The original inspiration for this e-NABLE Phone Home project was a spark of imagination that occurred in late 2014. That was when I realized the incredible potential of adding electronics to e-NABLE hands and (soon to be) arms. I was a fairly new volunteer at that point, before e-NABLE was to become the shock wave global phenomenon that it is today. Despite the worldwide attention, our mission remains the same - an open source, pay forward volunteer network of people helping people.
Now the original inspiration of adding electronics to our hardware has evolved into the beginnings of a cloud-based IoT network of WiFi, USB,. Bluetooth, and FONA plus custom hacked keyfob-like solutions and Hackaday is well poised to be a central focus of our future efforts in the Phone Home development. Please feel free to join this project if you want to help out our global effort - you'll be making a difference that matters!
I didn't know - I really actually didn't realize that there were 111 people following this project. I would have been more active on Phone Home if I had realized that so many people showed interest in the project. Well, there's no time like the present to make up for it.
I'll begin with receipt of the Hackaday Prize funds, then when that happens I'll use this seed money to buy some parts and maybe even a little test equipment, build the Phone Home Hand again (the original seems to be lost) and also the Motion Detector prototype.
Ro Ortiz, and e-NABLE member with mad mad skills of web server wizardry can set up and probably improve the MQTT instance running on the e-NABLE cloud and at that point we can test the devices once again. This all begins within a few weeks. Followers, if you'd like to get involved I'm all ears.
There I was, MacBook in front of me, 3D printer at my side, and lab bench over there when I saw something that seemed rather astonishing. It was an email from Twitter about my long abandoned twitter account informing me that there were nearly 20 notifications waiting for me to read. This piqued my curiosity so I recovered my password and had a look.
All but the first two were Hackaday tweeting this project. Now that may not be a huge amount of attention and I bet they do that for all the projects, haha, but it really made me feel good about things. It was like something mattered at e-NABLE again, my world became a little brighter, and Hackaday suddenly became a focus! So here I am.
But you don't want to read all that gobbledygook without a grinding down home tech update, do you? So I'm back with an update for you. What happened is the project basically ground to a screeching halt, sadly, when I sent the prototypes to e-NABLE's Rochester headquarters.
Nothing against Rochester, mind you, it's just that I seem to have made the hand too complicated for easy operation. Maybe I'll get into details about why that was, and truth be told the *other half* of the project, the motion sensor, was never tested, it's just that regardless of how things played out the project seems to warrant revitalized attention.
To that end, I think I'll take my Re-NABLE (Rochester e-NABLE) contact's offer of having the hardware mailed back to me. I won't wait for that though. The next step is to make sure a GitHub repository exists for both projects (thanks GitHub for making your process easy enough that even I could figure out how to use it, lol). After that I guess I'll begin rewriting the code for ease of use.
I'll also need to purchase some hardware to do the job, for which the Feather line of products from Adafruit is well suited. Specifically the HUZZAH Feather is on task because it has the famous ESP8266 device on-board, plus USB link, battery management, and small form factor well suited for mounting on an e-NABLE hand.
Oh, and I mustn't forget - a hand must be selected and modified for mounting the hardware. I have a LIPO battery, so that's good. Just need to get a hardware order in and get started on the project!
The latest on the Phone Home project is that two complete prototypes were constructed and tested working to an MQTT cloud server at e-NABLE. One was the yellow hand showed and the other was a green motion tracking box.