I am redesigning a second prototype of my Aduino / Android device, with the view to making it more robust by the use of a shield and some soldering, instead of the current wires, glue, gravity and prayer approach.
The device has several components. At the heart it is a remote Android phone with a server app I wrote. The app receives remote commands from another Android phone that has the client side app. With the app, I can tell the remote phone to pan, tilt, zoom, take photos and email them to me. I use it on my farm to check on things when I am overseas. I have several of these systems mounted around the farm. The remote phone is connected to an Arduino ADK board. The board powers the phone through USB accessory mode and the phone commands the board. The board is also connected to servos, which control a pan/tilt system that holds the remote phone. The entire unit is housed in a weatherproof dome, hooked up to a sealed led acid battery and a solar panel. It sits up atop a hill on a power pole I sank, to keep it from blowing away when exposed to the howling elements coming off the Southern Ocean.
The power from the lead acid battery comes in a 12V via a charge controller, but the 5V from the board which could power the servos has insufficient current, so I also use a 12V -> 5V DC/DC converter. In addition, to eliminate power consumption of the servos when idle (Which is 99.99% of the time), I drop a pin low on the Arduino after the servos have repositioned, which tells the DC/DC converter to cut power to the servos. As Android phones are very low consumers of power, the whole system uses a trickle of power when not in use.
I have attached some photos.
What I would like to do to improve the design is add a shield to the ADK board which provides stable, strong 5V to the servos yet with which I have the ability to totally disconnect power to the servos. Can the servo shield do this? My current setup uses a breadboard and a second board just held in with tape and I am not happy with the quality.