SparkFun Hosts Android Development Class with IOIO

SparkFun Electronics ( today announced an upcoming class dedicated to teaching students how to use IOIO (pronounced "yo-yo") to integrate an Android-based device into embedded electronics projects. The class, which will take place Saturday, June 30, from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at SparkFun's headquarters, is aimed at intermediate-level development users.

Until recently, it was difficult to connect low-level hardware (sensors, motors, etc.) to Android devices. The IOIO ( is a microcontroller board that bridges this gap and allows users to create custom Android apps (specifically for Android 1.5 and later devices) that control external pieces of hardware. The board provides robust connectivity to an Android device via a USB or Bluetooth connection, and is fully controllable from within an Android application using a simple and intuitive Java API -- so no embedded programming or external programmer is needed.

In this class, students will learn how to use their Android device to blink an LED, read a potentiometer, control a servo, and, if time permits, enjoy a stimulating open-ended session on connecting the Android device to a project that students bring with them to the workshop. The class will be led by Ytai Ben-Tsvi, the inventor of the IOIO, and is modeled after an MIT hack-a-thon Ytai taught in February of this year.

SparkFun engineers have also been working on an update for the IOIO. With the newest release of firmware 3.23, the IOIO's features include (but are not limited to):

  • Bluetooth connectivity - The Android app communicates with the IOIO wirelessly. Instead of using a USB cable, you can use BT. The usage is simple plug and play, and no modifications to the code are needed.
  • USB OTG (On-The-Go) support - This is a new USB standard, which allows the IOIO to act as a USB host or device.
  • Open Accessory Support - This works with Google's new USB protocol, Open Accessory. It allows the IOIO to initiate connections, which means users don't have to mess with the USB debugging option on the Android.
  • Multi IOIO capability - Now, users can connect multiple IOIOs together through one app. Multiple IOIOs can perform different tasks, all communicating through a single app.

Space in the IOIO Development class is limited. To sign up or to read more about the course and its requirements, visit SparkFun. To learn more about SparkFun's IOIO microcontroller board, see ( SparkFun has also compiled several free IOIO project tutorials for users to reference at