It didn’t quite end up like that, and we ended up talking about what was requested, which was great. In my case, not only did I get to chat about Bots and ML .NET, but also got to speak about Xamarin and IoT too, which for me is always just plain awesome!!!
There has been some nice progress on the pure c# library for the EV3 Lego Mindstorm Brick from Lego and the BrickPi3 from Dexter Industries. The BrickPi is great as it adds loads of extra processing power and more importantly memory for the EV3 kit using a Raspberry Pi.
The library is for both Xamarin.IoT and Android Things. As soon as it’s ready I’ll post the source to GitHub. If there is interest, I can also spend some time and port the Android Things implementation to Java or Kotlin for Android Studio.
The ultimate plan is to use this in a Lego based robot as a play project, but the experimentation will form basis of an actual larger artificial intelligence project. It will also be hooked up to Azure IoT for the telemetry.
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
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.
The sample added is based on the google Weather Station sample. It has one difference, it uses Azure Iot Hubs for cloud messaging.
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>";
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!
That was using Xamarin Iot on Visual Studio for the Mac (Preview). Xamarin Iot is also however available for Visual Studio 2017 on Windows (Preview 2.1) too. Below is the identical solution just running from Visual Studio 2017 on Windows. Have a look!
This is just a quick look at Xamarin Iot running on a Raspberry Pi Zero, this time on Visual Studio on Windows. More in-depth content coming soon!