Helios

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Helios3.jpg

Summary

At the Electronics&Automation event in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht they had a new gadget.
It's more common these days that technological events have eventgadgets. You have to walk past some company's in order to gather the components. So company's get people to sell their stuff to and the visitor gets a gadget.
At the E&A event you could gather a Helios gadget.
Even better, for the electro geeks. They build them at the event. There was a whole production line for making the gadget at the event.
Due to the publicity all the Helios gadgets where reserved they even needed to produce 500 pieces on the event itself to get all visitors happy.

Helios

What is a Helios. Well basically it is an:

  • Arduino with a:
    • WiFly module
    • LED matrix
    • RGB LED
    • high power LED's
    • color sensor
    • light sensor on board


So worth at least $60 of components for free, or like we Dutch people always see: "is gratis" (everywhere I come I hear this).

What's in the pack

When gathering this gadget this is what you get:

  • Battery's
  • USB A -> USB micro cable (standard)
  • Gadget itself, loaded with:
    • a software sketch which broadcasts a SSID
    • tested in front of you
    • calibrated at the event

Support

Because of its popularity all the company's who worked on the Helios decided to make a support site where you can read (in dutch only) some information. At the moment of writing there is not that much data available but it will come in the future. Even for a n00b haxx0r Arduino is good place to begin so it couldn't be that difficult.

Applications

Actually legions of possibility's are within grasp. But maybe this is a nice tool for enhancing our space-automation.

Starting Problems

As in every project there are startup failures. In this case I got compile errors from my Arduino IDE:

Helios_EEPROM_24AA014.cpp:27:21: error: arduino.h: No such file or directory

So after thinking a lot and investigating my own machine, because that's where are problems start I decided to take a better look at the program code. Because the default blinky programs worked on a normal Arduino Uno.
So when I compared some .cpp files I noticed that a #include statement was including a file with lowercase chars. And the file I had on my system in /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino started with a capital char 'A'. So it had to be

#include "Arduino.h"

To make sure I did a recursive grep in the library directory to the files which belong to the Helios device with the following command:

$ grep -R "arduino.h" ./

As a result I got these files:

  • Helios_EEPROM_24AA014.cpp
  • Helios_Temperature_Sensor_TMP006.cpp
  • BEURS_Colour_Sensor.TCS3414.cpp
  • Helios.cpp
  • Helios_Colour_Sensor.TCS3414.cpp

After changing those particular files, which wasn't that hard, the compile errors disappeared.
To commit something to the community I placed a post on the Helios website as well, which is documented in Dutch --> HeliosGadget - Forum, install Linux.

Reference

Photo's

Helios1.jpg Helios2.jpg Helios4.jpg
Helios5.png