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August 4, 2008
News - Androids Love IOIOs!
about 3 years ago
Yeah, absolutely. About RN41s, careful where you put it in the car: they occasionally overheat.
I like those things, they Just Work. However if I’m making an android based rover I’d rather have the phone talk to the chassis through a wire, be it USB or serial-through-audio-jack or what have you. This simply because it’s one less thing that can break/disconnect, and because I have to power the phone from the main battery anyway…
The propbridge was designed as a datalogger and as a controller for autonomous rovers, so it has to have a watchdog, the ability to reboot or shut down the phone if it hangs, the ability to restart Dalvik if that hangs, etc. It’s geared more towards industrial and scientific use. That said it’s pretty cheap, the small one goes for $30-$50 depending on quantities (it has a DIP40 form factor). I don’t want to link to my site here because right now I’m technically a competitor as well as a customer and I feel that would be gauche, but email me ( spiritplumber at gmail ) and we can talk about it :)
The original idea was of course to recycle older Android phones, which is why I don’t think I’m going to make this open-accessory compatible for a while.
that’s actually really neat, how many usb device can you have at a time? The propbridge tops out at two (usually an android phone and one other thing).
If you want one to play with I have some leftovers from a nasa order, you can have one free if you don’t mind a bit of wear and tear on it.
Programming is done either by its console serial port or by sending it string from Log.e(“PB_IN”,string); in any android app. Or you can load your own firmware. The idea was to have as little hardcoded stuff as possible (this started as “let’s write a USB bluetooth dongle driver for the Propeller” project, so the USB port is actually device-agnostic, as long as there is only one device per port)
The propbridge can support 2 usb ports, so one for the fone and one for a cheapie bluetooth dongle. Both propbridge and IOIO can talk to serial-to-bluetooth devices such as the RN42.
That said most Android phones have bluetooth natively…
No but (if it’s anything like mine) you have to have debugging mode on for it to work.
Mine can also reset (reboot) an unrooted phone if it needs to; I’d love to know if the IOIO can actually (I got the “thick” Google board that works with ADK, and it couldn’t).
The prop gets a shell on the phone and can run things even with the phone in standby - I think the IOIO can do this hardware wise, but isn’t set up to do that in software. This has obvious value for datalogging applications due to extended battery life.
The Propeller IDE is about as easy to use as the Arduino IDE, it’s just less well known (and admittedly Parallax doesn’t support non-windows systems, which is a bit of a drag)
Overall I’d say the IOIO is easier to use but the Propbridge has more features (of course I’m biased).
Cute, but the Propbridge does all this for $10 and you still have half a microcontroller to play with… It came out a month before the IOIO, too.
about 4 years ago
Here’s the new object that lets you run (off the same prop running at 96Mhz) an ADB bridge and one other USB host device.
The Parallax guys have had this out since February / early March, but since there’s no extra hardware, they’re not bothering advertising it other than on the object exchange. It’s just a Prop board with four extra resistors.
No public wish lists :(
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