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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Post data to Xively

As a complete distributed system, Souliss miss most of the features related to the Internet of Thing world. 
Actually we are working to define the future of the development activities that will be based on the Zozzariello concept.

Basically, your hook to the internet world will be your Android smartphone, because is one of the most used operative system and in the time it will growth the number of "old" and used devices.
We always looked to a less-is-better in terms of hardware, and using an "old" Android device as home server is in our philosophy.

When Zozzariello will get out from the concept, you can have a Souliss home server based on an home tabled or even on your mobile device (based on how much IoT reliability you are looking for).

In these days Tonino has released a Xively push application that fetch data from SoulissApp using the HTTP/JSON embed server included in the Zozzariello branch. Data from your Souliss network can be pushed out easily with a simple UI setup that can be done directly on Android.

This is just one step into the IoT features that we are building around Souliss, because thanks to Yaler servers, we will include the ability to reach out a Souliss network from the internet without any setup on your router, as standard IoT product does.
Our key is that a project that has been designed as distributed can even work locally without any loss of features, that is what most of actual commercial product hasn't.

Android configuration for Xively data push
Stay tuned!
The Souliss Team.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Turn your Arduino into a Smart Home product

Is almost two year from the starting point of this project and for the first time it feels that we are near to a complete release, Souliss now include plug&play features as found in commercial product and turns most of the Arduino and derivatives into networked boards enabled for a smart home.

Yes, is still a DIY solution, because you are supposed to cable wires and fit boards and components around your home as an electrician does, but you can now have boards that just needs to be plugged-in, no configuration required, they will build the network and work out of the box.

The most, is that Souliss is fully open-source and documented, that gives to users a flexibility that even in commercial product isn't found at that time. You can combine features and let boards interact as you like, without having any server running 24h days or any cloud dependance. All communication works locally and goes out on internet only if you want and need it.

The activity around smart homing and diyers isn't new and lot of code before Souliss was releases even as open or closed source, but none was designed to turn boards into products and even Souliss took five release branch to get it. Now you can make your device live using wireless boards as Ethernet ones and even running a bus cable, mixing as you like and without any care of how to network those, all is behind Souliss and the virtualized network protocol (vNet) used with.

In the video there is a couple of KMP Electronics DINo II relay boards, once loaded with Souliss they just behave as plug&play. The boards discover themselves and Android smartphone (using SoulissApp) discover the boards, that is. It become a matter of wiring you electrical appliance and have control.
Souliss is the framework that makes every Arduino board designed for home automation a product and at same time is the starting point for any modification or hacking that move the interaction between the objects in your home at the next level.

Till the previous release, some effort was needed to have Souliss running over your boards and in two years we got more than seven hundred active users for SoulissApp, not bad considering that you need to wire-up you home, and now we hope to go further and having as much as possible boards that came to the user with Souliss pre-loaded, giving a real plug&play experience.

What's next

If the structure behind the "firmware" that runs the boards is mostly completed, there is still one focus point that actually we miss, the Internet of Things. We are working on several aspects to have an easy as plug&play connection to the internet when needed, some of those ideas are yet under working and was announced on the forum, but still we are far to a public release.
Mostly, there will be some heavy work on SoulissApp that in the year and half from the first release has been stable and faster and now need a new design to offer a better user-experience.

The best, is that all this work behind code and testing has been driven by the passion of people that are on this project, with the support of many hardware manufacturer that has offered us samples.

We don't know which of the next steps will really get out, but we are happy to say that Souliss is there and is working fine.

Stay tuned!
The Souliss Team.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lets start, DINo v2 full plug&play

plug and play, souliss, w5200, kmp electronics
DINo v2 by KMP Electronics benefit of full plug&play feature with support in Souliss
After some time spent on tuning Souliss drivers for Wiznet W5200 Ethernet controller equipped on KMP Electronics DINo v2, we got a full support of new features included in new Alpha 5 with focus on plug&play.

Diving into the examples prepared for DINo you will found no longer need to set Quick Configuration paramters and IP configuration, that's the new inSketch mode included in the last Souliss release. Just load the example on your DINo and connect the boards to the network, they will join and be discovered by your Android smartphone automatically, doesn't matter your IP configuration.

Isn't magic, just using broadcast the boards will discover them-self and auto assign an address using a MAC-RAW (no IP) data exchange, then only the main (Gateway) board that has to be connected to Android get the IP configuration from the app itself. These features are of course available on all Souliss nodes regardless the communication media that is used.

All is included in new release A5.0.3 available in the download area, for DINo users there is also a custom release with examples related to that board available for download here.

The Souliss Team.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

First board assembled and powered-up, update / 1

First prototype assembled and powered
Starting from a software CAD and a 3D rendering, the LED board is now a prototype. At time of the picture the board was powered and the bootloader installed.

The on-board switching regulator is working fine and the next step is the test of the MOSFET drivers using the shift-registers, that way was inspired by ShiftPWM and allow a single ATmega328 to drive the 12 sink output (2.5A) channels.
After it will be the time for the RS485 driver and then we will start testing the boards with Souliss.

The board carry-out a large current value (up to 30 A) and for that reason has two ground planes connected in a single point, where the LED power supply will close its loop.

This is probably the first single board that is born with the idea of a complete tool for LED lighting in an house. It will support the new auto-detection feature introduced in release Alpha 5 giving multiple control of all the strips around the house with a single point of control.

More details will came in the next days.

Here the first power-up of a couple of LED strips, then we will move to heavy load of the board and communication on the bus.

First LED strips powered
Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ciseco XinoRF, update over the air!

Ciseco XinoRF, Arduino with 868 MHz radio

Today we got new Twitter follower, Ciseco, an UK electronic designer and producer in the area of Arduino and compatibles. I've dived a bit into their website and found some interesting product. Basically they use a Texas Instrument SoC (the C1110) to span USART messages to the air, like most simple OOK transmitter and receiver, but whit a complete MAC layer offered by the radio embedded in the SoC.

Is something similar to AirQ products, but with a more important feature, they just move USART as in over the air, without adding a middle layer in between, so you can even update wirelessly your boards (I'm expecting that just the board to be updated must be powered).

So, is a mere broadcasting and you need a software layer over, that's the most interesting feature. Using XinoRF (or generally the stand-alone XRF radio) need an application and transportation layer, a piece of code that cares for message delivery and parsing, that's what Souliss has with MaCaco and vNet.

I haven't those boards in my hand, but reading their docs, looks that vNet USART drivers will work out of the box (just need to enable the radio in the setup) and the collision avoidance that we handle in software will not strictly be required, because the C1110 has an its own MAC layer that cares about.

I really hope that a common path can be found with Ciseco, because their hardware looks cool and can be easily mixed with Souliss. Maybe they are interested too.

Stay tuned!