Ben Heck tackles Android ADK, whips up car trip-simulating baby seat

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Ben Heck tackles Android ADK, whips up car trip-simulating baby seat
We've been wondering what would happen if the infinitely resourceful Ben Heck got his hands on the powerful Android ADK. Thankfully, in the most recent episode of the accomplished modder's show, our curiosity is satiated. The crafty Wisconsinite tackles a reader request -- to recreate the soothing motion of a car ride and help put a three-month-old baby to sleep. Mr. Heck uses the accelerometer in his phone to record the bounce and sway from the backseat as he drives around. He then draws up some code that will feed that data to the Arduino-powered ADK and move a series of servos that will tilt and shake a child's car seat. Sadly, the completion of the project will have to wait till the next exciting episode, but by the end of the installment embedded after the break you do get to see a scale model. What are you waiting for? Click that little read more link for PR and video... you know you want to.

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Ben Heck Uses Google's Arduino-Based ADK to Mod Baby Car Seat Motion Simulator in element14's "The Ben Heck Show"

Ben explores new Android Open Source accessory standard to build motion simulator that helps new parents soothe fussy babies

CHICAGO – Aug. 22, 2011 – In the latest episode of the "The Ben Heck Show," sponsored by element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, modding guru Ben Heck employs Google's Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK) to fulfill a viewer's request to create a baby car seat that simulates the calming motion of riding in a car. The kit's Open Accessory standard allows enthusiasts and developers alike to build accessories that can interact with an assortment of Android-powered devices.

"Smartphones are chock-full of applications and capabilities, but few users actually get the chance to unleash their full potential – using software development to go beyond in-phone applications," said Ben. "The car seat motion simulator is a great way to showcase how creative integration with the ADK can perform real world tasks – in this case, calming a fussy baby without emptying your gas tank!"

Ben walks viewers through the preliminary steps of loading the ADK software and code onto his computer and smartphone. Once programming is completed, a quick how-to and demo of the platform's I/O functionality prompts Ben to put his new gadgets to work as he recruits programmer and friend Chris Kraft to create an Android application that senses car motion using an accelerometer. After a cruise around the block to collect motion data with his smartphone, Ben uses the ADK to build a mock-up of his simulator design to test servos that will simulate car motions for the car seat.

"Ben's latest quest gives viewers a glimpse at the design power of Open Source technology and collaboration," said Kevin Yapp, chief marketing officer, Premier Farnell. "Modders, developers and even parents will enjoy watching Ben turn a piece of technology into something that has practical, real world applications."

Fans of the show are invited to join the element14 community to send Ben a challenge for a future build, engage with community members, and enter for a chance to win one of Ben's builds.

About "The Ben Heck Show"

"The Ben Heck Show" is a bi-weekly online television series aired in English that's dedicated to the science and art of system and hardware modding with a global audience of design engineers, students and electronic enthusiasts. Sponsored exclusively by element14, each episode spotlights Ben's mods of popular electronic devices while educating viewers on the underlying technology powering each project.

About element14

Launched in June 2009, element14 is the first, innovative information portal and eCommunity specifically built for electronic design engineers. The community recently unveiled its element14 knode, a unique gateway to solutions that enables engineers to quickly research, design, develop and prototype in a single, intelligent environment. element14 is an innovative offering from Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), FTSE 250, a leader in multi-channel electronics distribution trading throughout Europe (Farnell), the Americas (Newark) and Asia Pacific (element14). The company had group sales of £990.8m and underlying profits of £93.3m last year.
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