Do you remember the Yoctopuce mailbox we customized to detect the postman? Well, the system was working reasonably well, but it had some flaws. We had to use insanely long and expensive USB cables, the ball-switch wires were too fragile to be put on an articulated part, and the system could only detect letters, not parcels (our mail box has two sections, one for letters the other for parcels).
So we decided to improve the concept using a Yocto-Light and a laser.
Do you remember Joséphine, our USB coffee machine? We noticed it was almost always doing an automatic shutdown right when we wanted a coffee. So we have decided to make an upgrade: in addition to remote controlling the coffee function, we will be able to remotely power it on or off, and to choose between a large and a small coffee. All this will be done with forty lines of code, including the user interface.
This week we will illustrate the use of PHP with our USB sensors on a very classical example: recording weather parameters (temperature and humidity). Nothing really special, but this very basic example demonstrates the advantage of easily accessing USB modules from a language like PHP. Thanks to the numerous libraries and ease of use of the language, real-world application can be built real fast.
Do you remember throwing peas using a spoon when you were a kid, at the school cafeteria ? Well, we wanted to try it again, but this time in a more sophisticated and cleaner manner. The idea is to build a little catapult, remotely controlled by USB. For that, we used a YoctoServo, two RC servos and a few rubber bands. The rest is only a matter of mechanical design :-)
This week, we will spend less time hacking and more time on the programming API, in particular on the use of USB modules from C++. The goal is to enhance our old mailbox in order to get a notification when the postman has come, in order to stay in the warm and get the mail as soon as it is here. Since this post is a bit longer than usual, if you feel lazy, feel free to skip straight to the end of the post and look at the video demo.
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