In the vein of Arduino-controlled espresso machines and Lego bots, we’ve been playing around with Flash and the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. With its flexible Linux-based OS, the Nokia 770 is great for rapid prototyping. Plus, you can snag one on the cheap ($65-170 on eBay).
Hardware aside, Flash is a great language for quick prototyping. It’s an environment that many designers are already familiar with, and it enables the user to create a graphic interface in minutes. For prototyping on small screens, Flash Lite can be used, but Flash Lite cannot communicate to other devices outside of the device it’s running on (aside from calling other phones). The Nokia Internet tablets are interesting because they are essentially tiny Linux computers and run full-fledged Flash. We got one of these tablets to run Flash and talk to an Arduino board. This enables any kind of sensor to communicate with the Flash application and allows the app to control things like lights and motors.
Detailed instructions for setting this up can be found in our Google Code wiki: