Android + Processing + Arduino
April 3, 2012
Tutorial and open source code samples available for Android + Processing + Arduino.
In addition to designing and building innovative technology experiences with our clients, Tellart has always worked to make today’s palette of experience design materials (web connectivity, physical computing, multi-touch devices, etc.) more accessible to designers themselves. Through workshops with clients, academic courses, and our Sketchtools hardware/software toolkit, since our company was formed we’ve been working to make the digital palette as natural to design with as the pencil and paper we’re used to.
This week we’re happy to update that list of toolkits with a suite of materials focused on connecting any Android device (mobile or tablet) with the Arduino ADK microcontroller, with the Processing language to tie them together. The materials – a combination of “how-to” installation guides, working Arduino and Processing sample code, and educational exercises – walk through the set-up process and provide some basic starters for making a functional application or game. The 25 samples include modules such as the code you need to create a “color picker” on the Android and have it drive the color of an LED attached to the Arduino, or to send an RFID number from a scanner to the phone, or to create a basic oscilloscope by graphing the output of a potentiometer on the Android screen. It’s tailored to get beginners going, or to give more experienced coders a quick leg up in using the three (Android, Processing, and Arduino) together.
At the end of last year, Adam and David taught a 5-day workshop with these tools for interaction design students as part of the ongoing Experience Prototyping Course at the Umeå Institute of Design. The combination of tools allowed students the opportunity to focus on the design and usability of ubiquitous computing experiences, rather than being stuck debugging technology. With an Android device connected to whatever sensors and actuators you can imagine, they were given the final brief of designing and implementing a multi-player game that had to incorporate a graphic interface (on the Android) and a physical, analog component (attached to the Arduino). The final projects ranged from a very frantic PacMan race, to a more peaceful exploration of holding hands and human conductivity.
All of the materials are open source and available here.
We’re glad to continue our mobile hacking / sketchtools tradition, and feedback is welcome (we’re always looking to improve). We look forward to hearing and seeing what you do with the materials.