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Introduction to Android Things

Peripheral IO, learning UART with a ZX Gesture Sensor

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This lesson is going to show you how to interact with the Android Things Peripheral IO APIs to understand and communicate with a UART peripheral. In this case a ZX Gesture and Motion Sensor. Using this peripheral to code an IoT android app.

We will learn about the Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter protocol and how to read and use the technical documentation to help us code a UART peripheral. We will discuss the UART API's, how to deal with IOExceptions in your app, how to manage hardware resources and how Android Things works with the Android lifecycle. Coding an android application to communicate with the the ZX Gesture Sensor to detect swipe events. Swiping left or right to toggle lighting up the LEDs in different colours.

When complete, you will have learnt the basics of UART peripheral communication and also written an Android Things application that will be able to communicate using the ZX Gesture reading it's packets of bytes, to detecting a hand swiping left or right.

Hardware needed.

For this lesson you will require:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3 flashed with Android Things
  • A ZX Gesture Sensor UKUS
  • A Rainbow Hat peripheral

If you need to buy the Raspberry Pi to start with Android Things I would recommend this kit. It contains:

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • Rainbow HAT
  • Pibow Coupé for Android Things
  • 2.5A official Raspberry Pi worldwide power supply
  • 8GB microSD card


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