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Digital Accessories

Hardware DIY Fun Using an Android Tablet

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For those of you looking for something completely different to do with your Android tablet can now use Googles recently announced Android ADK (Android Open Source Accessory Development Kit). The ADK is software toolkit that allows software developers to incorporate the addition of hardware in software development. By using an add-on hardware product called the ARDUINO, you can easily custom create a unique hardware add-on or stand alone device. The DIY ARDUINO starter kits starts from around $70.00 USD and allows you to custom build and program a functional hardware device. Great for beginners with very basic electronic knowledge.

The board itself contains:

  • 54 digital input/output pins
  • 16 analog input pins
  • 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports)
  • USB port
  • 16 MHz crystal oscillator
  • AC port
  • 256 kb programmable flash memory
  • Plus others. . .

With the addition of external sensors, switches, buttons and other controllers like a joystick, you can create an add-on device based on your imagination. ARDUINO also sells a Tinkerkit add-on packs that allows novices to start with no soldering at all. Just purchase various add-0n products and build your own device.

The truly exciting aspect of the ARDUINO product is that the finished product can become a stand alone product or a host device which can control your Android Tablet. This allows the completed ARDUINO device to initiate the communication with the Android Tablet. This has all sorts of potential by allowing your completed device to detect any Android device and communicate for any purpose you program into the device.  By connecting the ARDUINO via USB to an Android Tablet, the ADRUINO behaves as the USB Host device and the Android Tablet as the USB slave. For those familiar with the differences between the USB Host and USB Slave can appreciate the potential benefits.

The ARDUINO can be a great tool for those young students enrolled in their local science fair or those weekend DIY warriors. Just check out ARDUINO for more details on the hardware and Google for more details on the Android ADK.

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