Thursday, June 14, 2012

Project Overview: Android Environment Control System

This blog's purpose is to document the construction of a car environment control system using an Android tablet connected to an Arduino microcontroller board. below is an image of the layout of the entire project:

I am looking at using the Google Nexus tablet, once it is released, but its use will depend on the final technical specifications upon release. Price is also a major consideration, as this will only be used for running a simple app and music playback. Final determination of the tablet for use will be made at a later date, but the required specifications are:
7" or 7.7" multitouch screen
Android 4.0 ICS OS
8GB Internal storage
Removeable microSD or SD card slot
Bluetooth module

The board I am using is an Android ADK version of the Arduino MEGA Board ($60.95). So far, I have only purchased one Servo ($18.25), in order to test to ensure it will work with the proposed system. This servo has 360 degree rotation and analog control. I may need to change to a digitally-controlled servo, depending on how precise a positioning system I need. I am also using a Bluetooth module ($43.59), which as of this writing has not arrived.
Board picture:

Servo picture:

The vehicle that this system will be installed on is a 1998 Chevrolet K1500 Silverado pickup. It has the factory stock stereo and environment controls built in. Initially, the plan was to connect directly to the car's computer system rather than physically manipulating the dials, but this was dismissed as being too difficult and having little benefit. Hence the use of the servos. Picture of the current configuration:

 I have done some coding, but only a little, and it is not stable or even tested, as I'm new to both Arduino and Android development.

Status update:
Time spent (2 days): 9 hours
Cost expended (prices given include paid shipping): $122.79

Interested in helping? Contact me through my Google+ profile on the sidebar.

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