Beginner’s Android/Arduino Example Shows The Power Of App Inventor

This is a simple project. It uses an Android device to switch an LED driven by the Arduino. Connectivity is provided by the Bluetooth module inserted in the breadboard. But one look at the UI on the Android device and you might think this is anything but simple. The truth is that [Kerimil] didn’t spend forever learning Java and programming the app. Instead he’s showing off the power of  App Inventor to get your Android controls up and running fast.

Check out the third button down; when was the last time you added voice commands to your project? It’s worth clicking through to see just how simple that portion was. App Inventor — a Google cast-out that is now maintained by MIT — is a graphical tool that unlocks the power of an Android handset to those with the most basic of programming understanding. For instance, the voice controls shown off after the break are provided by a single bracket which uses conditional statements to ‘listen’ for the words on, off, and blink. You’ll find the voice recognition diagram after the break as well.

You could try to go completely graphical with this project. There’s the option of programming the Arduino side of the project in a similar way.


20 thoughts on “Beginner’s Android/Arduino Example Shows The Power Of App Inventor

  1. Even working in just Java, adding voice support is very,very easy. Barely a few lines, the OS and Googles server does all the work.

    Still, I was very greatfull when working on my little Android AR XMPP project I could add voice control within a hour.

    1. yeah no problem – it won’t be the exact copy as I improved it to react not only to ‘BLINK’ command but also ‘FLASH’ and ‘CYCLE’… done that just because google voice search usually returns ‘pink’ or even ‘d#ck’ instead of BLINK
      but apart from that it’s the same

      The link to the source is posted in the thread on arduino forum

      note that you can create a similar app yourself in just a few minutes – MIT’s app inventor is really easy to use and intuitive

    1. AFAIK there is no way to do that directly from App inventor… though, as someone has pointed out, bluetooth serial modules are very cheap these days

      ohh and BTW here is my new video ->
      this time the app receives data from arduino (temperature readings) and has an option to say the temperature using using text to speech functionality (TTS pico)

      1. Bluetooth may be cheap(er), but it doesn’t beat ‘free’ as every arduino sold comes with FTDI or some other serialusb bridge… I really want to use app inventor, as I do not have the time to learn java or anything else… but its not really useful to me unless i buy MORE hardware, and have that hardware for every project i’m trying to do. It seems that it would be easy as pie to add USB Serial, since you already have bluetooth serial in there?

        1. The chips on the Arduino Uno cost around $4 USD and can be removed with a IC puller, then you can connect the Arduino’s RX/TX to the IC’s TX/RX, and then connect the reset pins as RST->RST

          The Arduino itself can be used as a ISP programmer for the individual atmel ICs but you’ll need to make sure the Arduino has it’s original chip in it so it can program other chips.

          After you’re set up make sure to use the right upload configuration in the Arduino IDE.

  2. @Cameron
    Well to be honest I’d also like to see such functionality added so thx for doing so… but I don’t really understand your logic… you say that arduino boards come with FTDI/serial USB bridge – ok that’s a fact… but don’t tell me you’re going to buy a new arduino board for every project you build. An attiny chip + bluetooth module is pretty much as expensive as an arduino board. Ideal solution would be to use v-usb library – that would be AWESOME

  3. Started doing something like this with an Ethernet Shield and something from Instructables called Teleduino which communicates with a PHP server. Made a quick Android App in AppInventor and presto! Worldwide ethernet comms with the Arduino in an hour. With AppInventor even a total noob like me can do voice recognition. Awesome!

  4. anyone know how to control the ethernet arduino using internet access not with the bluetooth like this project.. cuz we are doing the project to control the electrical appliances using wifi with smartphone..

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