Get in touch with your Things

Any object that can be attached to an Arduino / AVR 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.


A network of Things in minutes for your Android and Arduino / AVR

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SoulissApp RGB channels option



Just  a short post in order to show the new RGB devices mode. With this mode, you can control the three color channels indipendently and have 255^3 different shades.

The Channels mode comes along with Music Sync and simpler RGB circle
mode, as seen on video The feature will be available on next SoulissApp release.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Interacting nodes with Olimex boards

From the begin Souliss was designed using a distributed concept in the mind, this video shows a bit of what a distributed architecture can do. 

The first video shows two nodes, both are Ethernet nodes (MOD-ENC28J60 with AVR-T32U) one has a relay (MOD-IO2) I2C extension and the other has an RGB LED Strip (MOD-RGB) board. In the first part of this short video (sorry for pour quality) the boards are controller via the Android application, later the color of the LEDs is changed using the inputs on the relay node.



This shown a classic example of peer-to-peer interaction, the nodes can exchange data directly, without cloud services or middle server, that make the Souliss network distributed. Logics can run on several nodes and acts as a single one. The Souliss network layer (vNet) has many features and this is the simplest example.

The second video gives some details on the control of the LED RGB Strip, with one cool feature, that we introduced for the Open Electronics RGB Shield, the music control. Basically the music played by the smartphone is analyzed via FFT and gives as result a score for low, medium and high frequencies, these values drive the Red, Blue and Green color.


Souliss Alpha 4.4 will include the full support for Olimexino-328, MOD-ENC28J60, MOD-RGB and MOD-IO. Basically all the code is there and is working, we have just one bug on the SPI Chip Select for Olimexino-328, but the code will be released in few time.

Stay tuned,
Dario.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Olimex's MOD-IO and MOD-RGB integrated in Souliss

A Souliss node based on MOD-IO
In few hours we have integrated the new boards from Olimex in the working in progress release of Souliss, now also MOD-IO and MOD-RGB are part of the framework and can used easily.

In the first picture there is an Ethernet node based on MOD-ENC28J60 and MOD-IO. As per MOD-IO2 also MOD-IO relays can be controlled via Android or Modbus and the inputs can be used to act on its relays or for any other interaction with other nodes in the network. 

A Souliss node based on MOD-RGB
Using the MOD-RGB there are the same features introduced for Open Electronics RGB Shield and the strip can be controller manually of following the music played by the Android device.

With the new support there will be also dedicated examples for that hardware, including an example of network build upon Olimex boards. As usual, boards from different manufacturer can interact using Souliss over them.

The support will be officially released with Souliss A4.4, is not yet scheduled a date, but it will be soon.

Stay tuned.
The Souliss Team.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Do it wirelessly with AirQ boards


AirQ 305 Wireless 433 MHz I/O Board
As announced few time ago, we are working with AirQ Network for including their wireless products in the Souliss framework, starting from new release Alpha 4.3 of Souliss you will be able to control the AirQ 305 board and get its inputs values.

The AirQ board are 433 MHz wireless boards with a long range cover, on the Souliss side the radio is a dedicated shield that allow communication with multiple AirQ boards and sensors. Despite other cases, the AirQ library is not embed in Souliss, these are new products and relevant libraries are growing faster with new features, that's why is requested to download the AirQ library out of Souliss.

In the future there will be other ways to improve the integration with AirQ hardware, right now you can build multiple 433 MHz radios and control them via Souliss or even use a single node that cover all boards in your installation. In the future some modification to the data structure and the message handling in MaCaco will allow a better functionality for collector nodes.

To use AirQ 305 you need to download Souliss (Alpha 4.3) and the SoulissApp (release 1.2) from the download area of our website, some examples are available to start with AirQ devices, all has Modbus functionality to control and get data via Android or any Modbus interface.

Let's start with AirQ.

Regards,
Dario.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hardware development, next step with Olimex

Olimex's boards: MOD-ENC28J60, AVR-T32U4, Olimexino-328, MOD-RGB, MOD-IO
As promised we are focusing on hardware, today we received from Olimex a set of boards that will soon be integrated into Souliss. In the first step was a small WiFi relay controller, the core are always Arduino compatible boards but we are focused on what is placed near it.

Ethernet transceiver based on ENC28J60
As you can see in the main picture, as communication devices there are two Ethernet boards based on Microchip ENC28J60, same as many shield like the one from Open Electronics, but with a really tiny shape and the UEXT connector. These boards are yet supported in Souliss, due to the work done for KMTronic DINo, and runs over uIP software stack.

LED RGB controller
A new entry is the RGB LED strip controller, is based on a Microchip microcontroller that get via I2C the values for Red, Blue and Green color and drives the three output MOSFET accordingly. This device lets control LED and strips and using the new SoulissApp will let your LEDs follow the music played by your smartphone. The controller itself has also an audio input to process music directly on board.

On the bottom of the main picture there are two microcontroller boards (AVR-T32U4 and Olimexino-328) and the relay board MOD-IO, is pretty similar to MOD-IO2 yet supported in Souliss bus has four relays instead of two and the four inputs are optoisolated.

We expect to include and test support for this Olimex hardware in few time, probably a couple of weeks, there are still other boards that we are interested too, these will came at a later stage.

Stay tuned,
The Souliss Team.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Souliss and NFC Tags

NFC Tags are becoming more popular, their applications include contactless transactions, data exchange, and now even souliss commands. All you have to do is enable HTTP or JSON gateway on your souliss bridge node; once enabled, you'll be able to send commands via HTTP addresses, it'll take just a moment to store these commands on your TAG and use them immediately; no more actions or configuration is required. 
  NFC tags are cheap and their usage leaves much space to your imagination: you could program a NFC keychain, a wall sticker or even a card to keep in the wallet. You just have to brush by with your phone, and the command will get executed.

A good NFC eBay seller is this: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/nfcsupplies

Let's make an example
Let's say that your souliss Http gateway is at http://192.168.1.17, and that you have a three-nodes deployment controlling some lights. All you should do is to program your tag with something like:

http://192.168.1.17/force?id=X&slot=Y&val=Z
where:
  • X is your nodeId, from 0 to 2
  • Y is the device slot of the command you're activating
  • Z is the new device's value (as example 0x4 shuts something OFF)
Http supports massive commands, too. In this case the Http syntax will be like following:

http://192.168.1.17/force?typ=K&val=Z

where:

  • K is the typical logic number (that identify the device type)
  • Z is the new device's value

This kind of commands will activate all typical of the same kind x, sending command z. Just put your phone near to the TAG and the magic will happen.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Souliss, what's next?

It's again time to point out where we are and where we would go next. It was just last summer when we released Souliss Alpha 3, it was the first step into the expansion of the supported boards, because included in Souliss a software TCP/IP stack required by most (but not all) of Ethernet controller.

The release Alpha 3 wasn't enough, the stack were working but the performances was too low, due to the few kilobytes of RAM available we was obliged to split the IP packet sent to the user interface, that gives a slowly response. At that time, the only protocol available for user interfaces was HTTP/JSON and it's ASCII nature makes the exchanged frames too big for a low performance device.

This was the spark for the new Souliss, the release Alpha 4 came out near six month later with a new concept behind, the MaCaco binary protocol that up to A3 were used only between boards was extended to the user interfaces (so the SoulissApp Android application) and a new data structure and Modbus support was added. That's the new Souliss.

Is now time to complete and hopefully came out from the Alpha stage, Souliss will include in few time a nice number of boards, most of them were previewed and are from different manufactured like Olimex, AirQ and some will be from Open Electronics. The next step will be the configuration.

Starting from release Alpha 4.1, that include different (but still not all) Olimex boards, there is a QuickConfiguration tool, that has a single entry point for the configuration needed before the compilation and loading on the board, but this is still not enough.
The main goal is make Souliss pre-loadable, to let load the code and then configure the network parameters later, in the future the standard functionality will not require to compile and load the board if is pre-loaded. One more important point will be a new concept of gateway node, that will allow pass-throught, saving RAM and increasing the number of nodes that can join a network.

So, we are starting now the design for the new Alpha 5, we hope to be fast enough to have it in few months, in the while there will be probably some sub-release for Alpha 4 including bugfix and additional hardware support.

Stay tuned and have a good Easter,
The Souliss Team.