Odroid: applications of a modern Android-based single-board computer

Odroid is a powerful single-board computer which is competiting with Raspberry PI by price and benchmark. The device is manufactured by Korean company Hardkernel and is declared as open-source hardware. Odroid C2 is based on a quad-core CPU and is much more powerful compared to Raspberry PI.

An outstanding advantage of Odroid computer is that it is using Android OS. Therefore, it can use all the power of Android framework and run Java applications which are easier to develop and less in cost than C/C++ apps.

Odroid is not designed for industrial usage. The first reason is the disclaimer of the manufacturer: the device could be used “As-Is”, it is not guaranteed to work in 24/7 mode and should not be used in the setups where its failure can cause any damage or injury. Another issue is the device sensitivity to industrial conditions (dust, heat or humidity can harm the device). There are however rugged cases for Odroid available on the market.

Despite the manufacturer does not recommend to use Odroid for industrial purpose, it could be efficiently used as a part of Internet-of-Things world. Tho make the device more reliable, the tweaking and custom Android firmware development for Odroid may be required.

Work with GPIO

GPIO relay for Odroid

General Purpose Input-Output (GPIO) pins make it able to use Odroid C2 as a relay for different purposes. GPIO is available in Java app by using pi4j library, originally developed for Raspberry PI. You can also write your own library by using Android NDK. As a relay, you can use any GPIO relay module available on the market.

Home Automation

Home Automation with Android

Odroid computer could be efficiently used for home automation. GPIO pins could be used both as input (sensors) and output (control). You can use an existing home automation app, or we can develop a custom Android application for home automation for you. However we would not recommend you to use Odroid for heat automation because wrong work of the software may cause damage to your heat systems and to the home itself.

Locked kiosk mode

Kiosk Mode on Odroid C1/C2

An embedded touch screen (Odroid VU7) could be connected to the Odroid computer and used by such apps as digital frames, interactive information systems, or customer feedback systems. To avoid misuse of the computer, the app must be started in a single-task mode (Android kiosk mode) where the user couldn’t click “Home” or “Recents” button and exit into the operating system. The kiosk could be connected to Internet and could be automatically updated by a custom service we can develop for you.

Industrial applications: logging system

Odroid industrial applications

To avoid any injuries or damages, Odroid could be used as a logging system in the industrial environment. GPIO pins are used together with the sensors retrieving information about the light or operating mode of the equipment. The custom Android app collects this information, processes it and sends to the server. Once the conditions are beyond “normal” range, the Android app could raise a warning by using messaging or GPIO relays to turn on warning lights.

Sleep mode and screen brightness

The Odroid does not have a built-in brightness control and “sleep mode”. The screen backlight is connected through GPIO and it is controlled by using PWM mechanism. To control the brightness, we have developed a system service which uses GPIO and a PWM driver and allows the user to change the screen brightness by using standard system settings.