I'm working on a kite-related project where I'm using Arduino + accelerometer to track data while a kite is in the air. I am struggling a little with the best approach - help on the following questions / issues would be a huge help:

-- how best to grab data only while the kite is in the air? just detect with numbers, use a switch? other ideas? -- how best to collect the data and transfer to computer for visualization (likely with processing but looking at other options). i'm using this project in workshops with kids in low-income neighborhoods in brazil, so will have limited resources. a laptop will be available -but use of mobile also ideal.

Thank you! Claudia

  • Since it's battery powered, you probably want to have a power switch anyways. Also, wouldn't it be interesting the detect the preparations and launch from the data visualization? Like; here it is lying on the ground; here is the person walking with it; here is where it's thrown up; etc. – Gerben Jan 6 '15 at 16:41
  • YES! that's a nice idea - to visualize the full experience. thanks for the input! – claudybee Jan 6 '15 at 20:43

Several possibilities; Both at little cost, but since you have an accelerometer, I know your budget is not 0.

1) use a shield with an SD card on the arduino to log the information to a file on the SD card. Open it later from a laptop or PC. Hopefully it will have enough room to store data that you can ignore later for pre-flight, post-flight time. If not, simply add some fixed delay to the start of your program (loop 5 times; wait 1 minute;)

2) some form of remote, like an XBee, or even a wireless WiFi Shield. The setup can be complicated but that would be ideal for real time visualization on a laptop at the flying site.

3) probably the easiest/least expensive - a cheap bluetooth transmitter.

eBay Bluetooth $3 USD


This method would allow a bluetooth mobile to collect and visualize the data. This device connects to the serial lines on an arduino, (pin 0&1) and standard Serial.Write() function can be used. Any terminal program for your mobile will be able to receive the data. You could also get fancy and write your own if you want to visualize it. You may be able to find something already existing, like this

enter image description here

In cases 2 & 3 you will need a way to xmit the data. I use MQTT. A protocol just for this, but it is TCP only. I also use it with JSON (eg Json for Arduino to manage the data. You will need to find the same. Look at MQTT-SN as a possibility, or you can just write your own serialization protocol based around JSON without too much difficulty.

| improve this answer | |
  • THANK YOU!! this is so much useful info - I'm going to look into all options but it seems like 1 or 3 would be the most light-weight which is a big consideration considering it's being attached to a small paper kite. – claudybee Jan 6 '15 at 20:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.