Android developers looking to build gadgets can now do so with USB2Go. It is a small, open-source USB ARM Cortex-M3 development board for Android and includes USB 2.0 communication.
“Today we have a huge Android [software] development community, but what about hardware?” said Bostjan Mulej, one of the creators of USB2Go. “With our platform, anyone who has Android application development experience can develop hardware devices for smartphones and tablets.”
To use the board, Android developers don’t need to have ARM programming experience. USB2Go provides an open-source API for direct control of ARM peripherals. The API allows developers to control all general-purpose input/out pins, universal asynchronous receiver/transmitters, analog-to-digital converters, pulse-width modulation capabilities, inter-integrated circuits, and serial peripheral interface buses from Java.
“Our API runs on top of communication device class and uses two bulk endpoints: one for data out and one for data in,” said the project’s Kickstarter page. “[Android 3.1] and later already have built-in USB communication support.”
USB2Go recommended developers use Android Studio from Eclipse or Google because both IDEs are compatible with open-source projects. For hobbyists, there is a graphical programming tool available with drag-and-drop tools to get started right away.
Since the board is smartphone-powered, it will automatically start when connected to an Android phone. The board is powered from the micro USB port in order to take advantage of the phone’s power capabilities. The USB port provides a 5V and 500mA power supply, which can power lasers, imaging sensors, motors, supply external sensors, and more.
USB2Go’s Kickstarter campaign is trying to raise US$50,000 by April 16. More information about USB2Go can be found here.