We built an Android Arduino Cake

Yesterday we hit 5 Million downloads of the OpenSignal Android app, naturally a cause for celebration. Celebrating, to our minds, = cake, but we wanted this cake to be different, to be really appropriate for the occasion. Sure we could have gone out and bought a chocolate cake. Sure we could have messily attempted to bake something which would have inevitably failed to rise, leaving us munching on the bitter-almond taste of failure and other people’s disappointment. Sure, we could have done either of those things. But we didn’t, instead we built a cake that was part-machine, part-marzipan and ALL awesome.

To cut a short-to-medium length story even shorter, we wanted an Android cake with LED candles that we could blow out. So while we couldn’t bake or buy one, we could definitely build one. What follows is a photo-diary of an afternoon spent building an Arduino Android cake, while actual work mounted like tetris blocks in our inboxes.

1. It started with a sketch. 

circuit copy

2. And then some wiring through the night.

James arduino build

3. The Arduino body – The ‘candles’ are in place.

2013-11-06 14.10.56 copy

4. Bringing the Android to life.

2013-11-06 14.22.02 copy

5. No fingers were harmed in the making of this cake (warning: no gore).

2013-11-06 14.45.16

6. Behold our Marzipandroid! 

2013-11-06 14.52.45

7. Painting the body (We were roundly criticized for this approach. The ‘bakers’ told us we should have rolled it in – but the Android cake builder perseveres through all criticism). 

Samuel colouring

8. The eyes are the windows to the soul.

2013-11-06 15.06.35 copy

9. Dr. Frankenstein assembles his green creation.

james copy

10. The finishing touches.

2013-11-06 15.14.47 copy

11. Testing the blowing mechanism. 

Samuel excited copy

12. The finished cake! (Candles all ablaze)

Android cake final final copy

13. We asked our lovely friend Laura (from music start-up Mixlr) to be our official tester…

14. Success! – Putting a new spin on what we usually mean when we say ‘Android development’.

Thanks to everyone who helped us reach to reach 5 Million downloads! To join the world’s biggest cell phone coverage crowdsourcing project, download the app from the header above.

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