Our entire goal for the XBee Kit was to make wireless communication simple. Connect one XBee to the shield and your Arduino, connect the other XBee to the Explorer board and your computer, and you'll be able to seamlessly pass serial data to and from your Arduino wirelessly! Using this connection, you can transmit remote sensor data, or send data from your computer to update a scoreboard, or drive a robot from your keyboard!
The XBee Shield mates directly with an Arduino Pro or USB board, and equips it with wireless communication capabilities using the popular XBee module. This is SparkFun's own design and is a distant relative to the official XBee Shield from Arduino.
The serial pins (DIN and DOUT) of the XBee are connected through an SPDT switch, which allows you to select a connection to either the UART pins (D0, D1) or any digital pins on the Arduino (D2 and D3 default). Power is taken from the 5V pin of the Arduino and regulated on-board to 3.3VDC before being supplied to the XBee. The shield also takes care of level shifting on the DIN pin of the XBee.
The board also includes LEDs to indicate power and activity on DIN, DOUT, RSSI, and DIO5 pins of the XBee. The Arduino's reset button is brought out on the shield, and a 12x11 grid of 0.1" holes are available for prototyping.
Note: This kit does not include a USB to Mini-B cable. We seem to magically grow two of these a week with all the electronic gadgets we have around. So if you don't have one already, pick one up.
Note: If you are using these outside of the United States, please check with your local laws regarding radio communication.