Sunday, March 21, 2010

DroneCell Update: Ring,Ring Video

I've taken a short demo video of the DroneCell interacting with my laptop and uploaded it online to Youtube.
The video shows how easy it is to get things running with the DroneCell. I demonstrate how easy it is to receive a phone call and to dial the DroneCell. In the next series of videos I'll be detailing how to send text messages, send emails, download info from a website, transfer data with a personal server, and more!

Enjoy the video:

BattleBots Documentary

I got this in my email today:
I'm working on a documentary on high school BattleBots. I've been following multiple teams around since August, leading up to the National Championship.

I'm trying to raise funds to film the championship with a multi camera crew, as well as travel to San Francisco to interview the BattleBot creators and builders.

The project is at:

If you would be able to post something about this, it would greatly help me reach my goal and make this the best film it can be. Plus it'll raise awareness of the film at the production stage, so people can be involved in how the film turns out.

I think its great that there is more awareness with regards to robotics, especially high school level robotics competitions. If you have a couple extra bucks to spare, you should consider donating some to his worthy cause. You even get cool promo items like T-shirts and the like.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Announcing my New Product: the DroneCell

Announcing my new product... drum roll please..... DroneCell!
What is it? Its a cell phone for your robotics/electronics/minicomputer/anything project.
It has a simple 3.3V to 5V UART interface, so it can be easily connected to any 3.3V or 5V device, like most AVRs, PICs. All the necessary voltage level shifting is done onboard, so there isn't any headache. Connect it to your Arduino, your STAMP, your Gumstix board, your Axon, your whatever.
It is completely breadboard compatible, so its perfect for any prototyping rig. Plus it comes with two neat little LED indication lights, so you can visually see and understand whats happening.
No more stupid Xbees that have limited range, use DroneCell for nearly unlimited range! It will work anywhere you have a cell tower. Control your robot in Los Angeles from your laptop in New York City.
Imagine sending a text message to your custom circuit which starts your car. Or sending data wirelessly over the Internet to your UAV that flying over Afghanistan. Or getting GPS and weather data from your high altitude air balloon. Or even having your butler robot( like my own Chives, look on for details) dial your cell phone and email you when he detects an intruder. All this is possible with DroneCell!

I actually used a slightly different version of the DroneCell in a major commercial product, so I have tons of code available. All the hard work is done, so enjoy it in your different projects!

Videos and software to be uploaded this weekend and next week. I'll post up the new info as its available.
Currently, I am sending out samples to several retail stores and very few personal friends. Expect DroneCell in a robotics store near you in about 2 weeks. If you absolute MUST have a DroneCell, email me and we can work something out.
Heres a laundry list of the features and possible applications:
LED indication for both network status and power
Small footprint (5cm x 5cm)
Breadboard compatible for easy prototyping
5VDC-16VDC power supply input
3.3V to 5V UART Interface (voltage-shifting is done on board)
High serial data rate (up to 115200 baud)
GPRS communication rate (86.5 kbps downlink) – cellular to server communication
CSD (up to 14.4 kbps) – cellular to cellular communication
Software configurable baud rate
Works with any SIM card
Quad band cellular connectivity
Internal switch to detect SIM card presence
Dial and receive phone calls (however, no microphone or speaker interface setup)
Send and receive text messages
Send and receive data to any Internet connected computer
Send and receive data over TCP or UDP sockets
Super long range (anywhere there is cell reception)
High altitude (at least 10,000 feet, up to 30,000)
Phonebook entries and storage
Software libraries for AVR
Real time clock, synced to cellular tower time
User set alarms

UAVs and Balloons – live data reporting – GPS, pressure, altitude, streaming video
set waypoints, camera commands, etc.
Cars- remote start, car alarm notification, GPS tracking
Security systems – cars, boards, sheds, etc.
Home automation – thermostat control, lighting
Robots – data transfer, remote commands
Processors and computers- data transfer, wireless ssh, telnet
Wireless Industrial Systems – reset computers, activate pumps
Wireless Asset tracking – GPS track your car, your spouse, your cat

iPod server/client socket app
Custom socket server/client – Perl, Python, C#, etc.