Get in touch with your Things

Any object that can be attached to an Arduino microcontroller is a potential Things: get interaction in wireless or wired, acts automatically and is even remotely controllable from you smartphone or tablet.

Starts in three steps : get your building blocks, load Souliss and get your Things on the smartphone.

Do it simple!

Do it simple!
A network of Things in minutes for your Android and Arduino

Building Blocks

Building Blocks
Easily compose hardware

Souliss on AVRs

Souliss on AVRs
Load Souliss on your Things

Android App

Android App
Get your Things on your Smartphone

Sunday, November 25, 2012

24th November

Souliss first birthday

One year ago on the Italian Arduino forum (here the English one) was announced the first release of Souliss, at the time only the AVR microcontrollers code was available, without any user interface.

Within the first release there was also a roadmap, with some goals for the further releases and the idea of a dedicated hardware board. It is nice to see that most of the achievements that we get in at this time wasn't on the roadmap and some are still pending, too.

The development was based on two main courses, the user interface and the hardware support.

The original idea for the user interfaces was based on the integration of the Souliss framework (MaCaco + vNet) into the user interface itself, that's a nice idea but is not so fast to implement. So starting from release Alpha 2 we moved to HTTP/JSON, that was later used also in the Android application.

The use of JSON has a lot of advantages, because it's really easy to parse and human readable, but a complete integration of the user interface into the Souliss network is something the we won't miss, that's why we are actually working to let Android speak the MaCaco protocol.
In order to simplify the interaction an hybrid mode was build into MaCaco, the Buffered Mode, basically from the user interface point of view there is one data collector (as per HTTP/JSON) that use special Functional Code to get data.

At a first look may seem the same, but it isn't. There are two big advantages, the former : Android is now working with an event-based protocol, like all the other nodes, so more performances with less battery usage; the latter : MaCaco is a binary protocol, so it uses less RAM and allow a single packet communication (vNet over IP was moved to UDP) for the whole state of the network.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Preview, animated moustaches with Modbus

Basic IntegraXor - Souliss user interface, yellow moustaches indicate light ON
Who is following Souliss knows that the incoming release will introduce new features, like Modbus support, so this is a preview of the benefit while using a standard protocol.

In the top image, there is a WEB+SVG based interface build using IntegraXor and Inkscape: the eyes are the commands of a light connected to a standard relay; the moustaches color change with the light state. This is a ten-minutes interface, everyone can build their own serious or funny user interface for their home in a few clicks.

Generally Modbus will open to a lot of user interfaces, also if it born for industrial automation rather than domotic, is becoming widely used in open-source or free-interfaces environments because it is well known,  solid and doesn't require any cost to get the specifications.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Raising up!

Improving Souliss functionalities
The moustaches are not in our new logo, is just a way to identify that Souliss is imporoving. We are close to one year of public code release, and we are trying to include the lesson learned into the next release.

Something was discussed few weeks ago, and basically most of that features will be included in release Alpha 4 (in short, A4), but somenthing more is changing. There are two important changes that we are working out, a new RAM handling and full binary communication to the Android interface.

The actual prototype use UDP frames for vNet communication between either boards and Android, and is no longer in polling, data are pushed by Souliss board to Android to save battery and improve performances. There are a lot of todos still before came out with the final release, but we are on the right way. Binary communication will also be available as Modbus for standard user and SCADA interfaces.

More will be in A4, like a lightweight HTTP parser will be used to allow commands from any HTTP enabled device, without add the whole weight of JSON/HTTP, that's usefult for NFC integration. Furthermore the code will be compatible with the latest Arduino IDE (we are still in 0022), the API will be simplified and the "typical logic" will be revised and grouped.

Stay tuned.