Welcome! This getting started guide for the AUTOMAT 1.0 DeveloperKit.

 

The DeveloperKit for the AUTOMAT platform consists of:

  • An AUTOMAT device (or UNIT)- an AUTOMAT BaseBoard powered by a PowerBoard or SolderBoard.
  • An AUTOMAT app - currently an iOS app only (more platforms on the way).
  • iOS SDK
  • Android SDK (This is a work in progress and does not have all the features of the iOS version)
  • A selection of AUTOMAT nodes for use with IoT platform nodeRED.

An automat device sends sensor data to your phone, which sends and receives information from the cloud. 

Your kit contains

  • 1 BaseBoard
  • 1 SolderBoard
  • 1 Battery
  • 1 PowerBoard

Besides this you will need

  • iPhone running iOS 8.0 or greater
  • AUTOMAT app
  • USB A to micro B cable
 

Get paired

Connect the PowerBoard to USB and to the battery. The battery will now charge. When the battery is charged you can of course remove the USB Cable and run the BaseBoard on battery power.

Start the Automat app on your phone

 

Navigate to the UNITS page. If your AUTOMAT BaseBoard is powered up, you should see a text saying "Tap to pair me".

 

When you do this, you will see texts saying "PAIRING" and then "PAIRED". 

pairing.png
 

 

You will now see your BaseBoard identified as "AUTOMAT" on that page. Tap the row now to see an LED flash clearly on your BaseBoard. (This feature is very useful for identifying different Automat units when you have several connected to your app).

list.png
 

 

For an immediate test of your device, go back to the menu and navigate to VISUALS. There you will see a 3D model of the BaseBoard. Position your BaseBoard to match the orientation of the 3D model. Press the CALIBRATE button.

visuals.png
 

A progress indicator will be shown within the CALIBRATE button. Note that the board MUST be completely still during the calibration process - if not the CALIBRATE button will turn red and you should repeat the process. When the progress indicator indicates that calibration is complete and the button is green, you should now be able to see the 3D model move as you move the BaseBoard around. 

Adjust the position of your BaseBoard to be the same as the initial position of the 3D model (upside down) and then use the RESET button to reset the orientation of the model to match your BaseBoard.

Now navigate back to the menu and then to PLOTTER. You should see all the continuous physical parameters plotted in real time on the screen as you move (or indeed heat up or cool down) your Baseboard.

Now navigate back to the menu and then to I/O TOOLS. For instant gratification, trigger the white and blue LEDs on the BaseBoard with the buttons. The rest of the buttons are used to trigger and receive information from the other inputs and outputs on the board.

i-o.png
 

Note that on the I/O TOOLS, PLOTTER, VISUALS and global SETTINGS screens, you can always tap on the main title to slide up a list of paired UNITs that you can tap on to flash an LED on them for identification.

 

Get connected

  1. You need your own server to set up Node-Red

  2. Check out this link to get Node-Red installed.

  3. Download the AUTOMAT node and install. 

  4. Restart the Node-Red to make sure the nodes are installed. You might need to refresh the webpage in order to see the new nodes. The nodes should be visible under the AUTOMAT category. 

  5. Drag out an AUTOMAT node, you can try e.g the Motion node and just connect to a Debug node. 

  6. Double click on the node to edit its settings. 

  7. Make sure there is a device named AUTOMAT. If not, click the button with a pen icon to create a new device called AUTOMAT. 

  8. Now you're all set and need to configure the AUTOMAT iOS app. 

  9. Launch the AUTOMAT iOS app and on the main page tap "SETTINGS", then "SKIP" 

  10. On the page that appears you now need to enter the URL for your custom server and Node-Red in the text field that says "Custom Node-Red base address". 

  11. Finally set the switch "Send to custom Node-Red" to on. 

  12. Go back to the main page of app and tap "UNITS".

  13. Connect you AUTOMAT device and make sure it has the name of AUTOMAT in the list. The name of the device in this list needs to the same as the one you entered for the device in Node-Red. 

Now you can send and receive messages from Node-Red. You can either choose to continue in this instance and experiment with the service or use it as a gateway to another system that perhaps you might have already built. 

 

Get configured

Back to the app again, there are a few more features to explore. Still on the global SETTINGS screen, note that you can Latch I/O buttons. This affects the behaviour of the buttons in the I/O TOOLS screen for the currently active Automat. If buttons are latched they will stay on or off after pressing. These can be useful for things like turning an LED on or off, for example.

There is another mode available when using the buttons in the I/O TOOLS screen- BUTTON PULSE. This will emit a single 100ms pulse on tapping, instead of activating the button for as long as you hold your finger on it, which of course is the normal mode of operation.

Investigate UNIT settings. Swipe left on your Automat unit. You will be presented with a menu for various unit options, which we discuss in the following points.

One of the unit options is to allow you to RENAME your Automat unit. To connect to Automat Cloud, the name will need to match the configured name in nodeRED (This can be changed and is "AUTOMAT" by default). 

Another option is to UNPAIR your unit. This can be useful if you want to share your Automat unit with others. 

The most important unit option is for unit SETTINGS, a selection of settings for your Automat unit

 

 

ACC/GYRO is where you set the update rate for notifications from Automat's accelerometer and gyro. You might find performance is affected on some devices at higher rates. On older devices in particular (such as an iPhone 4S), consider starting with a very low update rate and work up according to your needs. You can also turn off the motion updates to save energy. Note too that all update rates above normal mode (208hz) are strictly experimental. Generally speaking, the lowest of rates will suit most purposes.

TEMP/HUMIDITY doesn't need anywhere near as fast an update rate - the range is 0 to 20 seconds. 0 will turn off the updates to save energy.

I/O PORT slider selects which port to adjust with the 6 controls below it. There are 12 I/O ports on the Automat baseboard. The first 8 can be used for analogue input, while all can be used as digital inputs and outputs. The controls related to analogue input will be deactivate when you select a port higher than 8. A quick rundown of the port controls:

  

  • DIGITAL OUT - Selects a port as a digital output.

  • DIGITAL IN - Selects a port as a digital input.

  • INVERT DIGITAL IN - Selects whether an ON state will be Logic 0 or Logic 1. Useful for reversing which setting is ON for switches for example.

  • ANALOGUE IN - Selects a port as an analogue input.

  • ANALOGUE SENSITIVITY - Use this to choose how sensitive the analogue input you have chose will be.

Note that some controls will be disabled when you choose some options. For example, you cannot use a port as both a digital in and an analogue in that same time, so some controls will be disabled to reflect this. We recommend a sensitivity value of 2 for most applications.

Finally in SETTINGS, a quick look at analogue input. For this, you will need to hook some kind of analog input up to one of the inputs 1-8. The easiest way of getting started with this is to use on of the inputs 1-4 on your solderboard.

 

An example you can try

attach a potentiometer to analogue input 1

go in to UNITS and swipe to the settings for your Automat. Select port 1 and activate analogue in.

return to OUTPUTS, you will see values for your analogue input. These will need calibrating. This can be done by touching the button and holding down to slide up and down. The red meter that changes with the analogue value, represents a percentage of the selected scale. The actual analogue in value is displayed in the middle of the circle. Release to set.

 

Here is the pinout of the Baseboard

 
 

1. I/O - 3
2. I/O - 2
3. I/O - 1
4. GND
5. I/O - 4
6. I/O - 5
7. I/O - 6
8. GND
9. I/O - 7
10. I/O - 8
11. I/O - 0
12. I/O - 9

13. I/O - 10
14. SDA
15. SCL
16. I/O 11
17. N/A
18. SDA
19. SCL
20. VCC
21. RESET
22. N/A
23. N/A
24. VCC

 

Get creating

Now you know the essentials, it's time to really investigate what Automat can do. Head to the blog and resources pages for ideas, flows and project designs. Remember that we can also offer professional help for the next step in the process - converting your projects from prototypes into final products, using the same Automat hardware!