Introducing the IOIO for Android

Hack your Android-based phone with the SparkFun IOIO

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We kind of wanted to wait to post about this product until we had stock (you'll notice it's out of stock right now - with backorders allowed) but this has been bouncing around the internet for a few days and it seems the cat is officially out of the bag. So without further ado, meet the IOIO for Android.

The IOIO (pronounced "yo-yo") is a board specifically designed to work with your Android-based phone (OS 1.5 or newer). This gives you all kinds of access to your Android phone via USB and is fully controllable from within an Android application. You can read more about the IOIO (and its development) at this blog.

The IOIO board contains a single MCU that acts as a USB host and interprets commands from an Android app. In addition, the IOIO can interact with peripheral devices in the same way as most MCUs. Digital Input/Output, PWM, Analog Input, I2C, SPI, and UART control can all be used with the IOIO. You can write code to control these interfaces the same way you would write an Andoird app with the help of an app-level library.  This means you can use all the great features of your phone - computing power, Internet/Bluetooth, GPS, the LCD touch screen, etc -  and combine them with the ability to easily add peripheral devices to interact with the outside world.

We are really excited to see what kind of projects you all come up with using this device. As I mentioned, the board is currently out-of-stock but we are working on getting the first builds done soon. Happy hacking!

Comments 36 comments

  • mbrown9412 / about 13 years ago / 3

    Yay! Now I just need an Android phone!

  • orcinus / about 13 years ago / 2

    Is the dog included?

  • PaulGroenendaal / about 13 years ago / 1

    Yay! I just got my HTC Desire HD! But since i'm a student I haven't got any money left to buy this awesome piece of technology!

  • stautzen / about 13 years ago / 1

    Any idea of the bandwidth thru the USB host? Thanks.

  • soundcyst / about 13 years ago / 1

    any chance of a firmware release? i'd love to port this to a micro that has native I2S...

  • Member #161148 / about 13 years ago / 1

    which phone is that?

  • kevinppb / about 13 years ago / 1

    Is that a bottle of Laphraoigh in the background? ;)

  • Wired4space / about 13 years ago / 1

    I would love to see something like this for the iPad. Even better would be the Arduino IDE on iPad...
    It is almost enough to inspire me to get an Android Tablet...

  • SomeGuy123 / about 13 years ago / 1

    This looks awesome, but it isn't in red :/

  • Chacon / about 13 years ago / 1

    Does someone know if there is something like this for the iphone?

  • Make one for the iPhone! Make one for the iPhone! So that I don't need a idiotic Android!

    • Heffo / about 13 years ago / 2

      it will never happen. Apple will demand a cut of the price of each iIOIO device, pushing the price up at least 30%
      Then you will need to own a mac and pay the developer tax to apple, just to get started with it.
      Then there is the fact Jobs & CO will NEVER allow a device like this to connect to their devices, this kind of product fosters open and creative thinking. The completely opposite mentality Apple has.
      Android FTW!

    • Ben121 / about 13 years ago / 1

      Here it is:

  • No-one / about 13 years ago / 1

    ... Time to take over the world...

  • Shifted / about 13 years ago / 1

    If anybody wants information on developing for Android in Visual Studio, take a look at this project:
    Only works in VS2010, but as much as people like to complain about M$, they certainly make the best IDE I've ever used...

  • k.granade / about 13 years ago / 1

    Let me be the first to welcome our Droid-powered robot overlords.

  • TopHat / about 13 years ago / 1

    Does anyone have the media or car dock for the Motorola Droid? .. will this work through the dock? Ideas?

    • MarnBeast / about 13 years ago / 1

      I have the car dock for Droid X. From what I can tell it's a completely passive pass-through USB interface. You plug the charger USB cable into the back of the dock and it extends that through to the phone. The active dock recognition is done with a magnet in the dock.
      So yes, this should work with the car dock. The media dock I don't know about though.

      • GB / about 13 years ago / 1

        The table-top dock is also mainly passive ... except for however it is detected. Not sure how that works (I guess magnet possibly like mentioned above). Should be a fantastic way to stand the DroidX up and attach to the Yo-Yo. Now you can have Chumby+Droid+I/O!

  • MisterFuzzy / about 13 years ago / 1

    I'd love to wire this into my car to start it via phone call, amongst other functions. C:

  • jakkjakk / about 13 years ago / 1

    you should add those wire strip things to make it so you don't have to do any soldering.

  • TLAlexander / about 13 years ago / 1

    I still think the "yo-yo" pronunciation is a pretty big stretch.
    This is neat though!
    I still prefer bluetooth solutions. It would be neat if you made a bluetooth IOIO module that used the same command structure. I understand that they are very different interfaces, but I think most of that could be abstracted away.
    The Android Bluetooth Chat example works great with the RN-42 Bluetooth modules if you just change the UUID to that of the SPP (google around. its out there).
    But this is an awesome solution nonetheless! I had totally never though of using USB host to get an embedded platform to talk to a phone!

    • sjunnesson / about 13 years ago / 1

      We at 1scale1 are working on a bluetooth link between android and arduino bluetooth using processing as the main environment to create your apps. The command structure will be the same as you normally program Arduino boards like digitalRead(),analogWrite() etc. All will be released open source soon but you can find a short video here and pics and more videos here

      • TLAlexander / about 13 years ago / 1

        Neat! I always thought someone should do this!
        There needs to be a way for the Arduino crowd to easily work with Android. People would love this! :)

    • Actually, the 'yoyo' pronunciation is pretty well-rooted linguistically. In many other languages the letter 'y' is called 'greek i'. I/J/Y were all split fairly late in English and interchange often in older English spelling; only since the invention of printing were they split, with "i" used as the vowel, "J" used as the consonant, and they "y" derived from "j" at around the same time.

      • TLAlexander / about 13 years ago / 1

        Yeah... but that was still several hundred years ago. Like I said, its not totally wrong, just a stretch.

  • No-one / about 13 years ago / 1

    What chip?

    • Member #24952 / about 13 years ago / 1

      Looking at the zoomed in photo, they are using a 16-bit PIC, or PIC24FJXXX to be more specific.

  • mjkuwp / about 13 years ago / 1

    please forgive me if this is a silly question. Would this work with this:
    Acer Iconia Tab A500
    I am just starting to research these Android tablets.. The possibilities.... just imagine...

  • Leonidas993 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Omg! this is awsome! imagine the things you could do with this, you could have like a phone call or a text message control you car, or you could connect a blutooth device and have voice recongition. Even make you phone control all of the world around you! thats awsome! i can'y wait to get one

  • EZ$ / about 13 years ago / 1

    sweet. more hardware level access. I can't wait till they are back in stock.

  • sgrace / about 13 years ago / 1

    Now it's time to make my Android phone into a game controller for my PC.

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