The trials and tribulations behind creating Aifred and Lessons learned
Creating Aifred was a crazy ride. Putting 4 passionate developers and learners with varying experience levels into one room for 24 hours always calls for a good story but this time, we came out with a great product. But it wasn't so easy, here are some challenges we faced:
Being beginners in electrical engineering, we didn't know the difference in AC/DC wiring and that we needed to use a relay switch for the arduino. Thanks to the great mentors over at Prudential and Brent from MLH, we finally got it working.
Learning Android API and PHP. Some of our developers spent their time working and learning the Android API and PHP in order to create the app and run the web server. We ran into some troubles such as connecting the arduino to the app, but in the end, we prevailed after intense googling and stack overflow sessions.
Determining how to communicate between Arduino and android. This was a challenge that took our android dev some time because our arduino didn't have an ethernet or bluetooth shield. We eventually solved it through hours of blood sweat and tears.
What we learned:
Our fullstack dev, Srihari, learned the inside and out of the android API and how to connect arduino to android effortlessly using a PHP server on a machine that talks to the arduino using HTTP post requests.
Our hardware dev, Ranga, branched out and used his high school robotics roots to wire the coffee machine together. After many questionable attempts on getting it to work, the great guys over at MLH and Prudential helped us out and gave us some advice on how to correctly wire the coffee machine to the arduino
Our beginning developer, Jenn, learned about teamwork and python while also helping out on the testing side of things.
Our web dev and hardware apprentice, Srikant, learned C, java, and bootstrap while creating a website and helping out on the arduino. Also, he learned about electrical engineering and android by assisting his fellow developers.
Huge shoutout to the Prudential devs and Brent from MLH, without their help we woudn't have been able to create a good final product.