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Forums BUGmodules Module suggestions

Subscribe to Module suggestions  38 posts, 30 voices

  • Voices:
  • Ryan P
  • Bug Labs team kgilmer
  • koolatron
  • Bug Labs team mcholerton
  • rbpasker
  • leftfrog
  • jtoeman
  • defied
  • Magno
  • David
  • mtgeekman
  • Jessie
  • ermine
  • AwesomeRobot
  • firehorus
  • MarcC
  • 13moonsago
  • Silky
  • Tueksta
  • migizi
  • johnkzin

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Oct 2, 2007 12:49pm
Img_missing_medium Ryan P 22 posts

I’m going to throw this out there: one thing I want to use my BUG for is as a calculator. I would like to build a simple LISP-like language optimized for running graphing calculator programs and mathematical operations.

The BUG module that would help me a lot is one that has a bunch of hardware buttons for easy entry of a bunch of numbers, letters, and symbols, similarly to a Texas Instruments or Casio calculator face.

In fact, it would be neat to have two different modules: a "basic" number/arithmetic input half-length module, and a "scientific" half-length module that would include a small display screen. Then, graphs and diagrams could be drawn on an LCD display (half-length or full-length) on the back side of the BUG.

For what it’s worth, that’s my suggestion of the day.

Oct 2, 2007 2:50pm
Medium Bug Labs team kgilmer 215 posts


Great idea! I wish I would have had this in high school math class…

Oct 11, 2007 10:04am
Img_missing_medium koolatron 52 posts

Sorry for the threadcromancy (Just catching up with the forums after a long spat of no internets).

I’ve two suggestions for BUG modules: Bluetooth, and cellular-network wireless (be it EDGE, 3G, etc). The former opens up the possibility for me to use the BUG as, say, a remote to anything in my house. The second would free all of these nifty network-enabled applications from Wifi.

Oct 11, 2007 10:41am
Img_missing_medium Ryan P 22 posts

I think all those things are a given—the more networked the Bug is, the more relevant it becomes. I’d certainly like to see Bug on the very cutting edge of networking technologies, taking advantage of WiMax and such trend-setting technologies. Since all that Bug Labs has to test and roll out is one module, they have an opportunity to roll out new technologies very quickly and please the early adopters!

Oct 11, 2007 4:09pm
Medium Bug Labs team mcholerton 54 posts

Great input. Ken and I were talking about some of these things last night at the Bug+ event in Boston. The network the Bug can tap into is key as it drives many of the applications.

The household remote is a great idea. Kool – no internets? – what a scary place. Good to have you back.

Oct 17, 2007 10:06am
Img_missing_medium koolatron 52 posts

Another brainwave: I’ve been interested for the longest time at the goings-on at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio/ – software defined radio would be totally rad on the BUG. I realize that implementing this is in itself a task on par with the entirety of the BUG project, but a guy can dream, right? :)

I figure, what better to complement a software-defined approach to gadgetry than a software-defined approach to communication?

Oct 17, 2007 1:40pm
Img_missing_medium rbpasker 22 posts

I made a bunch of module suggestions in my blog:


a home controller would require an bi-directional IR module, too

Dec 18, 2007 4:36pm
Img_missing_medium leftfrog 1 post

I’d love to see a module for receiving FM radio. AM would be nice also.

Dec 19, 2007 8:22am
Img_missing_medium jtoeman 57 posts

thanks guys – we are going to have an interactive module system on the Web site soon, but please keep sending in your ideas here in the meantime!!

Dec 19, 2007 12:28pm
Img_missing_medium defied 1 post

I’d recommend at LEAST a 4 port servo/motor controller.

I could pump out a photography turret real quick like with a couple of modules, and some stepper motors.

Dec 21, 2007 2:25pm
Img_missing_medium Magno 1 post

The servo motor controller, the FM/AM receiver, and Bluetooth connectivity mentioned before are great ideas that should be a reality.

My own ideas, comment are welcomed:

-A module that reads circuit interruptions, so you can measure and record any sort of on/off action like a door opening/closing or the number of times a switch is activated. Probably the cheapest one to make, it would be great if the module could have multiple contacts to setup with your own wires.

-A module that measures conductivity. This is my least favorite idea but could probably be a bundle module with the circuit interruptions module, kind of like the accelerometer/motion sensor.

:arrow:-A module that acts as a relay switch, which can activate motors, lights, etc. This module would in effect turn the bugbase in to a sort of bugcontroller, enabling it to do many more tasks instead of just recording them. This module combined with my circuit interruptions module can make for a very useful and flexible bugbase. (My favorite idea)

-This one isnt a module as much as a protective skin for the entire bugbase. Something like a clear silicone skin thats water proof.

By the way, the calculator idea seems like its just a matter of getting someone to write up a program for the touch screen, I doubt it would actually need its own module.

Dec 22, 2007 9:00pm
Img_missing_medium David 15 posts

my wishes:

just like koolatron said: to have a cellular network modem WITH the bluetooth in the same module

another wish: to have a RFID tag reader (possibly a writer too)

and my biggest wish: a interface circuit maybe something like an Arduino to hook up any kind of sensor, servo motor, LED, just anything that you can remember. it would be pretty easy to communicate with it, because all you would need is serial communication and power :wink: this module would also cover everything Magno wished (except for the protective skin :wink: )
the chip could be progremmed by an external usb cable :wink:
Dec 26, 2007 12:36pm
Img_missing_medium mtgeekman 2 posts

Been following Bug information for a while now, and finaly signed up :)

Heres what im looking for:

A module to connect to the OBD2 port on 1996 and newer cars.

would love to have that module plus a gps, lcd and accelerometer in my Miata when I race it.

from what I understand in the video there is an accelerometer built into the LCD so that would leave 1 slot open. in that slot I could put a camera and perhaps over lay the data from the other modules onto the video and save it to the memory card.

Can’t wait!

Dec 26, 2007 6:13pm
Img_missing_medium David 15 posts

i think the accelerometer is in the motion sensor module, lcd module is just lcd :wink:

Dec 26, 2007 9:31pm
Img_missing_medium mtgeekman 2 posts

you are mostly correct!

I watched the video again. there is one in the LCD modules but it is not sensitive enough to do what I was hoping. The one I would want is in the motion sensor.

D’oh! :oops:

Jan 2, 2008 5:19am
Img_missing_medium Jessie 10 posts

my wishes:

just like koolatron said: to have a cellular network modem WITH the bluetooth in the same module

another wish: to have a RFID tag reader (possibly a writer too)

ya, RFID tag reader would be nice. with the real ID act coming around and RFID tech for IDing people.
Jan 13, 2008 12:32am
Img_missing_medium ermine 1 post

How about a UPC scanner? Something like this could run library software, and it’d make things FAR easier if I could scan in books rather than enter them manually. Being able to bring the scanner to the books instead of the reverse would be a big help! Something like this with a UPC reader and Koha (open source library software) would make an incredibly useful librarian’s tool. Able to update the checked in books, check out books, input new library cards, enter new books as they arrive and more, and all transmitted wirelessly/via bluetooth back to the main server.

Definitely a Bluetooth module too!

I like the servos idea very much. If you can add multiples of that module easily, you could control a very complicated robot with such a setup. Build your own GPS & googlemaps guided RC car, autonomous submarine, plane, or giant robot! The accelerometer would work very well with those modules as well.

Muhahaha! At last, my army of robot echidnas will be complete!

I was going to suggest a 20+-in-one memory card reader, but you could just plug one in with the usb port it already has. I suppose you could do the same thing with a bluetooth dongle. I have one for my PC, it looks like a USB thumb drive. But you might be able to do far more with a specially-built BT module.

Jan 18, 2008 9:07pm
Img_missing_medium AwesomeRobot 2 posts

Ah with ODBII you could log trips, stats, and get all sorts of nice data – coupled with the GPS module and some mapping software you have the perfect roadmate.

Hell you could even have ODBII, GPS, LCD + bluetooth/gsm to have handsfree calls, trip logging, and navigation. Maybe ODBII could be achieved with USB as well.

That’s the kind of gadget you find in nerd heaven.

Jan 21, 2008 3:26pm
Img_missing_medium firehorus 1 post

I have several recommendations for Bug accesories. First of all, I would like to see as another blogger said, a scanner attachment. Also, I believe that it may be interesting to see robotic limbs for the Bug so that it will be able to move around. It might also be interesting to see a external hard drive for the Bug in case you have so many programs and or files recorded that the internal hard drive gets filled. Mainly however, I would like to see either an increase in the amount of accesories that the Bug can sustain or a accesory that allows for accesories to be attached to it. Following my previous sentance, I also think that it would be nice to have extension cords for Bug modules so that they can be 20 feet away from the Bug rather than being attached to the Bug itself.

Jan 22, 2008 6:59pm
Img_missing_medium MarcC 10 posts

OBD2 Module isn’t needed, you have a USB Port and can get the cable online, why take up a spot you could use for another module. If someone wants to know where to get the cable let me know, I have one I can recommend.
As for the bar code scanner I wonder how complicated it would be to make software able to read bar codes from pictures, i.e. use the camera instead of creating yet another module.
The idea for controlling electronics, i.e. servos is a must in my book. Multiple uses could come of this.
Here is another though, what about a wireless module dock. A module would be inserted into the main unit that could control and communicate wirelessly to module docks that can host regular modules, this i guess could also be done via wifi. Being able to have modules remotely could be a great advantage. Obviously the module dock would need some kind of power supply.

Just thinking out loud….

Feb 14, 2008 11:36am
Img_missing_medium 13moonsago 1 post

How about a UPC scanner? Something like this could run library software, and it'd make things FAR easier if I could scan in books rather than enter them manually. Being able to bring the scanner to the books instead of the reverse would be a big help! Something like this with a UPC reader and Koha (open source library software) would make an incredibly useful librarian's tool. Able to update the checked in books, check out books, input new library cards, enter new books as they arrive and more, and all transmitted wirelessly/via bluetooth back to the main server.

What about using a UPC scanner for making a grocery list, when you use the last item from the fridge or pantry scan it and then use a database that you have made to find the name of the item and add it to a grocery list. Or maybe even use the camera to make a picture grocery list.
Feb 25, 2008 7:18pm
Img_missing_medium Silky 1 post

A module that would be useful in my opinion is one that acts like an interface for other, smaller modules, i.e. a flashlight or thermometer. Such things that can’t become a full-scale module. Now I realize that many of the things I have in mind are available through the USB, but I don’t want to risk damaging the ports while I’m carrying it around.

Feb 26, 2008 5:06am
Img_missing_medium Tueksta 12 posts

ermin, 13moons: i thought about UPCScanner, too, but I think it would be much easier to use the Camera for this, that way you can use two and more-dimensional UPC, too. I wonder if there are any open source libraries for recognition tools?

Feb 26, 2008 3:51pm
Img_missing_medium migizi 2 posts

Tueksta, ermin, 13moons: I have a freeware program called LibraryScan that scans barcodes using a webcam, so I know that it can be done.

Apr 5, 2008 2:55pm
Img_missing_medium johnkzin 9 posts

What I’d like to see:

1) WWAN modules (posted my idea for that in the "3G/Mobile Phone" topic)

2) an SSD module. Or, perhaps a module that will just hold any random 1.8" storage unit (HDD or SSD), since I assume 2.5" storage units would be too big for a single Bugmodule. Then you could put whatever you want in it, in terms of storage capacity and SSD vs HDD.

3) the double size touch-screen LCD display, but make sure it has a micri-DVI out (with DVI-A support), and comes with software for a virtual split thumb translucent keyboard (sort of like the version of the Samsung Q1 that doesn’t have the physical split thumb keyboard). That way you can use standard apps and just pop-up the virtual keyboard to type into (and because it’s translucent, you can still mostly see the underlying app as you type). Should also detect orientation to determine whether you need the virtual keyboard to be split thumb (in landscape mode) or a single thumb keyboard (like the iPhone, when in portrait orientation).

4) a variant of #3 that is actually a screen AND physical keyboard… with a swivel screen (like the Fujitsu lifebook U810, and like so many tablet/laptop designs), so that you can use it as a tablet OR a micro-laptop. And, yes, I’m well aware that this would make the overall Bug device quite a bit thicker; but I think that for people who want that functionality, they’d live with it.

5) a battery module … as much extra endurance as you can stuff into a module, and support for having multiple battery modules attached.

With those things you’d have some nice options:

A) WWAN module + 1 or more SSD/HDD modules and/or battery modules = you’ve got a nice personal area network server that you can shove in your backpack/briefcase/messenger-bag to serve as a file server and network gateway for your PDA/Internet-Tablet/iPod-Touch … and if your PDA has a SIP client, then you can even use the voice phone capabilities. (I think that’d be an ideal companion for the Nokia Internet Tablets, which have SIP and Jabber clients built-in, when using the current software)

B) WWAN module 1 SSD/HDD either #3 or #4 = a PDA you can directly use, complete with internet connectivity and voice phone capability

C) 1 SSD/HDD module #3 battery module = a linux version of an iPod Touch (though, a bit larger and thicker, and possibly with more storage)

D) 1 battery module the single size LCD 2 SSD/HDD modules = something like a regular iPod, with tons of storage.

And, to a certain extent, you could mix and match depending upon your needs for that current day.

( assuming the final product of the bugbase can use its Wifi interface in access point mode, and not just in a client or ad-hoc mode)

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