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Topic: [Help Wanted] The ArduWatch - A Simple, Low Cost, Take Anywhere Platform (Read 10 times) previous topic - next topic

SilentDemon555

May 25, 2013, 06:10 am Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 02:02 am by SilentDemon555 Reason: 1
I had a great idea the other day and wanted to know the forum's thoughts.

I was sitting in a parking lot with my smart phone and got a great idea for a simple programming project, but alas i didn't have a pc or a bulky MCU.
I had to wait till I got home to start the project, and by then I had forgotten half of what I was going to do.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a piece of tech we were comfortable using, always had on us, and could be programmed with ease.

That's where my (hopefully) original idea came into play. I had a femtoduino laying around, throw in a power switch, one or two of these http://www.powerstream.com/ultra-light.htm ultra light batteries, and then implement a super cool breadboard pin system: thus creating the arduwatch(name suggestions also appreciated)

The watch would come in 3 versions.
The standard, barebones, self powered system.
A USB version including a FTDI board wired to the femtoduino for serial communication and sketch uploading
And a bluetooth (or some type of wireless protocol) version. Able to be controlled and have sketches uploaded wireless from either a laptop, or a smartphone app

I think it would be cool for each watch to have two of these micro batteries, with a amp/volt switch. (No idea how to do this) you could switch them from being wired in parallel for amperage dependent applications, or series for voltage dependent applications.

I would love help if this turns out to be a viable project, and also some guidance or partnership.
If there is truly nothing like it out there I would like to start a kickstarter because I'm pretty broke, and want to get away from using a femtoduino and possibly find a way to print my own custom boards.

I'm pretty novice when it comes to these things, but I had an idea, wanted help, and thought "hey, why not"

Heres a super basic sketchup on my idea, the MCU is blue, the PSU is green etc.
I personally would LOVE one of these, I could see using it constantly, imagine the possibilities

The black dots would be inputs wired to each pin on the arduino. Breadboard wire could be attached to any pin to connect to a simple (or complex) project.
These pin inputs are open to suggestions or modification

Imagine interfacing with electronic equipment in the field, imagine a real life Mass Effect Omni-tool
Throw a 1inch screen on the top for data readout
A serial cable for interface with standard devices
Wireless programming of your wearable items
Control and monitoring of other devices

The model I drew up took me half an hour maybe, it's rough, needs a ton of work, and I need help and suggestions from any other people who want to get in on the possible groundbreaking piece of tech. Lets all be Jack Shepherd and get our own ArduWatch!
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers."

SilentDemon555

Day 2

I would love feedback on the watch, I'm going to begin fabricating the watch base (All one piece of ABS, with a clear Lexan Cover plate) really soon
There is a 3mm channel in the handle for wiring of the pins. I'd put 14 square square holes (28 total pins on Femtoduino) around the solid bracelet (Design change, had no idea how to do the chain design) in the square holes i'd put the female ends of a M/F breadboard cable. Each hole will be engraved with it's pin and function(IE --- PIN 13 with a LED Icon)

According to really rough calculations, the 50Mah LIPO battery should power the femtoduino and ftdi for around 175 hours. This is just on, no functions or programs running, nothing else connected. Now when I got 175 hours my jaw dropped. Someone suggested the arduino draws .2ma, and the 3.7v LIPO has a 50mah rating. I would imagine this is waaay off. Possibly a decimal was off, 17.5 hours might sound correct...

The FTDI will be included in the first prototype, it's the red board in the picture (It's actually a microftx board)

The only thing I am ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY unsure of, is how to charge the battery and how that wiring will work. If someone could look at the list of batteries in my first post, maybe someone can recommend one of those, space vs battery life is a huge issue. The battery HAS to be that small to fit in the compartment correctly. I think i also need to somehow fit a charging circuit in it... ugh...

I also included my day 2 sketch. I haven't modeled the pins, and the bracelet has to be that thick (13mm) in order to house the pins and wires correctly... but at the end of the day it's just a prototype.

Still looking for help, for now I'm calling it the ArduWatch.
And we need to make this thing stylish and good looking, help me in any way you can, even a "Hey, cool" or "Your idea is going nowhere" would be appreciated. (Although the latter of the two would make me feel sad)
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers."

SilentDemon555

Day 3

I finished touch-ups and added the usb icon and the logo. I've had no help thus far, so I did the best I could. I added pin mounts and channels to run wires... Still havent figured out if i want to cover those, or just hot glue seal everything

I thought the logo was kind of cool, despite the fact it isn't actually a time-telling watch...

The beauty of it though, is that it could be a watch, maybe add an LCD display, a solar panel charger, etc.
I'm just going to post here after every update. I didn't have anywhere else to write.

Fabrication of the band should happen within the next 10 days. I'll order the internals at the same time.
We should be able to see a working prototype in that 10 days

"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers."

SilentDemon555

End of Day 3

I finished my Prototype model. The quote on fabrication is $60 (ouch) I have to refine it to make it cheaper, and I'm really nervous about it printing correctly
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers."

SilentDemon555

Day 5?

Anyway, realized sadly that the design is too bulky, a complete redesign was necessary. I also added a little more functionality to the model with a mini (super micro) 4 row breadboard, Just to see if it works and as a test for future 3d printed breadboards. I don't think I'm making the 10 day deadline anytime soon. Here is the redesigned base. I also have to see if the battery still fits ( it probably won't )
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers."

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