Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yún Plug allows everyone to build a smart home in 5 minutes, reduce energy bills and have fun

The earth is suffering. The more we pursue life comforts, the more we consume. We are all involved in an inevitable rule in this materialistic world full of energy consumption.

Reducing energy consumption while improving the comforts of life, it sounds contradictory. But Yún Plug is made for both purposes.

Yún Plug is an intelligent and budget-friendly power plug that is compatible with standard home appliances, which allows everyone to easily create an ecosystem of home automation, bringing energy efficiency and comfortable life experience.

Simple and easy as plug and play, Yún Plug allows you to connect any home appliance to the Internet.

To those who are curious: Yún means “cloud” in chinese language, as Yún Plug makes it very simple for the home appliances and sensors to connect to complex web services, offering intelligent interactions between home appliances and different computing devices, such as smartphones and PCs.

You can manually switch the appliance on and off from your smartphone app or set up some rules so that under some conditions (time, temperature, your location, etc), the appliance will automatically start or stop working.

Interested? Here are some use cases to show how Yún Plug reduces your bill of energy consumption and improves your life comforts.

Ready to use? Click here to follow the 3 easy steps.

Friday, October 25, 2013

UDOO: the BEST tool so far to create DIY Phone Gadgets

The DIY Phone Gadgets community is so excited to introduce UDOO: Android Linux Arduino in a tiny single-board computer!

Hopefully you have already received yours and already started your first UDOO project!

Remember the bad old days when we were trying hard to squeeze Android into the Raspberry Pi? That was just 5 months ago. Well, perhaps we can already throw the Pi away and use something more powerful: the UDOO, who runs Android natively. What's more thrilling for DIY Phone Gadgets makers is that we don't actually need another Arduino board: Arduno is already on UDOO!

UDOO is a powerful prototyping board for software development and design, it’s easy to use and with a few steps you can start using it and creating your projects with minimum knowledge.

UDOO merges different computing worlds in one; each world has its strengths and weaknesses, and all of them are useful today in education as well as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and rapid prototyping endeavors.

UDOO is an open hardware, low-cost computer equipped with an ARM i.MX6 Freescale processor for Android and Linux, alongside  Arduino DUE’s ARM SAM3X, both CPU integrated on the same board!

UDOO’s size is 4.33 inch x 3.35 inch (11 cm x 8.5 cm) and it has low power consumption.

It is incredibly simple to make DIY Phone Gadgets with UDOO. Want to build a LED light-controller, a RFID reader or a creative game controller? UDOO allows you to create any kind of project and share it with the community.Combining the flexibility of ArduinoTM with the power of Android or Linux, you can create and update tons of stand-alone solutions without worrying about the linking between the two worlds and their wiring.

Here is an example of UDOO with shield and sensors:

With UDOO, companies can build high level prototype in a fast and easy way. UDOO provides companies with a powerful tool to create fast prototyping for any kind of needs. Prototyping with physical computing toolkits has become a widespread method for technology development, design exploration and creative expression. The board allows researchers and designers working for companies to quickly create and explore new interaction techniques and design devices in the protoptyping sessions of a project. UDOO provides a full suite for developing prototypes based on Android platform alone or combined with ADK2012.

Enjoy the video:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Developing useful Android apps with infrared (IR) modules and open source libraries

Almost everyone uses infrared remote controls at home: to control your TV, your air conditioner, etc.

We naturally come to the idea of using one Android smarphone or tablet to replace these multiple remote controls.

However, developing and using infrared on most of the Android devices requires the use of external hardware. How to do it? Perhaps the easiest way is to follow what Irdroid tells us.

Irdroid is a universal infrared remote control for smartphones, tablets and other devices, working with the Google Android operating system. To control your favorite TV, STB or DVD, you need to download the Irdroid APP for Android and to purchase a Irdroid module.. The Irdroid application is available for download from the Android Market and from Appslib (for android tablets).

The biggest benefit of Irdroid is that it is compatible with the LIRC project in which database, there are a lot of supported equipment vendor’s some of the famous are Samsung, Sony, Motorola, LG, Panasonic, Philips and many, many more (see here: benefit for the public is that the Irdroid application is free, open source and the source code can be downloaded from:
Irdroid - IR remote for Android


    Free and open source application and open hardware module
    Available from Android Market, AppsLib
    Low cost Irdroid infrared module
    Plug and play design
    Extended remote control range – 10+ meters
    Small Dimensions 17×43,2 mm
    Design based on the principle KISS (Keep it simple stupid!)

Let’s start with the Hardware:
The module’s main task is to amplify the signal, generated from the app and to provide an IR interface to the relevant Android device. The active amplification is necessary, because the output signal from an Android device is not powerful enough to light up IR LEDs, as well as to provide a decent remote control range.

The module practically amplifies the generated waveform from the app and emits IR Light via the IR LEDs at 940nm wavelength. The input of the module is provided by the Android Device 3.5mm Audio jack.

The Left and The Right audio channels are used, (GND) is not connected. The amplification is done using an inexpensive LM386-M1 mono audio amplifier which is configured for a gain of 200 times.

This configuration assures enough power @ 6V in order to achieve a remote control distance of about 10 meters.

Тhe Irdroid app is responsible for generating a 19kHz audio tone. The infared data is modulated on the 19kHz sine wave. The signal is amplified via the LM386 audio amplifier and rectified via the two IR leds, doubling the frequency to 38kHz. The first IR led rectifies the positive halfwave of the audio signal and the second IR led the negative halfwave of the signal.

The LM386 mono audio amplifier is configured to amplify the signal 200 times so that the radiated IR light power is enough to achieve a remote control distance of about 10 meters.

Most of the components are SMD (surface mount) only the Jumper, the two IR Leds, the Battery Holder and the audio jack are coventional parts. The download section at contains a zip archive of the schematics and the production files of the module:

You could use the schematics and the production files to produce boards using your favourite printed circuit board manufacturer. In most of the companies offering pcb manufacturing service you will find out that they could also solder the SMD components for you, as well as to build complete modules.

All the documentation, schematics, user's manual and a handbook for building your own Irdroid IR module is attached to this instructable:

For more information and support:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Phone apps + Ninja Blocks = easy-to-build DIY Phone Gadgets

James, our Aussie friend who worked here with us in Paris, came back to Sydney to make one of the most interesting things on this planet: the Ninja Blocks.

The Ninja Blocks platform makes it trivial to build web & mobile apps that talk to hardware. Get up and running in minutes, and begin talking to hardware & connected devices with the web languages you already know. Focus 100% on your app, and never have to worry about embedded programming, electronics, & networking protocols again.

What can we do with Ninja Blocks?

Rule the connected devices in your lifeWith the Ninja Rules Engine we can create rules that turn on the lights when we're not at home, or send an SMS to our phone when someone is at the front door.

Run apps for the internet of things
With apps built on REST API, the Ninja Block can be whatever we want it to be. It's our security system, our wine monitor, our cat's entertainer, it's our home thermostat, and more.

Build a web connected security solutionWithin five minutes we can create a security system that texts us whenever motion is detected, or if a door or window is opened. We can even have images saved to Dropbox.

Monitor and control our things anywhereMake sure the iron is turned off or if the kids are at home? With the remote control app we can control things or keep an eye on our home from wherever we go.
Included inside the Ninja Kit are:

1x Wireless motion sensor
1x Wireless door/window contact sensor
1x Wireless button
1x Wireless temperature and humidity sensor
1x Ninja Block (BeagleBone Linux computer with and Arduino)
1x USB Wi-Fi module
1x Ethernet Cable
1x 5VDC 3 Amp Power supply with connectors for US, EU, UK, and AU

If you have a Raspberry Pi, you can turn it into a Ninja Block by following this guide:
Here is the link to get started:

Disqus for DIY Phone Gadgets