Summer Week #2 (5/22 – 5/28)

This week I attended various segments of the REU Bootcamp/Overview and also continued working on the MuscleMemory Bluetooth App project.

REU Bootcamp/Overview

This week all of the REU/SROC students arrived at IU and there was a Bootcamp/Overview that was designed to help get them up to speed with proper researching methods and also find out what research projects/topics interest them. Although I’m not an REU or SROC student, Katie invited me (and also John) to attend some of the talks and workshops at the Bootcamp throughout the week.

While I didn’t attend all of the Bootcamp, I did spend a fair amount of time at it throughout the week. I attended the blogging, GitHub, ShareLaTeX, mobile app design, and Android app development workshops and also attended the talks that Raquel, Sriraam, and Kay had about their research projects. My two favorite parts of the Bootcamp were working with my team on designing and creating a mobile app in Android studio and listening to Sriraam’s talk about machine learning, which is a topic that’s really interesting for me. Overall, I thought the Bootcamp ran really smoothly while I was there and other than changing to a room with a projector next year I don’t have any suggestions for how it could be improved.


Ethics Training (CITI & RCR)

In addition to attending the Bootcamp this week I completed the CITI and RCR training. I think the training took an excessive amount of time and most of it seemed like common sense. Even so, my completing the training was still important, as it’ll be required in order to conduct the MuscleMemory user study later this summer.


Bluetooth and Kim’s Code

I didn’t have access to the MacBook for most of this week so I wasn’t able to work very much on connecting the Flora to PhoneGap with Bluetooth. Instead I focused on working just with the Flora testing John’s bend sensors and Kim’s old bend sensors again but unfortunately still none of the bend sensors worked with my testing code.

I did work for a little while attempting to get a slightly modified version of Kim’s code to run with a light sensor instead of a bend sensor, but had problems uploading to the code to the board as I was getting the error: “Serial.h: No such file or directory”. I couldn’t find the “Serial.h” header file anywhere and so I tried simply removing the “#include <Serial.h>” line and was able to upload the code to the board but even after uploading it and testing it the code did not work properly. The NeoPixel would initially blink red and then as soon as I would press the button to set a target value, the light would begin blinking green very quickly as the serial monitor printed out a lot of 1s. I’m not sure what was going on, but I plan to get back to this soon.



This week I also worked on learning PHP and getting it to work with databases. I completed a tutorial on to learn the basics of PHP and didn’t find learning the basics of the language to be extremely challenging. Learning how to implement the language however was much more challenging.

I followed a tutorial from w3schools and began by creating a MySQL database and table and I used localhost for my web server (I’ll probably have to set up an Apache server down the road). I had a lot of problems trying to connect to the database using PHP, but eventually figured out that I needed to create a symbolic link to a socket file and then I was able to connect to the MySQL database.

After connecting, I continued on the tutorial and was able to insert values into the table in my database using PHP.  I was also able to select values from the database using PHP as that was pretty similar to inserting them. I still need to work on connecting all of this to PhoneGap, but I feel like I have a good enough grasp on how PHP works with the database now.

Next week, I plan to work on getting PhoneGap, PHP, and the database to all work together and to hopefully finally figure out how to get the Flora to interact with PhoneGap via Bluetooth.