Tag Archives: ADK

Using standard Arduino board as Google’s ADK kit

When Google announced about the Open Accessory Development kit (ADK) in the last Google IO conference, I was really excited since it was based on Arduino boards.

But after the initial bliss went off, I was disappointed for two reasons. First you need an Android phone running Android version 2.3.4 or above. The second reason is that the original ADK kit is not compatible with the plain Arduino board. The downside of this is that all your existing Arduino Shields will not work with that board and not to mention you have to buy a rather expensive ADK kit. Now there is also an Arduino compatible ADK kit, but it is again expensive and it didn’t made sense for me to buy another Arduino board when I already had a bunch of them lying around.

Since it is based on Oleg’s USB Host Shield, I was trying to see if I can build a board with just plain Arduino board and Oleg’s USB Host Shield. It turns out it is possible and with the release of Oleg’s second version of the USB Host Library, it is much simpler.

Things you need

Any Arduino board.

You can use either UNO or Duemilanove. You can also use Arduino Mega, if you have one lying around. The advantage of using Mega is that you will have additional I/O pins.

USB Host Shield

You need a USB Host shield for Arduino. You can use the original shield by Oleg for $40, or you can buy a cheaper clone from sparkfun for $25. I recommend the original one by Oleg, since it doesn’t need an external power supply. If you are going to use Sparkfun’s version you need an external power supply. Also make sure you don’t buy the older version of Sparkfun shield. It has pins marked wrongly and you need to make changes to the library to make it work.

ADK compatible Android phone

You need an Android Phone which is ADK compatible, which means you need a phone which is running 2.3.4 or above. I tested this setup in Nexus S and it is working properly.

Sensors, LED’s, buttons

You would need additional sensors, LEDs or buttons to test the flow. To start with, you can just use some LED’s


Stack the USB Host shield on top of the Arduino board. Connect an LED on pin number 3. Connect your phone’s cable to the USB port of the shield.

Arduino Firmware

Download v2 of the USB Host Shield Library and place it in the library folder of your Arduino setup. Open the demokit_20 example sketch from the /examples folder and upload it to your Arduino board.

Android App

The Android demo app for ADK, can be found under the /app folder of the ADK package. Upload the app to your Android phone.

Testing it

Power on Arduino and connect your Android phone to the other side of the cable. You should see a dialog box, which asks you whether you want to launch the app. Click yes. Once the app is launched you can control the LED connected on pin 3, by moving the slider in the Android app.

Now enjoy your new cheaper ADK kit 😉

Posted in Android/Java, Arduino | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Hardware hacking in Yahoo Open hackday

The annual Yahoo Open Hack day is back and this year it is going to happen on 30th and 31st of July.

This hackday is special for me, for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, I am going to see my idol Douglas Crockford in person 🙂 He is one of the reasons why I started loving JavaScript and I am really excited about meeting him in person and to listen to his talk.

Update: Here are the photos

Me and Doug

Me and Doug

And the second reason is that, we are going to have hardware hacks during the event. Yes you read it right 🙂 This time we are planning to have tech talks about hardware and let people do hardware hacks as well.

Regular readers of my blog would know that I hack around hardware (especially Arduino) as a hobby and you could understand my excitement.

I am also going to give a talk on Arduino and Android ADK and will be demoing some of the hacks which I have created using them.

If this hasn’t convinced you, then there is more. Yahoo is also going to sponsor 50% price for the hardware that you need for hacking. Yes, you read it right again. 😉 We have arranged this offer with 9 Circuits.  Head over to the Open hackday wiki to get more details about it.

See you guys at Open Hack day next weekend.


My Slides

Open hack 2011-hardware-hacks from Sudar Muthu

More information

Posted in Arduino, Events/Conferences, Google/Yahoo | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments