Fun with Edison

Recently I got an Intel Edison with an IoT starter kit. My resume after playing around with it a little.

The Intel Edison seems like a marvelous device. I got the version sitting on an Arduino. The combination is just sick. Running Node or Python on such a little board while being able to fully integrate custom calculations with low level hardware is superb. Previously I used boards such as the TI LaunchPad or the classic RaspberryPi to have low level hardware access combined with internet access and more advanced logic. Now with the Edison the possibilities exploded.

For comfortable access to the device's GPIO pins an extension board was included in the IoT starter kit. The starter kit then offered a set of more or less useful sensors and actuators that have already bring sodered to a little board. This reduces the efforts if playing around with the components to essentially the software side. Every little board comes with a standard 4 pin connector that is matched on the extension board mentioned earlier.

The sensors range from simple temperature and accelerometer sensors to more advanced sensors such as a piezo vibration sensor. A LCD display and multiple different input devices (e.g., touch, button, …) make the set rather complete. The actuators contain some LEDs, as well as a servo motor including the companion control board.

Programming the Intel Edison can be done in multiple ways. The Edison runs it's own operating system. Access to the OS is possible using SSH for instance. There are different programming environments available such as using Python or JavaScript with Node.js. The latter is extremely easy using the Intel XDK. Here we can use predefined templates to get started. Entering the SSH credentials allows us to connect, start, and debug our applications in no time.

Another way is to choose the standard Arduino IDE. Programming in C not only has the least amount of overhead, but gives us also the richest possibilities. Finally, we are not restricted to the possibilities offered by the wrapper library (as with Node or Python), but we can go as low level as desired.

The only remaining question at this point is what I will build. For the moment I believe it's time to build an improved version of BabyZen, which follows the initial plan, however, comes with more storage space and computing power.

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