Lego bug

Bug Labs has developed a modular mini-computer running on open source software. I first read about it in the O’Reilly Radar blog. Bug Labs has promised to make all the source code for the platform available. The main BUGbase module is 10×5 cm big and can accommodate four other modules, each 5×5 cm big.

The system isn’t completely finished, but soon it will be possible to buy the base module and other modules like:

  • BUGlocate – GPS receiver.
  • BUGcam2MP – 2 megapixel digital camera.
  • BUGview – 2.46″ 320×240 pixels LCD screen.
  • BUGmotion – A combined motion detector and accelerometer.

The base module will eventually have built-in WiFi and hopefully they will also make a UMTS (3G) communication module. Applications are developed using Java together with an Eclipse based IDE. I’m very interested to see what kind of applications people might come up with for this thing.

It’s like Lego for grownups.

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Progress report so far

So far I’ve read a lot of literature about location-based/aware systems and also a few things about publish-subscribe based event systems. The architecture of the system I intend to design is shown as part of a set of slided I made a while ago. I found a way to make the architecture more generic by using a publish-subscribe based system on the home server. Check these PDF files for the original and the new slides.

The original slides were based on the assumption that the mobile phone already knew the status of the alarm system. That isn’t very realistic so the new slides makes use of an event driven system (publish-subscribe) to make the phone aware of the alarm system status. The correct order to read the slides would be to first look at the new slides and then the process continues in the original slides.

I’ve also tried out the Android SDK and written a few small applications to understand how it works. Since there might be better mobile phone frameworks/platforms that can be used I’ve also done some research into other related frameworks/platforms. The disadvantage of Android is obviously that it doesn’t have any supported phones on the market yet, but on the other hand it’s a quite powerful platform compared to some of the others which are already in the hands of consumers.

I estimate that I’ve used about 40 hours on the project the last 7 days. It’s probably a bit more than 100 if you count from when I began and till now. I’ve also put together a project plan which is nice to have.