd use a USB extender. Wired versions are available; they convert USB to ethernet cabling to extend the signal range beyond USB's 5m limit.

    I don't know of any wireless extender products, but it's not impossible. It'd make an interesting DIY project.

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This sounds like a job for Bluetooth? Bluetooth is designed to be the wireless peripheral connector protocol.

You can get Bluetooth compatible versions of almost all USB peripherals (mice, printers, webcams, speakers, etc), and these days USB Bluetooth dongles to plug into the back of your PC can be smaller than your thumbnail.

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I would honestly say that if you are serious about further experiments then you should try working in either bluetooth or XBee. XBee actually seems like a better choice if you are just mucking around with ideas and designs. Also, what microcontroller are you using for the robot? If you are using the Arduino platform then setting up the XBee for communication with a control computer would not be terribly difficult. I believe that it would also be fairly easy with most other microcontroller platforms.

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I'm using an Atmel ATmega16. I'll see how easy it'd be to implement bluetooth, thanks. – Olivier Lalonde Mar 15 '10 at 10:32

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