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Missing avatar By Shehzad and Bayo (deleted)
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About this project

WHAT IS WIDGEDUINO?

Widgeduino is a revolutionary, intelligent and easily configured Windows-based application for communication between Windows platform and microcontroller based system such as Arduino.

It communicates with the microcontroller system via serial protocol or TCP/IP. It allows simultaneous use of multiple widgets to create complete SCADA systems using simple WIDGEDUINO library written for Arduino Uno. This include, amongst others, Keypad, LEDs, Gauges, Knobs, Sliders, Thermometers, Tanks, Buttons. Its intuitive approach to communication simplifies rapid prototyping and development of a complete automation system. 

Widgeduino is based on the .NET framework and uses the popular Visual Studio Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) as its designer. It utilizes National Instrument controls to enable the control of devices connected to the microcontroller system. It runs on a Windows system and supports both wired and wireless connection to the microcontroller. 

Widgeduino comes with built-in APIs which facilitate addition of user-friendly widgets to embedded designs. The libraries are primarily designed for communication with Arduino boards. However, libraries for other microcontrollers such as Micochip can be easily incorporated into the application.

Modes of Operation

Widgeduino consists of two main modes of operation:

1. Widgeduino over Serial: Serial based point-to-point (using RS232) or wireless point-to-multipoint (using Xbee 802.15.4) communication between the Widgeduino application and Arduino boards.

2. Widgeduino over Internet: IP based networking to enable internet of things. This mode can also be used as a hybrid mode (i.e. with Serial and IP protocol) to connect the serial devices over internet with Widgeduino application.


WIDGEDUINO APPLICATIONS

Some of the useful applications of Widgeduino are:

•  Automation Projects;

•  Prototyping of Embedded Systems;

•  Human Machine Interface Solutions;

•  Robotic Controls;

•  Drone Controls;

•  Access Control Systems;

•  RGB Lighting Control;

•  Motor Control.

MODES OF OPERATION

WIDGEDUINO OVER SERIAL

MODE 1

This mode allows communication with a single microcontroller (Arduino board).

Procedure:

  • Write a simple sketch using Widgeduino library;
  • Upload sketch onto Arduino and connect Arduino to a Windows platform (PC or laptop) with serial cable;
  • Open Widgeduino application and set the serial com port;
  • Select desired widget(s) to control or monitor the devices connected to Arduino.

 MODE 2

This mode allows wireless communication with multiple Arduino boards via Xbee module (End Device).

Procedure:

  • Write a simple sketch using Widgeduino library with a slave address and upload it to Arduino;
  • Connect the Xbee Co-ordinator module to PC or laptop with serial cable;
  • Open Widgeduino application and set the serial com port and slave Arduino device number;
  • Select desired widget(s) to control or monitor the devices connected to slave Arduino.

 WIDGEDUINO OVER INTERNET

 MODE 1

This mode allows configuration of Widgeduino application as a TCP client, and Arduino board(s) connected to Ethernet shield as a TCP server; a multiple-server client configuration.

Procedure:

  • Write a simple sketch using Widgeduino library with a server IP address and Port number (default 13000);
  • Upload sketch to Arduino board(s) and connect Arduino board(s) to a router with Ethernet cable(s);
  • Open Widgeduino application and set the IP address and Port number of the server;
  • Select desired widget(s) to control or monitor the devices connected to Arduino.

 MODE 2

This mode allows configuration of Widgeduino application as a TCP client, and Arduino board connected to Ethernet shield and Xbee (Co-ordinator) as a Serial to TCP/IP terminal server

Procedure:

  • Upload Widgeduino Serial-to-IP code to the terminal server;
  • For slave Arduino board connected to Xbee (End Device), write a sketch using Widgeduino library with an appropriate slave address.;
  • Upload sketch to Arduino;
  • Open Widgeduino application and set IP address and Port number of terminal server;
  • Select slave device number and open desired widget(s)to control or monitor the devices connected to slave Arduino boards.

USER INTERFACE

The user interface could not be any easier to use. We developed a simple GUI for both modes of operation to keep user interaction with Widgeduino as simple and intuitive as possible. Below are quick overview of the user interface for the two modes of operation.

WIDGEDUINO OVER SERIAL

Once the serial connection, via RS232, has been made and the sketch has been uploaded, only  a selection of the COM Port, Baud Rate, Slave Device Number and the desired widget(s) is required.

 Serial Graphical User Interface

.Selected Widgets

 
WIDGEDUINO OVER INTERNET

With an Arduino sketch uploaded, once an ethernet connection has been made between the Windows platform, Arduino Ethernet Shield and Router, a specification of network settings (Server IP and Port Number) and selection of the desired widget(s) is required.

   IP Graphical User Interface

Selected Widgets

WIDGETS AND ASSOCIATED APIs

HOW TO USE WIDGEDUINO APIs IN YOUR DESIGN

Incorporating Widgeduino APIs in your design is very easy to implement. The ability to include multiple instances of an API gives a wide range of potential functionalities. A simple demonstration of how multiple instances of the Slider and Knob APIs can be used to control the color of RGB LED is shown below:

RGB Control over Serial Using Instances of Knob API

Step 1: Connect Arduino Uno to PC via RS232 cable


Step 2: Upload Arduino Sketch with Widgeduino Serial Library

Step 3: Open WIdgeduino and select COM Port, Baud Rate and slave device number

Step 4: Start using Knobs to control RGB LED

Example Video

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RGB Control over TCP/IP using Instances of Slider API

Step 1: Connect PC and Arduino Ethernet Shield to Router (Over Internet you need to configure Port Forwarding on Router)

Step 2: Upload Arduino Sketch with Widgeduino TCP/IP Library

Step 3: Open Widgeduino Application. Select 3 sliders and set Arduino (server) IP address and Port number


Step 4: Start using Sliders to control RGB LED over TCP/IP


Example Video

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WHY WIDGEDUINO?

Widgeduino simplifies the process of prototyping as it has multiple widgets that are very valuable in testing a design concept. Once you finished with prototyping and testing with Widgeduino, you can use these widgets in your real SCADA system designs. Widgeduino provides a simple serial or ethernet interface to your microcontroller based designs, with a particular focus on Arduino boards.

Specific benefits include:

Intuitive and User friendly: The application is extremely easy to configure as it utilizes an intuitive graphical user interface. This provides a much faster and easy way to develop your own human machine interface (HMI) for controlling and monitoring the multiple sensors connected to a microcontroller (Arduino board).

Cost Effective: Widgeduino eliminates the requirement of different Arduino shields for different widgets. This has effectively been implemented in software. With the built-in APIs, only one ethernet shield is required. Otherwise, for serial communication with the microcontroller (Arduino boards) no shield is required whatsoever.

Scalable and Expandable: Simply put, there’s no limit to Widgeduino. Permutation of different APIs can be used to achieve a wide range of functionalities. Furthermore, the library can be expanded to include new widgets by simply creating an associating API. Watch this space as we a bursting with new widget ideas and APIs!

Customization: The look and feel of the widgets can be customized according to users’ preference. We all have different personality. Why not let it shine through your widgets!

WIDGEDUINO Guides

Widgeduino comes with following complete guides:

1. WIDGEDUINO Getting Started Guide: This guide provides step by step instructions of how to use WIDGEDUINO application in your design. It contains a lot of examples such as blinking an LED, creating door lock with keypad, knobs and sliders controlling RGB lights etc.

2. WIDGEDUINO Programmers Guide: This guide provides a programming model for implementing WIDGEDUINO protocol over serial or TCP/IP. It enables the development of embedded designs using WIDGEDUINO application for many other microcontrollers such as Atmel, Microchip, PSoC and ARM based microcontrollers.

Timeframe Overview

Why Kickstarter

We are launching Widgeduino on Kickstarter to produce a desktop application on a flash drive and to provide early access to the online version to our supporter.

With your support, we are going to build the best tool for developers, with particular focus on Arduino boards. We want to include more user-friendly widgets and features which are currently missing in the beta version.

But all of this comes at a cost. Therefore we need your support to develop this application with a high quality, robust and easy to use software solution.

What does this money go towards?

Your contribution goes towards developing the Widgeduino application. The money will go towards hiring a developer to build a complete software program, development software licensing and robust testing.

What if there is extra money?

£2200 will pay for the development of the application. Any extra funds will primarily be utilized to improve and perfect Widgeduino. However, it is our intention to expand the functionalities of Widgeduino to support other popular microcontrollers such as Microchip, Psoc, ARM etc. We already have in place a plan to achieve this and other stretch goals should we receive enough funds. Simply put:

THE MORE MONEY WE RAISE, THE MORE WE CAN CREATE !

THANK YOU!!

We are very excited about WIDGEDUINO application and can't wait to get it in your hands as soon as possible. We would like to thank our family and friends for their support and we would like to give special thanks to Muhammad Nazir, Faiza Hassan and Zahra Shehzad for their awesome support.

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Risks and challenges

The risk associated with the project was the implementation of this application using the new Windows Presentation Foundation WPF technology. WPF provides rich graphics and control for the application. We have worked very hard to implement this application around the new technology and we succeeded. The Beta version is done and tested with Arduino Uno and Arduino Nano boards.

Our main concern is to make this application as reliable as possible to make sure that the finished product are working properly without any bugs.

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    WIDGEDUINO Ultimate Kit – Widgeduino Expansion kit including the following:
    Version 1 of WIDGEDUINO over Serial and TCP/IP on a flash drive + 1 Arduino Uno + 1 Ethernet Shield + 2 Pre-configured Xbee End devices + 1 Pre-configured Xbee Coordinator Device + 1 TTL FTDI serial cable + WIDGEDUINO Arduino library for Serial and Internet version + WIDGEDUINO Serial to IP Converter firmware + Guides

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    WIDGEDUINO Collaboration – If you are an Arduino compatible hardware maker, and want to see your board or shields in WIDGEDUINO official distribution, this is for you. We will work with you to integrate your design in our application. This will take some time after the successful funding. Any question or idea regarding this, please share with us by email.

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Funding period

- (30 days)