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[Q] Interface/Controlling Android remotely via USB Rx/Tx commands

OP Glslinky

12th July 2014, 05:50 AM   |  #1  
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Here's some context, skip below the asterisks*** to read my actual question:

I have an arduino project I am working on that combines the arduino with GPRS, relay, and camera attachments (shields) to act as a smart alarm for a car. Essentially extending the range of functionality (remote starting, lock/unlock/ alerts etc...) to my smartphone.

Since car alarm sirens are annoying and useless, I would rather be called if my car is being "violated". The GPRS and arduino could easily handle phone call or text message notifications. It could also receive texts and turn on relays etc...

One feature I think would be great would be the ability to send a MMS message with a picture of the inside of the car. This would be difficult and probably more expensive to do (needs stronger arduino board, good camera etc...)

Then I thought why not just hack up an "old" ($50 used android phone that can take really good pics etc...) They are just built a lot better and more compact than the hack job I would end up piecing together and cost a lot less. There is only one thing I can think of... see below.
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1) Is there any way to interface or control an android phone through the serial communication connector (ie usb plug hole) using commands from a device such as a raspberry pi, or arduino or similar.

What I would want to do is have a trigger (arduino monitor the dome light voltage line) to signal the arduino to control the phone to do the following:

--Call me
--take picture inside car
--send said picture via mms to me


I would also like the arduino to be able to read the sms messages I send to the phone in my car to do things like roll windows up, remote start etc... (arduino can do this last part with the gprs) as long as the arduino can read the text message it can perform something.

I am not looking for a remote client (like VM whatever its called).

If this isn't the place for this, please let me know where to start looking.
12th August 2014, 05:57 AM   |  #2  
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There is a product called mimic USB from customgadz.com that makes me think that sending commands through USB must be doable, but they are expensive and I don't know enough about it to help you do it well.

My first instinct would be bluetooth. I am not especially versed in arduino, but I know you can get a bluetooth shield for about 20-30 bucks. If you could make your dome light "trigger" tell the arduino to turn ON its bluetooth or send the equivalent of a button-press from a bluetooth headset (if the shield is always on). Then use Tasker on the phone! Create a task that when the phone senses bluetooth (either the new connection or the button press) then it snaps the picture, texts you, and calls you etc.

AFTERTHOUGHT: tasker can also detect charge state, to change settings when phones are plugged in/unplugged... So if you got the arduino to flip a relay, when triggered, that turned the port that charges the cell phone off... Then tasker could read that change in charge state and activate the steps you wanted. Then after a preset delay, or once the dome light went back out, you could have the USB turn back on to keep the phone charged. It is a little more circuitous work-around, but it would effectively be a command from the USB, like you asked for
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