Making Catchup: 1Sheeld, Codebender, Odroid/W, Beans, Metawear and more

2014-10-10 18.15.26First of all a catchup on some of my making. I presented a short talk at Oggcamp 2014 on using the 1Sheeld with an Android phone to make experimenting with Arduino much simpler. The 1Sheeld sits on Arduino’s serial ports and using Bluetooth, talks to an Android phone app. The app is able to emulate a whole range of devices, like keypads and LEDs, and sensors, such as gyroscopes and barometers, and act as a proxy to web services like Twitter and Facebook. You just click on the things you need active and write code for the 1Sheeld library that talks to the board and onwards to the phone.

The demo involved using a Nexus 5’s gyroscope to roll a pixel around an Adafruit Neopixel shield and you can check out that code for that on my Rollapixel page on Codebender.cc. Want to see that working? Here’s a bit of video:

Big shout out to the Codebender.cc folk as they have the 1Sheeld libraries and examples all online as part of their splendid online IDE – it’s great to be able to cut code without spending time wrestling Java and the Arduino IDE into shape and even better to be able to quickly share it.

Other devices I’ve been playing with recently….

The ODroid/W Raspberry Pi-clone: Lovely bit of work by the HardKernel folk. It’s built to go into those smaller devices that the Pi doesn’t address, has LiPo battery support, real time clock and it’s well compact. That Broadcom cut off the supplies is more a worry for Pi owners as it looks like your locked into a Pi Foundation organised ecosystem. The HardKernel folk still have their tiny quad core ARMs like the 4core Odroid/U3 and octocore Exynos-based Odroid/XU3, one of which is mounted behind a monitor here (the smller one).

The Light Blue Bean: A small BLE/Arduino compatible… the software’s a bit hairy and Mac OS X/iOS centric at the moment but its a little board with a lot of potential. The ones I have will probably all end up being turned into iBeacons at some point.

The Metawear wearable: Andother BLE/ARM-core controller combo, this is really tiny, so much so I’m not brandishing a soldering iron near it till I get some really tiny tips. Waiting to see where the creators go with it as the world of wearables is, well, odd.

Other catchups:

Making Catchup: The ODROID W and VU, BBB GPIO and tutorials

makingcatchupODROID-W: Hardkernel are more known for their Exynos based single board computers which pack quite a punch in a small space – enough that a meaty heatsink is needed. But their latest product eschews the Exynos chippery for a Broadcom chip, the same chip as the Raspberry Pi. The ODROID-W is apparently the result of a wearable research project which saw Hardkernel minimise the Pi design down to a wearable module. This module loses Ethernet, switches to a MicroSD slot and micro-HDMI then adds an eMMC socket, real time clock and battery booster and packs it into a tiny board. It’s rather neat and if you want more ports, there’s docking modules with or without touch TFT LCD screens. It’s one of the more interesting additions to the Pi ecosystem and I’ll have more to say about it when they arrive at Codescaling.

ODROID-VU: While looking at the Odroid-W, I noticed the Odroid-VU. This is a 1280×800 9″ multitouch display with USB and HDMI connections which seems to be joining the race for who can make the all-purpose hacker-maker portable screen.

BeagleBone Black GPIO: BeagleBone Black’s have a lot of IO capabilities and it can be a bit daunting taking it all in. So Kilobaser’s BBB GPIO tutorial is a great place to get a handle on all these pins and how to control them from Linux.

BeagleBone Black Tutorials: Another useful resource is Logicsupply’s Inspire blog where various handy articles have been appearing like this one on how to drive OLED displays fromC/C++ or making Xbee work or this one on web controlling LEDs using a smartphone.