Archive for the ‘Electronics’ Category

Android and Arduino combination kit – yay!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Google has released news of the Android Open Accessory Kit which will enable users to interact with external sensors and outputs from an Android phone using a development board based on the Arduino Mega2560.  The kit will be priced around $400 but it will be possible to work with a much cheaper Arduino Host Shield and a standard Arduino.

It would be neat if a phone came out which had a row of programmable ports ready like the Arduino :). You could get instant texting support for turning on light/heat/etc. at home. Or the other way around - you would be able to have the phone monitor and report from any kind of sensor.

More at the Arduino website and the MakeZine website.

MineCraft Timer app for Netduino

Monday, December 27th, 2010

MinecraftSince my previous post two things have happened...
First I’ve taken a liking to MineCraft, the builder/explorer indiegame that sold over half a million copies.   Secondly – I’ve taken up learning electronics, using Electronics for Dummies, and YouTube ;-).

When I try to learn something new, I always start out with a little project I really want to do. It gives a lot of motivation to get through the ordeal of learning something by yourself.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to be able to program something on the PC which interacts with homemade netduinohardware outside the PC. I had heard about the Arduino (an open source programmable micro computer which interfaces with homemade periferals), but hadn’t gotten so far as to invest in one, when I heard about the netduino. The netduino is an Arduino for .Net coders. It runs the .Net Micro Framework, so you can write code in C# in Visual Studio.Net and then deploy it directly to the USB connected netduino.

minecraft_canary Ever since I downloaded the MineCraft Canary for my Android, which lets me know what time of day it is on the surface, I wanted to make an electronic version using LEDs. I am not yet skilled enough to make a version using just electronic components from scratch (you know – the oldfashioned way with soldering and stuff), so I thought “Why not use the netduino?” :).

After quite a bit of fiddling around, and learning that the .Net Micro Framework doesn’t have Linq, Generics, and a host of other things I take for granted these days – I got a little working solution running.

In the video here I demonstrate the concept, both using the netduino’s built-in LED and button, and using the Seeed Studio Electronic Brick Starter Kit, which adds the possibility of click-on extensions.

There are two sets of code here:

- the really simple, written in one Program.cs file, which only uses the netduino boards button and LED
- a more advanced one which supports any number of inputs and notification components in a class hierarchy which implements interfaces for a code-your-own-extension style app.
They are both available for download here floppy

If you have the Electronic Brick Starter Kit, you need the ?LiquidCrystal library for interfacing with the LCD display.

The netduino is a LOT of fun :).


UPDATE 28 December 2010

Yay - my favorite webzine ( found my project and posted it :D

EPIC WIN!!!1 :)

And Kotaku as well - yay!