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cylon

JavaScript framework for robotics, drones, and the Internet of Things (IoT) using Node.js

Cylon.js is a JavaScript framework for robotics, physical computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

It provides a simple, but powerful way to create solutions that incorporate multiple, different hardware devices concurrently.

Want to use Node.js for robots, drones, and IoT devices? You are in the right place.

Want to use Ruby on robots? Check out our sister project, Artoo.

Want to use Golang to power your robots? Check out our sister project, Gobot.

All you need to get started on a new robot is the cylon module:

npm install cylon

With the core module installed, now install the modules for whatever hardware support you need. For the Arduino + LED blink example, we'll need the firmata, gpio, and i2c modules:

npm install cylon-firmata cylon-gpio cylon-i2c

The below example connects to an Arduino over a serial connection, and blinks an LED once per second.

The example requires that the Arduino have the Firmata sketch installed; which can be obtained either through the Ardunio IDE or the gort arduino upload firmata command available in gort.

var Cylon = require('cylon');
 
// define the robot 
var robot = Cylon.robot({
  // change the port to the correct one for your Arduino 
  connections: {
    arduino: { adaptor: 'firmata', port: '/dev/ttyACM0' }
  },
 
  devices: {
    led: { driver: 'led', pin: 13 }
  },
 
  workfunction(my) {
    every((1).second(), my.led.toggle);
  }
});
 
// connect to the Arduino and start working 
robot.start();
var Cylon = require('cylon');
 
Cylon.robot({
  connections: {
    ardrone: { adaptor: 'ardrone', port: '192.168.1.1' }
  },
 
  devices: {
    drone: { driver: 'ardrone' }
  },
 
  workfunction(my) {
    my.drone.takeoff();
 
    after((10).seconds(), my.drone.land);
    after((15).seconds(), my.drone.stop);
  }
}).start();
var Cylon = require('cylon');
 
Cylon.robot({
  connections: {
    digispark: { adaptor: 'digispark' },
    leapmotion: { adaptor: 'leapmotion' }
  },
 
  devices: {
    servo1: { driver: 'servo', pin: 0, connection: 'digispark' },
    servo2: { driver: 'servo', pin: 1, connection: 'digispark' },
    leapmotion: { driver: 'leapmotion', connection: 'leapmotion' }
  },
 
  workfunction(my) {
    my.x = 90;
    my.= 90;
 
    my.leapmotion.on('hand', function(hand) {
      my.x = hand.palmX.fromScale(-300, 300).toScale(30, 150);
      my.= hand.palmZ.fromScale(-300, 300).toScale(30, 150);
    });
 
    every(100, function() {
      my.servo1.angle(my.x);
      my.servo2.angle(my.z);
 
      console.log(my.servo1.currentAngle() + "" + my.servo2.currentAngle());
    });
  }
}).start();

To use the HTTP API plugin, first install it's NPM module:

$ npm install cylon-api-http

Then it can be used in scripts:

var Cylon = require('cylon');
 
// tell the HTTP API plugin to listen for requests at https://localhost:4000 
Cylon.api("http", { port: 4000 });
 
var bots = [
  { port: '/dev/rfcomm0', name: 'Thelma' },
  { port: '/dev/rfcomm1', name: 'Louise' }
];
 
bots.forEach(function(bot) {
  Cylon.robot({
    name: bot.name,
 
    connections: {
      sphero: { adaptor: "sphero", port: bot.port }
    },
 
    devices: {
      sphero: { driver: "sphero" }
    },
 
    workfunction(my) {
      every((1).second(), function() {
        console.log(my.name);
        my.sphero.setRandomColor();
        my.sphero.roll(60, Math.floor(Math.random() * 360));
      });
    }
  });
});
 
// start up all robots at once 
Cylon.start();

For those more familiar with jQuery, D3, or other fluent-style JavaScript libraries, Cylon.JS also supports a chainable syntax:

var Cylon = require('cylon');
 
Cylon
  .robot()
  .connection('arduino', { adaptor: 'firmata', port: '/dev/ttyACM0' })
  .device('led', { driver: 'led', pin: 13 })
  .on('ready', function(bot) {
    setInterval(function() {
      bot.led.toggle();
    }, 1000);
  });
 
Cylon.start();

Cylon.js has an extensible syntax for connecting to multiple, different hardware devices. The following 36 platforms are currently supported:

Platform Support
ARDrone cylon-ardrone
Arduino cylon-firmata
Arduino YUN cylon-firmata
AT&T M2X cylon-m2x
Audio cylon-audio
Beaglebone Black cylon-beaglebone
Bebop cylon-bebop
Bluetooth LE cylon-ble
Crazyflie cylon-crazyflie
Digispark cylon-digispark
Electric Imp cylon-imp
Intel Edison cylon-intel-iot
Intel Galileo cylon-intel-iot
Intel IoT Analytics cylon-intel-iot-analytics
Joystick cylon-joystick
Keyboard cylon-keyboard
Leap Motion cylon-leapmotion
MiP cylon-mip
MQTT cylon-mqtt
Nest cylon-nest
Neurosky cylon-neurosky
OpenCV cylon-opencv
Phillips Hue cylon-hue
Pebble cylon-pebble
Pinoccio cylon-pinoccio
PowerUp 3.0 cylon-powerup
Rapiro cylon-rapiro
Raspberry Pi cylon-raspi
Salesforce cylon-force
Skynet cylon-skynet
Spark cylon-spark
Speech cylon-speech
Sphero cylon-sphero
Sphero BLE cylon-sphero-ble
Tessel cylon-tessel
WICED Sense cylon-wiced-sense

Our implementation of GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) allows for a shared set of drivers supporting a number of devices:

  • GPIO <=> Drivers
    • Analog Sensor
    • Button
    • Continuous Servo
    • Direct Pin
    • IR Rangefinder
    • LED
    • MakeyButton
    • Maxbotix Ultrasonic Range Finder
    • Motor
    • Relay
    • RGB LED
    • Servo

Additionally, we also support a number of I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) devices through a shared cylon-i2c module:

  • I2C <=> Drivers
    • BlinkM RGB LED
    • BMP180 Barometric Pressure + Temperature sensor
    • HMC6352 Digital Compass
    • JHD1313M1 LCD with RGB Backlight
    • LCD
    • LIDAR-Lite
    • LSM9DS0G 9 Degrees of Freedom IMU
    • LSM9DS0XM 9 Degrees of Freedom IMU
    • MPL115A2 Digital Barometer & Thermometer
    • MPU6050 Triple Axis Accelerometer and Gyro
    • PCA9544a 4-Channel I2C Mux
    • PCA9685 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver

In addition to our officially supported platforms, we have the following 7 user contributed platforms:

Platform Support
Parrot Rolling Spider cylon-rolling-spider
PCDuino cylon-pcduino
iBeacon cylon-beacon
WeMo cylon-wemo
Telegram cylon-telegram
APC UPS cylon-apcupsd
Myo cylon-myo

We'll also have many more platforms and drivers coming soon, follow us on Twitter for updates.

Cylon.js can be run directly in-browser, using the browserify NPM module. You can also run it from withing a Chrome connected app, or a PhoneGap mobile app.

For more info on browser support, and for help with different configurations, you can find more info in our docs.

Cylon.js has support for different API plugins that can be used to interact with your robots remotely. At this time we have support for http/https, mqtt, and socket.io with more coming in the near future.

To use an API plugin, install it alongside Cylon:

$ npm install cylon-api-http cylon-api-socketio

Then, all you need to do is call Cylon#api in your robot's script:

var Cylon = require("cylon");
 
// For http 
Cylon.api('http');
 
// Or for Socket.io 
Cylon.api('socketio');

Then visit https://localhost:3000/ and you are ready to control your robots from a web browser!

You can check out more information on the Cylon API in the docs here.

Cylon uses the Gort http://gort.io Command Line Interface (CLI) so you can access important features right from the command line. We call it "RobotOps", aka "DevOps For Robotics". You can scan, connect, update device firmware, and more!

Cylon also has its own CLI to generate new robots, adaptors, and drivers. You can check it out at https://github.com/hybridgroup/cylon-cli.

We're busy adding documentation to our website, check it out at cylonjs.com/documentation.

If you want to help with documentation, you can find the code for our website at on the https://github.com/hybridgroup/cylon-site.

For our contribution guidelines, please go to CONTRIBUTING.md.

For the release history, please go to RELEASES.md.

Copyright (c) 2013-2016 The Hybrid Group. Licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.