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RIFL Now Hosted by Google Code

Posted by Charles Norona May - 15 - 2010 - Saturday Comments Off

I have started a Google Code page for my group’s past Engineering Design II project. You can find the page at http://code.google.com/p/rifl/. Here you will find relevant documents that were used during the design process, various updates, models, and other supporting information as well as a subversion repository to check out the basestation and mobile application projects or even contribute to it. Below is the project’s summary:

Originally an Engineering Design II project from Florida Atlantic University (http://www.fau.edu/) the Relative Indoor Firefighter Locator was meant to establish a Bluetooth piconet where sensor information can be used to track the user’s location (first responder) through the use of a mobile device. Ideally, this system would be self-sustained without relying on outside networks and work fairly well indoors.
As of the end the of Spring 2010 semester our EDII team managed to implement a Bluetooth data transmission medium and implement a simple version of a pedometer to track user’s relative location for a single mobile device. Future improvements consist of allowing multiple devices to connect to a base station, a data medium protocol to allow the piconet to communicate with other piconets which would form a scatternet—effectively extending tracking ranges—and an improved means of interpreting sensor information to better track the user’s location. It is our hope that by hosting this project that all of these areas can be met and the community can take advantage of the techologies available now as well as in the future.
We acknowledge the efforts of the members the Android Open Source Project (http://source.android.com/) for providing the foundations of bluetooth connectivity for the Android mobile devices as well as the efforts of Paul Totterman and Vlad Skarzhevskyy of JSR-82 BlueCove project(http://code.google.com/p/bluecove/) the and those who committed to it for providing the framework to allow Bluetooth connectivity on the PC platform. In addition, we would like to thank our project advisors Drs. Henry Helmken, Bassem Alhalabi, and Ravi Shankar for their support.

FAU Spring 2010 Engineering Design II Team Six
Project Leader: Charles Norona, cnorona1@gmail.com , http://android.fau.edu
CE Member: Allan Pinero
EE Member: Christopher Sizelove

RIFL Update T-Minus: One Week

Posted by Charles Norona April - 15 - 2010 - Thursday Comments Off

Here, I have compiled a collection of updates given that I have been busy managing our team in wrapping up our Engineering Design II project:

  • Power Metrics: In order to incorporate more electrical engineering aspects I have uploaded a couple of creenshots of some power consumption metrics acquired by the University of Michigan’s PowerTutor (http://powertutor.org/) application while the RIFL client application was running on the phone. Unfortunately, it only tells us about LCD and CPU power consumption (GPS and WIFI were not being used by the app). We still need to find out how much power was being consumed by the sensors and the Bluetooth radio. Both I think can be estimated based off of the information from the appended datasheets:

    AK8973 3-axis Electronic Compass:
    BMA150 3-axis Accelerometer:

    We still need to find out more about the Bluetooth radio and how much power it consumes during an RFCOMM streaming transmission.

  • Base Station Application: I have cooked up a little applet to test out the tracking of the RIFL system as well as output an excel compatible table of sensor values. It performs fairly well but as expected there are some inaccuracies. Allan is currently working on an the front end which will add many features to the RIFL system and take advantage of the capabilities of this applet. The test applet is available at http://engineering-design-ii-group-6-spring-2010.googlegroups.com/web….


  • Bluetooth Connectivity: In the past week we have successfully managed to connect the PC to one of the Nexus Ones we will be using as a prototype. After having implemented the RFCOMM server-client programming into the base station and the mobile device it was simply a matter of pairing the two devices together and matching their universally unique IDs (UUIDs) before they would server application on the base station would connect via Bluetooth to the client application on the mobile device.

Bluetooth and Server Logic Implementation Update

Posted by Charles Norona April - 2 - 2010 - Friday Comments Off

Today, Allan and I have finally managed to successfully implement the RFCOMM datastreaming in a PC-to-PC setup. All that is needed is a front-end GUI complemented by the server interpretation logic Chris and I have been working on to make the base station implementation complete. Also, we need to find a way to make ensure that the mobile devices can now connect to our RFCOMM server that will aggregate into the basestation app. Last time I tried this it was wwthout success but then again we were not sure if the server was working at that time.

On our sensor interpretation efforts, Chris and I are slowly but surely creating some form of pedometer complemented by a compass which we will use to track the devices’ movements. He is pleased that we were able to get consistent data on the orientation, difference of time from the last sensor reading and the previous one, as well as what should have been our scalar calculator. The problem with the scalar calculator is that it is reading from the wrong sensor so I have to spend time to get the phone to read from both the accelerometer and the orientation sensors concurrently and pass the
proper values to their corresponding areas of the algorithm.

All in all, after some questionably stone-walling we have managed to
make quite some progress!

By the way, the updated Bluetooth PC server and clients are available:



RIFL: User Interface Concept and Base Station Update

Posted by Charles Norona March - 10 - 2010 - Wednesday Comments Off

I had met with Allan and we both made some progress. We had found a bluetooth stack on the windows platform which we can use for the base station program that works. In addition our future plans include some basic tests on the base station and an implementation of its user interface.

The bluetooth stack we had before was that of Toshiba’s bluetooth
stack which was not compatible with the bluecove J2SE bluetooth
library (http://bluecove.org/ and http://code.google.com/p/bluecove/)
that we want to harness. Instead, Allan learned how to utilize the
Microsoft Bluetooth stack for our purposes and his code was finally
able to execute without error. He is now in a position to continue
implementing the bluetooth datastreaming needed on the base station

Allan’s next task will be to implement some bluetooth
datastreaming on the base station and test them by transferring
messages between two PC’s each with a bluetooth adapter connected to
them. Eventually, the tests will advance to PC-to-Android Device and
PC-to-Multiple Devices. The latter test will be saved for later in the
event that we have time to implement it.

Another topic that came up were some future designs for the user
interface. I have uploaded a jpg of the drawn mockup with some notes
(hand-drawn mockup). Basically, we do not
have the time to implement some sort of calibration for the staging
process where the locations of the mobile devices would have been
ascertained. Instead, we will provide the functionality for the
incident commander to manipulate several things. Because the devices
have magnetometers we can determine directions such as North, South,
East, and West but that will have to be set by the user on the base
station. Another functionality is the drag-and-drop of icons or
“device blips.” In the left pane of the UI there will be a list of
those blips who have successfully connected to the base station. Once
the user has dragged and dropped a blip onto the overlay the position
tracking begins—based off of information sent from that device the
blips position will be updated on the UI.

To follow our progress visit our Google group at: http://groups.google.com/group/engineering-design-ii-group-6-spring-2010?hl=en

Relative Indoor Firefighter Locator Project

Posted by Charles Norona February - 8 - 2010 - Monday Comments Off

The Relative Indoor Firefighter Locator project is a firefighter tracking system that will be implemented on the android platform. As of yet, it is simply a senior design project for FAU’s Engineering Design II course.

In this project, the Android Dev Phone 1s will serve as prototypes. A single laptop basestation will keep track of positional data and status of the firefighters. In addition, logic will be built into the phones to detect abnormal changes to a first responder’s status and alert nearby first responders’ devices and show information about the distress. The phones are proposed to be internetworked in an ad hoc fashion but as of recently we decided to fall back on the use of bluetooth for communication for expediancy’s sake.

Engineering Design II Group 6 – Google Group.

-Charles Norona