By Guest Blogger Timothy Beneke
At the Java Hub, Java’s flexibility was illustrated through a number of demos and displays. The message was clear: any Java developer can program in Java Embedded, so get your Raspberry Pi, connect it to your favorite device, and have fun with the Internet of Things (IoT). Aldebaran Robotics presented the friendly, 2-foot-tall, high-tech Nao robot, which can be used to enhance social awareness among autistic children. It danced, gave fist bumps, and seemed to drink in the attention. Across the room, a 3-D printer performed its magic, creating clones of Duke using JavaFX and Oracle Java Embedded.
James Gosling’s Wave Glider
A Liquid Robotics Wave Glider, with software developed by James Gosling, was also on display. Wave Glider, which looks like a souped-up yellow surfboard, is an autonomous water and solar-powered platform that transmits oceanic information such as water temperature and chemistry, wind speed, living organisms, and ocean bottom topography using Java SE Embedded applications for defense, oil and gas, and commercial and science customers.
Wave Glider has two parts, the surfboard-like “float” loaded with solar panels to recharge lithium-ion batteries—which resides at the ocean’s surface—and the sub, equipped with wings and tethered six meters below.
Java Capabilities for the Green Power Industry
Alexander Belokrylov, product manager for Java ME Embedded, showed off Java ME capabilities for the green power industry, demonstrating how a Java ME Embedded application can control and monitor energy sources on a bicycle-driven electric generator.
“This is just a regular bicycle that illustrates the Raspberry Pi functionality,” explained Belokrylov. “Here it is connected to a bicycle, but it could also function with an irrigation system or many other things. The key point is that with Java ME and no libraries, we can run a fully autonomous system that connects to the cloud and measures energy usage. This is a small footprint and it can do a lot. We want Java developers to take this power and run with it!”
A Car that Knows You
Gary Collins, principal member of technical staff at Oracle, showed off the Telematics Car Demo from Sunday’s Java Strategy keynote, where a simulated electric car used Java ME Embedded data and JavaFX to aggregate and display temperature, speed, light sensor, crash, and other data. “The functionality enables a car to make adjustments for drivers,” explained Collins. “Suppose you drive this car from a rental agency and come back to rent it again. The agency can access data about you and adjust the car for temperature, seating position, preferred radio stations and many other applications. It’s a car that can learn your preferences and patterns.”
Playing with Java SE Embedded
Across from the car simulator, a row of Raspberry Pis interfaced with cubed light bulbs, Sphero Robotic Balls, XY-Plotters for drawing, and more. Attendees were invited to choose an “if statement” and then tweet, send an SMS message using a motion or light sensor, draw their names with a Java or Oracle logo or picture of Duke, and more. Light bulbs could light up in strange ways; a Sphero Ball could act crazy. It was all in the spirit of play to illustrate that Java SE Embedded offers a wide range of possibilities for developers who want to try out the IoT with Java 8.