Well, necessity is the mother of invention. I lost the remote control for my SmartMatrix, so I needed another way to control it. I whipped up a quick little Python/Tk application that controls Aurora using the new json serial commands supported in the master branch. The basic UI emulates a remote using the numeric keypad, while displaying a key map on screen. It also allows selecting Patterns, Animations, and Palettes using the menu bar. Check it out on my github branch here: https://github.com/jblang/aurora/tree/master/commander.
I also fixed a few bugs in the Aurora firmware while I was at it. There was a memory leak where the readSerialCommand function wasn’t cleaning up the aJson root object after it was finished, so the SmartMatrix would run out of memory and crash after processing several commands. Also, the indexes for the Pattern and Animation menu items were wrong in the setPattern and setAnimation functions in Aurora.ino, so I fixed that. Lastly the PaletteSmear pattern was missing a name so I added that.
Next up, my plans are to extend this with a mobile web interface (probably using Flask) so that SmartMatrix can be controlled via a smart phone.