Through my research I have been bogged down with applications that require input and output from the Sun SPOTs. The easiest way to do this is by plugging your Sun SPOT into your laptop using a mini USB cable. This type of communication is valuable for testing purposes but not as practical if you want to use your system while away or out in the field. To get around these types of problems, Sun Microsystems included the base station which can be plugged into your computer the same way and communicate through radio transfer. While this type of communication is a bit more practical, it is not useful in all situations. As a part of my research, I tried to find an easier way for someone to communicate to a Sun SPOT without being in the same room as it.
We chose two ways to do this type of communication. One idea we looked into was using a database which is updated using your laptop’s internet connection and the base station. I did not personally assist on this project, but I was informed along the creation. The application was then ported onto an android OS phone and was used to control my robot and the robots that NCSU already had built. The project was a success! My idea was to use the Sun SPOTs socket-proxy connection. This simply takes your computer’s internet connection and ports it over the base stations radio network. This is a very specified connection that uses http protocol to navigate and operate webpages. Sun Microsystems includes a free demo of this type of communication that I have been tweaking for awhile now.
The demo has many different layers to it which makes it fun to play with but difficult to understand and tear apart. Eventually I figured out the main points of how it created this socket-proxy connection and how it can be applied to almost any webpage. The demo was posting to a twitter account that was made by Sun Microsystems. I was able to connect to a different twitter account and post different sayings as well as different commands to make the Sun SPOT post the tweet. Currently I have been researching facebook’s open source graph API. The hard part is understanding how to authenticate my Sun SPOT as me and navigate to the proper site and then post. The only set backs to me getting this completed have been moving and not having internet at my new house. This set back is also why I have not posted in awhile.
I hope to have this project complete soon so keep an eye on my facebook statuses because my Sun SPOT will be posting there and possibly on other people’s walls! Here is the twitter website for NCSU’s Sun SPOTs: www.twitter.com/NCSUSunSpots