The Kickstarter is over, but you can still...
At a Glance, MICO:
- Is an Aduino shield.
- It connect to mobile phones via the headset jack.
- Can answer & place phone calls.
- Playback voice prompts to caller. Audio stored in MicroSD card.
- Accept DTMF (Touch Tone) commands.
- Control loads & read sensors values.
- Talk to iPhone's Siri.
- Use it as a music player.
The image below shows a complete setup using the MICO Shield. MICO is plugged into an Arduino UNO board and the white audio cable connects it to a mobile phone. The setup below is ready to receive calls!
Depending on the phone type you connect to MICO you'll get different features. For example, if you connect an iPhone to MICO, you'll then be able to have it talking to SIRI and issue voice commands. You could for example post data (such as a temperature reading) into Twitter and Facebook.
You can also use MICO simply as an audio player. If you want to create a project that plays sounds (music, voice) you can use MICO to play sounds off a MicroSD card.
All MICO resources can be found at HelloMICO.com. Here's the useful info to get you started:
- Software - MICO is an open source code project. Required libraries and sample sketches are already available
- MICO Getting Started & User Manual- step by step instructions to get you going with your new shield
- MICO Technical Overview - get a breakdown of the functional blocks that make up mico
- MICO Phase 1 Kickstarter page - how it all started.
These are just a few examples of what you can built using MICO.
1: answering machine + remote control: In the project below I used MICO to increase the range of my car's remote starter. I call the phone inside the car which is connected to MICO, I then type the touchtone password & command to start the car's engine:
In this project one of MICO's output toggle in start override input of the vehicle's remote starter.
Here's another example, this is the demo shown in the first Kickstarter project. It shows MICO answering the call and presenting the user with a voice prompt: http://youtu.be/04EI8nkBZUE?t=1m20s
2: Call me if temperature is below ...
3: text me/email me if...
(using Siri on iPhone 5)
4: post of facebook/twitter if...
(using Siri on iPhone 5)
5. Two MICOs calling each other and transferring data: take advantage of the fact MICO can decode DTMF and generate tones (stored as sounds in the MicroSD card)
What is the money for?
MICO's initial development was funded here at Kickstarter. There were 45 supporters who made possible for me to go from a breadboarding prototype to a neat board professionally made and assembled final board. Development went through 3 board revisions, and lots of hand soldering components until the final product. Check out the original project here.
Now on phase 2, the objective is to take the proven MICO design to a next level. I need funding to mass produce MICO and place a higher volume production order to lower the product cost, hence benefiting project backers with a more attractive price.
- circuit board and assembly will be outsourced to an overseas supplier
- parts procurement
- shipping and handling will be done by me personally,
- customer support via forum - HelloMICO.com
- software bug tracking via GitHub
Risks and challenges
Supplier quality is the main risk in this mass production project. There are several suppliers need to be lined up in order to get a MICO board from the project drawings into the customer hands. Key challenge get a trusted and quality supplier base that can deliver.
I plan to overcome this challenge by carefully selecting suppliers, not only based on their costs, but also in their capability to deliver quality.
- (30 days)