20 May 2011

ADK at Maker Faire

This weekend is Maker Faire, and Google is all over it.

Following up on yesterday’s ADK post, we should take this opportunity to note that the Faire has chased a lot of ADK-related activity out of the woodwork. The level of traction is pretty surprising giving that this stuff only decloaked last week.

Convenience Library

First, there’s a new open-source project called Easy Peripheral Controller. This is a bunch of convenience/abstraction code; its goal is to help n00bs make their first robot or hardware project with Android. It takes care of lots of the mysteries of microcontroller wrangling in general and Arduino in particular.

Bits and Pieces from Googlers at the Faire

Most of these are 20%-project output.

Project Tricorder: Using the ADK and Android to build a platform to support making education about data collection and scientific process more interesting.

Disco Droid: Modified a bugdroid with servos and the ADK to show off some Android dance moves.

Music Beta, by Google: Android + ADK + cool box with lights for a Music Beta demo.

Optical Networking: Optical network port connected to the ADK.

Interactive Game: Uses ultrasonic sensors and ADK to control an Android game.

Robot Arm: Phone controlling robot arm for kids to play with.

Bugdroids: Balancing Bugdroids running around streaming music from an Android phone.

The Boards

We gave away an ADK hardware dev kit sample to several hundred people at Google I/O, with the idea of showing manufacturers what kind of thing might be useful. This seems to have worked better than we’d expected; we know of no less than seven makers working on Android Accessory Development Kits. Most of these are still in “Coming Soon” mode, but you’ll probably be able to get your hands on some at the Faire.

  1. RT Technology's board is pretty much identical to the kit we handed out at I/O.

  2. SparkFun has one in the works, coming soon.

  3. Also, SparkFun’s existing IOIO product will be getting ADK-compatible firmware.

  4. Arduino themselves also have an ADK bun in the oven.

  5. Seeedstudio’s Seeeeduino Main Board.

  6. 3D Robotics’ PhoneDrone Board.

  7. Microchip’s Accessory Development Starter Kit.

It looks like some serious accessorized fun is in store!