FlyPort @Mobilefuture 2010 (Sweden)

Posted by openPicus | On: Nov 16 2010

Our reseller Mobimation AB in Sweden attended at the Mobilefuture 2010 conference in Stockholm on 11 November.

The idea of the company founder, Gunnar Forsgren, is to show FlyPort was to control a Fridge by Wi-Fi from a remote Android phone!

Here is the description from their blog

This time I will tell you about what we did at the Mobilefuture 2010 conference in Kista north of Stockholm now on November 11.

This conference runs on the same day as the swedish “mobile gala evening” Mobilgalan where various price winners of this years Swedish mobile market becomes announced and celebrated.

So there was a lot of mobile industry people attending. So some people got to see and understand what OpenPicus can do.

A concrete physical demo is always good for leaving a mark in the visitors mind. So something at least a bit spectacular was needed.

The solution was we imported a chinese origin mini Vending Machine fridge from the U.S that can serve chilled Coke bottles or similar soda cans. We modified it so it could be controlled using OpenPicus FlyPort hardware. The main change was to override the physical vending control switches using relays, and we added extra lighting inside the unit which can be turned on/off from the FlyPort for an extra visual effect.

We re-used the existing OpenPicus web server demo where we, instead of controlling LEDs, used just about the same port mapping for controlling the two relays and added lighting.

We modified the default demo code so at boot up the FlyPort module connects to a Wifi router (infrastructure mode) and with WPA2 encryption.

We found out the FlyPort is capable of accomplishing a WPA2 connection within a few seconds when using a pre-shared binary key.

Using a human readable passphrase is a bit too slow since in that case the conversion to binary key has to be done in the Wifi stack by the CPU which takes time.

So, binary key is a recommended approach and in no means less secure than using passphrase.

Once the FlyPort is connected to the router an Android application we developed could connect to the FlyPort web server by connecting to its IP address via the same router.

The application simply allows selecting what Soda can (Left or Right side) to be served.

When the command is sent the FlyPort interprets the command and issues a relay pulse on the appropriate vending switch which causes ejection of the ordered refreshment.

Well not rocket science but enough to have the cans come crashing down.

This wireless control of the vending machine from the mobile phone proved popular and caused some enthusiasm.

We set things up so that the conference visitor could download the vending machine app from the Android Market, install it and run it to have their own personal soda can pop out as a gift.

This demo was set up as an example to show how the very compact FlyPort wireless microcontroller solution can be used to wireless-enable a piece of machinery that normally lacks such a wireless access feature.

We see a fantastic potential in this type of Wifi enabled controllers for enabling wireless equipment interaction both machine to mobile and between machines.

Thanks Gunnar, we really liked your project and we are thinking to install one of these machine in our office!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks, I have one more unmodified such machine I could rebuild for you to get an exact copy of my demo machine. Contact me if of interest /gunnar

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