Arduino+ Android Treadmill

Hi there everyone

I am looking for some advice on a project I am about to start. I am looking at designing and building a mechanism very similar to a treadmill.

The user powers a belt which turns a roller. This roller has a friction brake attached which is actuated via a stepper motor. A second stepper motor is also used in another aspect of the project. A rotary encoder is fitted to the roller to gather data on rotational speed.

I need to create a user interface for the project. This interface will provide the user with infomation such as the distance travelled, max speed achieved etc.... This data will be calculated from the rotary encoder. The interface will also need to control the position of the two stepper motors.

I have had limited experience with Audrino microcontrollers and programming them, but am very keen to learn!

So thats the background to the project! Now here is my main question...

I am considering using a cheap Android touchscreen tablet as the user interface for the project, with an Ardunio microcontroller. I picture the user being able to adjust the steppers and get feedback on speed very simply from the touchscreen.

How complicated would this be to achieve and what hardware/ software would be needed?

Thanks for your help in advance.

It really depends on your comfort level with handling the hardware and software. What your proposing doesn't sound too difficult, but I'm more software oritented, so I may be clueless when it comes to the hardware requirements.

Have you done any Android and/or Java programming before? When you understand the basics for writing Android apps, getting it to communicate with the Arduino isn't difficult, you just have to choose a communication medium ( TCP/IP, Bluetooth, wired, etc.).

Yes, I have done some simple programming with Java but have never messed around with Android. I was thinking the communiation could be via USB as the user interface and the microcontroller will be positioned quite close to each other.