星期三 五月 07, 2008

Sun SPOT likes a Wii

Ballance is a 3D puzzle computer game. It was developed by Cyparade and published by Atari. The player controls a ball that he or she must move from one point to another without falling off the screen.

In the game, the player can change the ball's material with special changers throughout levels. It can be a wood, rock, or paper ball. The wooden ball is very stable and can be used for several puzzles in the game. It is the very first ball, used in the easy levels. The rock ball is extremely heavy, and can be accidentally rolled off an edge very easily, but this ball can easily push down boxes and bridges. Rolling a rock ball through a bridge made of planks will make the bridge collapse and cause loss of one life. The paper ball is very light. Its surface is not smooth, unlike the wood and rock ball, and can be a bit rough at first. A paper ball can be blown into the air by fans and can roll up steep hills easily.

I have enjoy this for many years, but only can control it by keyboard.

Since I've seen the SunSPOT. An magic idea has come out: can we play this game by our SPOT? That must be a cool experience and conception for students.

I have used one Sun SPOT and one basestation for this demo, the Sun SPOT collects data "dy" and "dx" from the 3-axis accelerometer and sends to basestation by the wireless. And the basestation which is connected to PC receives data and control mouse or keyboard according to data.

In the Ballance game, we define up as "w", down as "s", left as "a" and right as "d". When the Sun SPOT collects "dx" is smaller than -0.3, the basestation types "a",  "dx" is larger than 0.3, the basestation types "d". The "dy" controls up and down as same.

I think we can play more and more games by Sun SPOT like the Nintendo Wii, it's cool. You can see this demo in youtube! Enjoy Sun SPOT!

Youtube Link

星期四 四月 24, 2008

Sun SPOT Tutorial II

The processor and wireless communication layer alone acts the basestation in the SPOT kit, the basestation connects to your development machine and allows you to write programs that can run on your PC and use the basestation's radio to communicate with remote Sun SPOTs. The development tools also make use of the basestation to deploy and debug applications on remote Sun SPOTs. Note that a full Sun SPOT can also be used as a basestation, though in doing so its sensor board would not be used.

Sun SPOT is also has a wide range of development platforms, the initial Sun SPOT development software has been tested on Windows XP, Macintosh OS X 10.4 running on both PowerPC and Intel-based hosts, Linux (Fedora Core 5, SuSE 10.1 and Ubuntu 6.06), and Solaris x86 (August release or later with latest USB drivers and running Java 5 not 6). Unforunately, nowadays Sun SPOT cannot support the M$ Windows Vista very well.

May I use more sensors in Sun SOPT? Of course, you can attach many external sensors by variety of inputs, such as GPS, humidity, etc.

During our China Education & Research Conference, many teachers and students show their great interesting in the Sun SPOT. They around this booth and ask us lots of questions, such as "is this open source?", "when and where we can buy it?", "how many developers in the Sun SPOT communities?" and so on.

From this, we may get one result: Sun SPOT surprised the world.

At last, there are significant educational discounts available for the Sun SPOT kits, it is about $299 per kit. You can contact a Sun sales for more details. Sun SPOT in the second half of this year can be sold in P.R.C.



Sun SPOT Tutorial I

Sun has been very successful in spreading Java to over 6 billion devices throughout the world. Well over a billion cell phones run Java. Sun Labs is interested in what comes next. In order to help make sure that the next generation of gadgets is based Sun technology, they developed Sun Small Programable Object Technology (SPOT). They've created an experimental platform to inspire developers to build the next great toy, sensor, communication device using Sun technology. The Sun SPOT devices make include a flexible hardware platform as well as the software and tools to make it easy to innovate, experiment, and prototype whatever a developer can imagine.

Sun SPOT device is a small, wireless, battery powered experimental platform. Unlike common embedded system device, it is programmed almost entirely in Java. The hardware platform includes a range of built-in sensors as well as the ability to easily interface to external devices. One basic Sun SPOT device has three layers: the battery layer, the processor and wireless communication layer and the sensor layer.

Each layer in Sun SPOT has its own specific functions:

- The battery layer included a 750mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery which can provide more than 7 hours working time.

- The processor and wireless commnuication layer has one 180MHz, 32bit, ARM920T core processor with 512K RAM and 4M Flash and a TI CC2420 (formerly ChipCon) wireless chip based on IEEE 802.15.4 compliant which is designed for the wireless sensor network.

- The sensor layer has many elements:

    \* a 3-axis accelerometer (with two range settings: 2G or 6G)
    \* a temperature sensor
    \* a light sensor
    \* 8 tri-color LEDs
    \* 6 analog inputs readable by an ADC
    \* 2 momentary switches
    \* 5 general purpose I/O pins and 4 high current output pins

Every SPOT kit contains two complete, free-range Sun SPOTs (with processor and wireless, sensor and battery layer) and one basestation Sun SPOT (with processor and wireless). Also included are all the software development tools and cables required to start developing applications for your Sun SPOT.





 

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