Visual Studio: The one IDE to rule them all

This week there was some great news about .NET MF and the return of the Netduino!(http://blog.wildernesslabs.co/netduino-is-back/)

 

I was inspired enough to dust off one of my older projects which included .NET MF and the Xamarin Monkey Robotics project. I then decided to consolidate and rearrange it with some of the newer stuff I’m playing with in the “Iot” space.    It’s also an example of how Visual Studio can handle projects of all types, held together and fully “debuggable” within one solution.     This seems like a good time to do this especially with the recent talks at the Xamarin User Groups in Cape Town (http://explorationspace.co.za/2017/07/20/cross-platform-iot-at-ctxug/)  and Johannesburg (http://explorationspace.co.za/2017/07/12/cross-platform-iot-at-gxugsa/) on the topic.

 

 

Visual Studio Controller of Things Solution

 

I do still have to port all this to Visual Studio 15.3 preview 3 so I can have Xamarin Iot working in the solution as well.

 

Still a lot of on the list to do today, so I’ll end off here.

 

Happy Iot’ing!

Cross Platform Iot at CTXUG

Last night was the Cross Platform Iot Session at CTXUG in Cape Town.    The turnout was absolutely amazing!    Thank you to all for coming it was a really fun evening!

 

Roger Weiss from Aliens kicked off with an overview of Windows 10 Iot Core and a few demos.  These demos featured some awesome use of Microsoft Cognitive services and also some nifty voice controlled home automation.

 

It was then my turn.   Unfortunately Chris van Wyk couldn’t make it this evening.  🙁

 

The session featured

 

Visual Micro for Visual Studio

Visual Studio Code with Arduino Extension which is now Open Source.

Xamarin Forms and Xamarin.Android with Android Things 0.41 Preview

The new Xamarin Iot preview for Linux based devices

Azure Iot Hubs

 

Devices wise 

 

Raspberry Pi 3

Intel Edison

Raspberry Pi Zero W

Latte Panda and Arduino Leonardo

MXChip Azure Kit

Devices everywhere! Latte Panda, Pi With Android Things. NexDock

 

The awesome new MXCHIP Azure Iot kit (Arduino)

 

The presentation can be found here:  https://github.com/apead/XUGSA/tree/master/19072017

Android Things Weather Station Sample with Azure Iot Hubs:    https://github.com/apead/Xamarin-AndroidThings-Contrib

Cross Platform Generic Xamarin Forms sample that ran on Phone, Android Things and Windows 10 Iot (I didn’t demo this, but it works too):   https://github.com/apead/XUGSABuildAutomation

 

Xamarin Android Things Nuget:  https://www.nuget.org/packages/Xamarin.Android.Things/0.4.0-devpreview

 

Xamarin Android Things Contrib Drivers:  https://www.nuget.org/packages/Xamarin.AndroidThings.Contrib.RainbowHat/0.40.0-beta

 

Getting Started with Xamarin Iot:   http://explorationspace.co.za/2017/06/21/xamarin-iot-comes-to-visual-studio-2017-on-windows/

 

MXChip Azure Kit:   https://microsoft.github.io/azure-iot-developer-kit/

 

Android Things Starter Kit with Rainbow Hat:   https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/rainbow-hat-for-android-things

 

Rainbow HAT

 

There’s a Xamagon!

 

Interesting VR Stuff happening in Aliens office

Cross Platform Iot at GXUGSA

Last night was the Cross Iot Session at GXUGSA in Johannesburg.    It’s always fun presenting all the Iot toys, but also what can actually be done with Xamarin and the rest of the Microsoft tooling.

 

It’s also not always clear that you can basically do anything you want with Xamarin, so always nice and exciting to showcase it outside the usual phone type scenarios.

 

 

Gert Talking Windows 10 Iot Core

 

 

The session featured

 

Visual Micro for Visual Studio

Visual Studio Code with Arduino Extension which is now Open Source.

Xamarin Forms and Xamarin.Android with Android Things 0.4 Preview

The new Xamarin Iot preview for Linux based devices

Windows 10 Iot Core

Azure Iot Hubs

 

Devices wise 

 

Raspberry Pi 2 + 3

Intel Edison

Raspberry Pi Zero W

Latte Panda and Arduino Leonardo

MXChip Azure Kit

Devices Devices Everywhere

The presentation can be found here:   https://github.com/apead/XUGSA/tree/master/11072017

 

Android Things Weather Station Sample with Azure Iot Hubs:    https://github.com/apead/Xamarin-AndroidThings-Contrib

Cross Platform Generic Xamarin Forms sample that ran on Phone, Android Things and Windows 10 Iot:   https://github.com/apead/XUGSABuildAutomation

 

Xamarin Android Things Nuget:  https://www.nuget.org/packages/Xamarin.Android.Things/0.4.0-devpreview

 

Xamarin Android Things Contrib Drivers:  https://www.nuget.org/packages/Xamarin.AndroidThings.Contrib.RainbowHat/0.40.0-beta

 

Getting Started with Xamarin Iot:   http://explorationspace.co.za/2017/06/21/xamarin-iot-comes-to-visual-studio-2017-on-windows/

 

MXChip Azure Kit:   https://microsoft.github.io/azure-iot-developer-kit/

 

Android Things Starter Kit with Rainbow Hat:   https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/rainbow-hat-for-android-things

 

Rainbow HAT

 

Behind the Scenes Fun 🙂

Android Things Contrib Drivers for Xamarin Sample Added

Last week I pushed the Xamarin version of the Google Contrib drivers to Nuget.    I’ve now added a sample project, to illustrate how it all works.    The sample also includes the use of Azure Iot Hubs.

 

The sample and the Xamarin components for Android Things Contrib can be found here:  https://github.com/apead/Xamarin-AndroidThings-Contrib

 

The Google Contrib drivers provides for the following components:

 

  • Sparkfun ADC Block for Intel Edison – adcv2x
  • Apa102 RGB LED strip
  • Bmx280 temperature and pressure sensor
  • Push button over GPIO
  • Cap12xx capacitive touch buttons
  • GPS
  • Ht16k33 7-digit alphanumeric segment
  • Mma7660fc accelerometer sensor
  • PWM speaker/buzzer
  • Metadriver for the Rainbow HAT
  • Metadriver for the Sense HAT
  • Ssd1306 OLED display
  • Tm1637 4-digit numeric segment display

 

You can find more details on each can be found within the Android Things Github repo:  https://github.com/androidthings/contrib-drivers

 

A great test of the contrib drivers is Pimoroni’s Rainbow Hat.   https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/rainbow-hat-for-android-things   The Rainbow HAT brings together a lot of the components mentioned above on one board.   It’s provided with the Android Things Starter Kit so it’s a very good place to start.       The first sample I’ve added here focus’s on this specific HAT.

 

I’ve added a Nuget package which contains the entire contrib library.    The nuget is built on version 0.4 preview of Android Things  It can be found on nuget.org:   https://www.nuget.org/packages/Xamarin.AndroidThings.Contrib.RainbowHat/0.40.0-beta   Something to note, it’s still a pre-release nuget package.

 

The sample added is based on the google Weather Station sample.  It has one difference, it uses Azure Iot Hubs for cloud messaging.

 

Sample Functionality

  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Pressure Monitoring
  • Push Button (A) to swap display from Temperature and Pressure on the board display
  • Native UI for RaspberryPi to display weather based on air pressure
  • Telemetry sent from Android Things Device to  Azure via Azure Iot Hubs
  • Message support from Azure to Android Things Device.

 

To uses the Iot hub in the sample, the DeviceId, DeviceKey and HostName of an Azure Iot hub will need to be provided.    I will do a post specific on Iot Hubs to provide more detail on this in subsequent blog posts.    These variables are set in the MainActivity.

 

 private bool _useHubs = true;   //  Set this to true to use Azure Iot Hubs

 _weatherDevice.DeviceId = "<Add Azure Iot Hub Device Id Here>";
 _weatherDevice.DeviceKey = "<Add Azure Iot Hub Device Key Here>";
 _weatherDevice.HostName = "<Add Azure Iot Hub Hostname Here>";

 

Weather Station

 

The sample  uses Xamarin’s own 0.4 Preview nuget for Android Things:   https://www.nuget.org/packages/Xamarin.Android.Things/0.4.0-devpreview

 

I’m in the process of creating more samples of the rest of the contrib library.    I’m also packaging more third-party drivers from around the community into reusable Nuget packages for Android Things with Xamarin.

 

I’m also having a lot of fun at the moment with a version of these drivers, built from scratch to work with Xamarin Iot.  We can then have these components (and Rainbow HAT) working on Linux devices which will of course be awesome!

 

Happy Iot’ing with Xamarin!

 

Windows 10 IOT Remote Display Experience

With Microsoft Build 2016 complete, there are so many things to be looking at and trying out.   One of the more useful features for me right now is the new remoting functionality in Windows 10 IoT Insider Preview 10.0.14295.   I have this running on a Raspberry Pi 3 and I am busy with some work using an array of sensor telemetry.  Being able to see what is happening remotely make life far easier when building Universal Apps.

To configure this is very simple.    There is a new menu option added to the administration console called “Remote”.  This is accessible via the URL:  http://[ipaddress of pi]:8080.   If you haven’t changed the password the login should be:  “Administrator” and “p@ssw0rd”

IoT Remoting

Enable the Windows IoT Remote Server by ticking the box presented.

 

To access the Raspberry Pi remotely you need a client.   This is available in the Windows Store either by following the provided link, or just by searching for “Windows IoT” in the store.  https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9nblggh5mnxz

 

remote client

 

This will run on any Windows 10 device.   Just something to note: on a Windows 10 Mobile device (Lumia 950 XL in my case) you may have to set the device color scheme to light for the application text to be legible.  I’m sure this will be corrected in later builds.

iot client

Fill in the IP address of the Raspberry PI in the “Enter an IP address” text box and click / tap “Connect”.  You should now be seeing what the Raspberry Pi is displaying.

WP_20160403_16_42_25_Pro_LI
Remoting to a Windows 10 PC / Tablet
WIN_20160403_17_10_17_Pro
Remoting to a Lumia 950 XL