Comunikino, an Arduino based communication system

“Social things” have replaced traditional ways of communication like sms and mails. One day i needed a new, fast, mobile and snappy way of communication. So i made Comunikino.

It consists of two main parts, a script in python that runs on the PC and a box that goes on desktop connected through an USB cable used for data and power (no external power needed if you use a 500mA capable usb port!). You need to create a mailbox  for Comunikino with pop access, i raccomend to use gmail as many providers don’t offer pop access for free mailboxes.

Using Comunikino is simple, just send a mail to its mailbox and the subject will be printed to its LCD (max 16 chars). Who reads the message can use one of three Comunikino’s buttons to send a mail back to the address setted in python script to say yes, no or readed (this button can also to be used to say: “hey! I’m thinking of you”). Simple, isn’t it?


Built instructions

You will need:

Amount Part Type Properties
1 Arduino I’ve used a 2009
1 Basic Servo
1 LCD screen I’ve used a 16×2 LCD based on SPLC780D chip which is totally compatible with Arduino LCD library that is made for HD44780 chip. Its voltage must be 5V!
3 Push-button Momentary normally open push button
1 Rotary Potentiometer Rotary Shaft Potentiometer; see datasheet for maximum resistance
1 Metal or plastic box I used a 13,5×7,5×5,5 cm metal box but you can use anything similar.

First of all the box. You should cut it as images below.

Arduino based communication system

LCD mounting:

Now fix arduino and buttons like this:

Arduino projectMounting servo:

Arduino projectPutting things together (you can note a recycled hard disk flat cable used to connect LCD, ricycling is good!):

The flag can be made by wood, mdf, or cardboard:

Setting up software

Now download Comunikino's software (430) (Linux and windows version inside) and configure python script with the data of the mailbox you have created for Comunikino (gmail is highly recommended). You can do this just editing the script with a text editor. At the beginning you will find variables that you have to change, read comments for explanation! You need also to download and burn into Arduino the sketch into the zip (no modification needed here).  Remember, before launching python script you have to connect Comunikino to PC or it will quit with an error. I advice you to leave Comunikino linked to the computer and make the script run on start up. Comunikino will inform you that it is ready to communicate with a mail every time computer is turned on.

Comunikino is ready!

I want to upgrade this device with advanced features. I want to create a better software with GUI and a nice looking box. Help me!

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2 Responses to Comunikino, an Arduino based communication system

  1. Electron says:

    Gran bel progetto…

    Simpatico e ideale per chi si affaccia per le prime volte a questo fantastico mondo…

    Tanti auguri per questo blog :)

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