Amarino remote controller

When making navigation project prototype, it is a bit of an overload to implement GPS navigation system (or to implement a bridge to it) to test your physical navigation device. For the user test and demo, it is useful to implement some kind of remote controller to simulate the navigation scenario.

For this purpose, there are few solutions, but one of the quick and effective way is to use your Android smart phone as remote controller. Amarino Toolkit offers nice library and Android application to access the smart phone sensors and send it over bluetooth to paired Arduino.

To make it work: you need to download from
MeetAndroid – Arduino Library to your computer, and place it in Document/Arduino/Library folder.
Amarino – Android Application and Amarino Plug-in Bundle to your phone by going to the download link with your browser and download the file to your phone. Then install both of them by clicking the file in your download folder.

This is the toolkit Mohamed used for his Pulsar project

Julia and I made a small prototype for her project. Here is what we used.


Arduino Pro Mini (5V 16Hz)
(you can use any other Arduino boards like uno, mini, micro, mega… so on. If you are using Micro, you have to change Serial to Serial1)
Lipo battery

Arduino sample code for Amarino remote controller

To program Arduino Pro Mini, you need FTDI programmer (there are some at the eLab in the shelf. you need mini USB cable for this). Also, you will need to install FTDI driver on your computer to use this programmer.

Now, open the example sketch, make sure you choose the correct board/ port from the TOOL menu, and upload it.

IMG_0236 IMG_0237

Now, go to your phone. Install Amarino – Android Application and Amarino Plug-in Bundle.
Then Open the Amarino App. Add new device, and choose your bluetooth module (usually it has strange name or “NO NAME”) The password for Sparkfun Bluetooth module is 1234. After you successfully add the bluetooth module, click “connect”

Then click the Red icon. It brings you to new window where you can add the event.
phone2 phone4

Once you add the event (sensor), press the item long, then it brings a pull-down menu. One of them says “Force Enable”. Choose this option, and you will start to see the sensor value on the left. Now your phone should be sending the sensor value to the Arduino. If you had actuator (LED/ motor.. so on) connected to the pin you control from the phone, you will see the effect. If not, go back to the device scree, disconnect and connect again.

Now, you can control actuators on the Arduino side (i.e. vibration motor, RGB LED) with the Android phone from few meters away. You can use this to do user test on your remote, navigation device.