Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Introducing the DIY Android Gadget Starter Kit

This past weekend, Chris and I hacked Android onto the Beagleboard Embedded Gadget Pack. It was the culmination of about 3 weeks worth of working straight through, sleeping very little, and consuming many ASCII bunsen burner Red Bull's :-) The result is the DIY Android Gadget Starter Kit, which includes everything anyone would want or need to get started programming Android hardware and software applications, and to make a custom Android device.

Here's a picture of the Android DIY kit assembled:
The DIY Android Modular Gadget development kit uses the same base modules as the Open SciCal, which got written up on Wired (thanks!), and also as the Embedded Beagleboard Gadget Pack, which has been really popular with embedded systems engineers:
This is a nice perspective shot of the Android home menu, where the apps are typically stored and can be launched. The settings menu and options are fully functional, and the system comes preloaded with SL4A, a high performance scripting language that lets programmers write GUI's in Perl or Python (and a handful of other scripting languages):
Justin uploaded all of the modules, components, and preprogrammed SD cards onto the Liquidware shop over here... and here.



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demavision said...

What version of Android is it running?

JP said...

I visited Liquidware HQ recently, and all I have to say is that Liquidware is the heavy metal of quick turn engineering. All the rumors are true :). I also saw this Android unit: freakin' awesome. It runs beautifully.

Ralf said...


I think it's

The image can be found at:


Many thanks to Chris and Matt and all the other supporting this great work!


Ashwin said...

Do you plan to release the source code for the SD card kernel and Android rootfs images on git? I'm specifically interested in the drivers for the beagletouch and for making it work with android. Thanks

Matt said...

@demavision - ralf's right :-)

@jp - thanks... ps and thanks for visiting

@ralf - i'm flattered, thanks a lot, definitely makes all the hard work feel appreciated

@ashwin - yeah, actualyl chris and i are working on wrapping it all up for an ide that a bunch of people have asked for. if you want to help out, just email me at inthebitz

Ashwin said...

@Matt - thanks. I sent you an email and be glad to help. Just one more thing...when I run your kernel and rootfs off the SD card, I get the following error
Warning: unable to open an initial console.
init: cannot open '/initlogo.rle'
init: Unable to open persistent property directory /data/property errno: 2

I imagine this has to do with the uboot bootargs. What should they be?. FYI, kernel uImage is in 1st FAT partition and Android rootfs is in 2nd EXT3 partition

Finance Coding said...

@matt, I just purchased BeagleJuice and BeagleTouch for this exact reason. Seems hard to get a nice beagleboard android pack going. Cant wait for the code! How much longer before its released? Will you also be providing built images?


chris_debian said...

Be nice to see this teamed-up with Cyanogenmod.


chris_debian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashwin said...

@Matt So was wondering if you are close to releasing the kernel and roofs source for the beagletouch for android. I sent you an email. I can be of help if you need it. My email is akcooper8@gmail.com. Thanks