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Bot Basics!

Science Journal Sensor Starters

databot™ Basic Training

databot™ Meets Science Journal!

databot™ met Science Journal by Google a few months ago and fell in love.  Here’s the true romance details and how you can participate and benefit! Ahh, Love.

What is Science Journal?

databot™ - Innovative STEM education tool and Google Science Journaldatabot - Innovative STEM education toolYour shiny new databot has been pre-configured and programmed to work with Google Science Journal using an Android device or Chromebook.  Science Journal (SJ) is an easy-to-use digital notebook that you will use to view, record, analyze and share your databot data!

With Science Journal students use smart devices – phones or tablets – to  build a multimedia science journal around their experiences. Students capture data recordings, write notes and observations on this data, and even add pictures to “capture the moment” of their experiment. Shown here is a snapshot of a  Science Journal portfolio – students can add pictures to label their experiments and build a  portfolio that is all stored on the app or online in a Google Drive if you use it with a Google account. 

SJ takes advantage of the built-in sensors in your Android smart device making it simple to take data readings with the built-in light, sound, and motion sensors. It also has the ability to communicate with external sensor devices such as databot™ which brings a lot more flexibility and capabilities!  Read on to learn how to use databot with Science Journal.

Marriage - databot™ Loves Science Journal

databot™ met Science Journal a few months ago and, understandably, it was love at first sight.   Great couples are always based on compatibility, mutual support, and making each other look fantastic – so what could be a better match?!  databot™ brings the data, tons of it, with 11 included sensors and the ability to connect to more.  And Science Journal is one hot rod piece of software that displays and records data beautifully making it easy and fun to build a portfolio of science experiments.

In order to get these kids together, a special matchmaker was required, a “helper” application that receives the data from databot™’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module and hands it off to Science Journal for display and safe keeping.  In order to connect these two lovebirds, once you have installed Science Journal, simply download and install the application from the Google Play Store.  Follow these simple steps to get started.

Install Google Science Journal - Step 1

 

 

 

Go to your Google Play Store and search for Science Journal.   Install Google Science Journal.

Install aRduino Link - Step 2

 

 

 

Next, search the Google Play Store for the linking app that enables databot™ to talk to Science Journal.  It’s called aRduino Link by aRbotics.  aRbotics is the company that brings you databot™!  Your search should turn up the app as shown here.  Download and install aRduino Link.

Connect to databot™ - Step 3


Step 3. Prepare databot™ to get to work!  You will need to upload a sketch to databot™ to gather data for your Science Journal experiment.  If you’ve not read how to upload sketches to databot™ yet through the Arduino IDE you need to go through the Arduino IDE tutorial and setup your software.  

Take a look at the databot™ Example folder labeled Science Journal.  These sketches have been authored specifically to work with Science Journal.   From the sketches listed, select the one named databot_lux_uv. This one provides the sensor data for ambient light intensity and ultraviolet light.

Upload the sketch to your databot™ and let’s test out aRduino Link!

With your databot™ fully charged and turned on you can now connect databot to the aRduino Link app.  Look closely at databot™’s BLE board in the back of the cube, you should see a blue light flashing.  This means that databot™ is available to connect.  You will see the light turn a solid blue in a minute when you connect.  

1. Run your aRduino Link app on your Android device.  You should see something like this image.

 

2. Look at the green button labeled SCANNING...   This means aRduino Link is looking for databot™!

3. The display window below SCANNING will show all databot™’s nearby.  In this case, there is only one, showing as DATABOT followed by it’s signal strength.  If you see more than one databot in the list place your databot right next to your device as the closest databot should be displayed at the top of the list. Click on the device and you will connect.  The flashing blue light on your databot™ should turn solid blue.

Note: The RESET BLUETOOTH button is used if you are having problems connecting or seeing your databot™.  It will turn your  device bluetooth off, and on again.  After the reset it will resume scanning. A reset will usually solve any problems connecting.

 

4. After connecting, this is what your app will look like. The selected databot™ in the list will turn green and you will see a moving indicator of data beneath the display window that shows your connection to databot™ is working.

 

Leave aRduino Link running and now run your Science Journal app.

Science Journal and databot™ - Step 4

 

 

With aRduino Link  installed and running databot is now sending data for Science Journal to display, record, etc.

Run Science Journal and click the + sign to create a new experiment.  Give your experiment an interesting name by editing the title (click on the pencil icon to edit) and then select the check mark to save it.  

You can also use your device camera to take a picture and add to your portfolio, or choose a photo stored on your device.

After saving your newly titled experiment, from the experiment dashboard, select the sensor icon from the display. It looks like a circle with a wavy line (data) being displayed in it.

 

 

 

 

 

By default, Science Journal will open up a new experiment with the sound intensity sensor from your smart device selected and displaying data.  Science Journal requires one internal sensor to be active at all times, so leave the Sound intensity display running. 

 

Select the Gear Wheel on this display card and it will open the Sensor Settings menu.

 

In the Sensor Settings menu, you will see a list of sensors displayed, both internal and any external (like  databot) sensors will be displayed.

Uncheck the internal sensors, leave the sound intensity sensor, then select the Ambient Light and CO2 sensors.  This will make them available now within Science Journal.

 

You can now hit the “back” arrow in the Sensor Settings menu.  This will take you back to the active sensor card showing Sound Intensity.

Select the + sign immediately beneath the card.  It will add and display the lux sensor displaying ambient light in units of lux.  One lux is equivalent to one lumen per square meter.

Congratulations!  You are now reading a live data feed from databot in Science Journal!  Put your hand over the front of the databot and watch the lux measurement change as you block the sensor. 

Select the + sign again, it will add the next sensor card, CO2.   You can display the data from selected sensors all at once if you desire or close individual cards.  Breathe on databot and watch the CO2 levels increase to test the sensor.

Tips: 

You may find you need to refresh Google Science Journal’s data display occasionally by closing and re-opening the display card.  

You can do a deeper refresh by going to the sensor list and selecting the “forget device” next to the databot device, then selecting it again from the list of available devices. 

As a final refresh,  stop and restart the aRduino Link application if you continue to have problems with your data display.

Time to Explore!

Now that you have successfully connected databot to Science Journal it’s time to do some exploring!  Try out all of the sensors, one  at a time, to familiar yourself with the data produced by databot, the units displayed, and the behavior.  After a bit of exploration you will be comfortable enough to conduct scientific data collection and begin building your own multimedia portfolio of science on the move!

Great Job, Let's Keep it Moving!

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