Google is looking for Android to be more widely adopted as a wearables development platform— The Verge writes:
Speaking today at the SXSW conference, Google’s SVP of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai, said that in two weeks, Google will be releasing a developer SDK that will make it easier for companies to create wearable devices that run on Android. Pichai didn’t drop any hints as to whether or not Google itself was working on any devices, but instead said that when it comes to wearables, he thinks about it “at a platform level.” That means that Google is focusing on the low-level operating-system hooks that are necessary for the sensors in a wearable device to talk to the Android operating system. Focusing on the “platform” is a clever way for Pichai to position Android as a real player in wearables without committing Google to building them itself.
Dance Dance Revolution or DDR for short is a rhythm game that is played with a directional pad made for feet. Coordination and rhythm is tested by watching on screen dance notes making steps to the keys of the beat. It’s a simple step on up down left or right and sometimes even combinations of steps. DDR has been very popular in arcades and on game consoles. Now-a-days, however, the game can be enjoyed with a clone games like “Beats” for android, “Stepmania” for the desktop, or even FFR (flash flash revolution) online. This tutorial generally explains how to go about building a wireless game pad on the cheap to avoid buy expensive adapters or pads. Bluetooth control with Bluefruit EZ-Key honestly works so easily for that there is very little to explain about the controller beyond what is covered in the Bluefruit tutorial. No programing required! As opposed to using a HID emulating micro like the Arduino Leonardo which would require some small bits of code and a wire.
The smart cocktail shaker is a project to help you easily mix drinks using an Arduino, a load cell from a cheap kitchen scale, and an Android application. By measuring the weight of a cocktail shaker, an Arduino can send the amount of poured liquid to an Android application over a USB or bluetooth connection in real time. Making a drink is as easy as following the steps on screen–no more guessing or fumbling with measurements!
Antipasto Hardware Blog made this fun project for their fish tank! Full tutorial here.
This may or may not have implications for real-life shark tracking, but I’ll take an excuse to have my shark tweet me when he (or she, I’m no marine biologist) breaches the perimeter over to the sunny side of the tank.
Of course, I’m doing this with my toy shark-on-a-stick and only a laser level and a light sensor, but it’s possible to make this much more accurate and granular just by adding more strategically placed sensors/light sources into the mix…
As soon as the laser is obstructed by Bruce the shark himself, that light value drops. Once it’s below 400, the Android program issues a Red Alert warning that the sensor has been tripped, and sends a tweet.
NEW PRODUCT – Beginning NFC with Arduino, Android, and PhoneGap – Jump into the world of Near Field Communications (NFC), the fast-growing technology that lets devices in close proximity exchange data, using radio signals. With lots of examples, sample code, exercises, and step-by-step projects, this hands-on guide shows you how to build NFC applications for Android, the Arduino microcontroller, and embedded Linux devices.
Dig into NFC’s architecture, and learn how it’s related to RFID
Write sample apps for Android with PhoneGap and its NFC plugin
Dive into NDEF: examine existing tag-writer apps and build your own
Listen for and filter NDEF messages, using PhoneGap event listeners
Build a full Android app to control lights and music in your home
Create a hotel registration app with Arduino, from check-in to door lock
Write peer-to-peer NFC messages between two Android devices
Explore embedded Linux applications, using examples on Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone
Nikolay Elenkov wrote up this great tutorial on how to build a wireless Android device using a BeagleBone Black.
The BBB is fully capable of running Android and by adding off-the shelf peripherals you can easily turn it into a ‘tablet’ (of sorts) by adding a touch screen and wireless connectivity. While the required software is mostly available in the rowboat project, if you want to have the best hardware support you need to use BBB’s native 3.8 kernel and configure Android to use it. Making hardware fully available to the Android OS is mostly a matter of configuring the relevant HAL bits properly, but that is not always straightforward, even with board vendor provided documentation. The reason for this is that Android subsystems are not particularly cohesive — you need to modify multiple, sometimes seemingly unrelated, files at different locations to get a single subsystem working. This is, of course, not specific to Android and is the price to pay for building a system by integrating originally unrelated OSS projects. On the positive side, most components can be replaced and the required changes can usually be confined to the (sometimes loosely defined) Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL).
New Android App, Power Sleep utilizes a user’s phone’s down time to solve difficult protein sequences from the Similarity Matrix of Proteins (SIMAP) database to contribute to scientific research aimed at furthering medical advancements in areas like genetics, biochemistry, and cancer research.
Power Sleep — which was backed by Samsung, and made by its former in-house marketing agency Cheil — doubles as an alarm clock designed to replace whatever alarm people were using before. Once set, the app begins grabbing packets of data to crunch, which are about 1MB in size, then sending them back when the process is complete.
RasPi.tv has a useful post of the top ten android app for using with your pi. Here’s 3, for more click here.
I regularly use my Nexus 7 or my Android smartphone (was Galaxy S2, now Nexus 5) to help me with my Raspberry Pi activities. Here is a ‘top ten’ roundup of my favourite Android apps that I use with Pi.
Picture the scene…
You’ve just switched on your Raspberry Pi but you forgot to connect the HDMI lead, so you have no display. You don’t want to pull the plug, but you can’t ssh into it without the ip address. How to find it? Or…
You got your headless Raspberry Pi up and running, but you forgot what ip address it’s on. Or…
You rebooted your internet router and it’s changed the ip address of the Pi. What do you do?
You install Fing on your phone and use it to scan your whole network and tell you the ip and mac addresses of every connected device.
Very useful indeed. There’s no looking back once you’ve got Fing installed. It’s a superb app. You can assign names to each device and choose an appropriate icon to make identification easier. They recently added a Raspberry Pi icon too…
ConnectBot is a lovely little app that lets you log into your devices by ssh
I use it to log into my Pis from my tablet or phone…
over wifi when I’m at a Raspberry Jam meeting,
over the internet when I’m away from home
…and I even sometimes log into one of my web servers when I’m out and about.
It’s quite powerful because you can use your public/private keys with it, which makes it much more secure for you to expose your devices to the internet.
Bluetooth Terminal Emulator (paid)
This is the only paid-for (£1.90) app in this roundup. There is a very good free alternative, called Blueterm, but it lacks the “killer feature” for which I bought Bluetooth Terminal Emulator.
If you have no internet connection or network, but you still want to be able to get a wireless console login, the answer is to use a Bluetooth serial adaptor and log into the Pi, with your mobile device, through the serial port (using the UART Tx & Rx on pins 8/10, GPIO 14/15). This is what I use on my RasPiCamcorders…
So, what’s the killer feature? It’s the only Bluetooth console app I’ve found (from about 3 or 4 I tried) that can actually handle the use of , which is quite important if you want to be able to stop a program with CTRL+C. So, in my opinion, that was well worth paying a couple of pounds for.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
This was one of my first Arduino projects. After some near misses with bicyclists while running at night, I decided to get some lights so people could see me in the dark. But why stop at boring plain lights? Wouldn’t it be cool if they could respond to my heart rate?
I looked at a number of existing heart rate sensors for Arduino, but most were optical and could not get accurate readings while I was running since they were constantly being jarred. Since I run with a Garmin GPS watch and heart rate monitor, I tried to hack into the information being sent between the heart rate monitor and the Garmin watch.
I’m working on my final project for physical computing class. I have an ugly stuffed animal and am trying to convert it into the “Hell Rabbit”. When someone enters the room, my rabbit will scream or produce other scary sounds, with the eyes (two red LEDs) blinking and ears sweeping in different directions (using two TowerPro SG90 micro servos). I’m using a PIR motion sensor to activate Wave Shield….
Crayola ColorStudio HD+ – An animated world of color and discovery on your iPad!™ – iMarker is the key to unlock limitless discovery and play on your iPad. It’s a digital marker, crayon, pencil and paint brush that interacts with the Crayola ColorStudio HD™ app to create all your favorite Crayola colors on the iPad’s Multi-Touch display. As you color, animated characters, music, sound and visual effects bring scenes to life, and surprises await on every page. (Read more)
Apps for Music & Art
TouchAble App – TouchAble App for iPad is available worldwide exclusively through the iTunes App Store. touchAble is THE controller app for Ableton Live. Countless artists around the globe – from bedroom producers to award winning artists – use it on stage, in their studio or while on the road. touchAble 2 has been completely redesigned from the ground up, with stability and performance in mind – as well as an array of new and improved features. (Read more)
PixiVisor – PixiVisor is a revolutionary tool for audio-visual experiments. Simple and fun, cross-platform application with unlimited potential for creativity! It consists of two parts: Transmitter and Receiver. Transmitter converts the low-resolution video (static image or GIF animation) to sound, pixel by pixel (progressive scan). This lets you listen to the sound of your image. But the main function of the Transmitter is to transmit the signal to the receiving devices. Receiver converts the sound (from microphone or Line-in input) back to video. You can set the color palette for this video, and record it to animated GIF file. (Read more)
Satromizer – “Introducing the Satromizer for iPhone™, the world’s first multitouch glitch tool. The Satromizer takes its name from Chicago new media artist Jon Satrom, who frequently employs glitches in his work. I’ve created many versions of the Satromizer with Jon over the years, but this one is special… The responsiveness and tactility of the multitouch interface make this my favorite version yet.” (Read more)
Apps for Engineers & Electricians
Circuit Lab – Circuit Lab is an electronic circuit analysis tool based on the modified node analysis method. Four kind of analysis may be conducted:
DC: linear and non linear circuits with continuous voltage and current sources
AC: linear e non linear circuits with sinusoidal voltage and current sources
Multifrequency AC Analysis: linear and non linear circuits with sinusoidal voltage and current sources. It allows to analyze the circuit behavior in a range of frequencies. Useful to study the bandwidth of the circuit
Transient: linear and non linear circuits, with sinusoidal and pulse voltage sources (available as In App Purchases).
User can graphically draw the circuit and then the circuit can be analyzed. Circuit may be controlled by means of the following gestures:
Drag: to move the circuit into the desired position
Tap on a component: to modify the component’s parameters
Pinch: to zoom in and out
Double Finger Double Tap: to reset position and zoom level to the original values
Electronic Toolbox Pro – Electronic Toolbox Pro combines electronic reference material with a huge collection of calculation, lookup and conversion tools in one handy App right at your fingertips. (Read more)
Circuit Pro – The Circuit Pro App is a utility application developed to assist electrical engineers and electricians with the task of sizing branch circuits according the National Electrical Code (NEC). This application finds the appropriately sized standard breaker size based on the input circuit load, which can be entered in either Amps or kiloWatts. From this, the application is designed to look up the minimum required conductor (or parallel runs of conductors) based on Table 310.16 of the NEC. (Read more)
EE Basics – EE Basics contains a large selection of Electrical Engineering laws, equations, tables and reference material that Electrical Engineers may find useful during their work. (Read more)
Here are your 2013 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.
UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 13, 2013 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive in time for Christmas.
UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 19, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 20, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 23, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS International: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 16, 2013. Can take up extra time due to worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner.
Please note: We do not offer Saturday service for UPS.
Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday – December 13, 2013 – Arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner.
USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 22, 2013. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner, but not a trackable service cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/13.
USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 13, 2013. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner.
The App Inventor group at MIT have unveiled App Inventor2. You may be familiar with the App Inventor project when it was previously featured. (At that time it was known as Google App Inventor.) Essentially it helps you build Android apps using a graphical interface which is useful for quick coding and debugging, and is especially helpful to new developers unfamiliar with coding.
Steve sent us a message about a 3D printed internet cat laser toy he designed:
I took a robotics course this semester here in northern California and my
class project was to make an internet cat laser toy. It turned out
wonderfully so I thought I would share it with you after coming across the
one in learn.adafruit.com.
The idea came to me in a fit of frustration trying to figure out what my
project was going to be at the absolute last second. I spent the next month
or so tweaking the code after printing up the robot. Pictures and source
code are included in the youtube video.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Mr. Rubin, the 50-year-old Google executive in charge of the new effort, began his engineering career in robotics and has long had a well-known passion for building intelligent machines. Before joining Apple Computer, where he initially worked as a manufacturing engineer in the 1990s, he worked for the German manufacturing company Carl Zeiss as a robotics engineer.
“I have a history of making my hobbies into a career,” Mr. Rubin said in a telephone interview. “This is the world’s greatest job. Being an engineer and a tinkerer, you start thinking about what you would want to build for yourself.”
WiFi Bot Control is an Android app that allows you to remotely control a robot (or other device) via WiFi. You can also (optional) view a video stream from an IP camera mounted to the robot. WiFi Bot Control also provides up to 8 additional customizable command buttons that allow you to perform additional tasks on your robot / device. You could use these commands to initiate other activities such as enabling/disabling sensors, moving other servos / arms / picking something up, turning a LED on/off etc. With the provided sample sketch, you can customize the robot to do what you want. WiFi Bot Control can be downloaded on Google Play and is compatible with most versions of Android and most device sizes from phones to tablets.
For the sake of this write-up, it’s an Arduino robot using an Adafruit CC3000 WiFi module and a Digistum Motor Shield. However, you should be able to use most other WiFi shields and motor drivers.
Adafruit CC3000 WiFi Breakout with Onboard Ceramic Antenna: The CC3000 hits that sweet spot of usability, price and capability. It uses SPI for communication (not UART!) so you can push data as fast as you want or as slow as you want. It has a proper interrupt system with IRQ pin so you can have asynchronous connections. It supports 802.11b/g, open/WEP/WPA/WPA2 security, TKIP & AES. A built in TCP/IP stack with a “BSD socket” interface. TCP and UDP in both client and server mode, up to 4 concurrent sockets. It does not support “AP” mode, it can connect to an access point but it cannot be an access point. Read more.