Weekly Roundup #04 – New Maker Products

The Weekly Roundup has a few interesting products with LIDARs, Arduinos, audio and video processing,
MESH networks and even an open source power supply.


KickStarter

Not much happening on Kickstarter this week.

UART HAT extra 1,2,4 UART for Raspberry Pi Zero B+ 2B 3B

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If you’re running out of serial ports on your Raspberry Pi, then this might be the answer.

There are three variants providing 1, 2 or 4 UART ports. Output can be selected between either TTL or RS232 voltage levels.


Esus board – Awesome Wifi robotics & IoT controller!

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The Esus board is yet another NodeMCU clone thingy. Contains an ESP8266, breakouts for all the GPIOs, and 2 motor controllers all running off a variable supply between 2.8 and 11.8 volts.


The Hallowe’ener! Scare your trick or treaters mercilessly!

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This one I’m surprised about. Apparently a lot of people want to scare trick or treaters during Halloween.
It’s a simple device delivering audio soundbites when it detects motion via a PIR.


The Bod Box

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Now this next one is unusual. This guy wants to use a Raspberry Pi and Pi camera in the fitness industry.
It’s a good concept, but trust me, the device needs to be rugged to be able to withstand the gym environment.

Gym Junkies are shoving weights around and a delicate piece of equipment will be slaughtered if unprotected.


SCUBAJET. Most versatile electric water sports jet-engine

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The ScubaJet is a nice little electric engine claimed to be able to deliver up to 16kg of thrust.

If this one actually surfaces, then it’ll open up a whole lot of hacking opportunities.

For example: Slap an Arduino on the side, add a servo controlled rudder, and sonar for location and you have a fully autonomous surf rescue drone.


IndieGoGo

On the IndieGoGo side we have a few new products and a couple if you missed the Kickstarter campaigns.

Ivan Turns Your RaspberryPi Projects Into Products

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Ivan, is essentially another case for your Raspberry Pi, but it’s designed to also support Particle, Arduino, CHIP and Omega2 platforms. It also supports a range of sensors.

So the idea is that you have the same housing regardless of what platform you want to use.


Modern Electronics ReflowR & STEM inspiration Kit

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Ever wanted to get into SMD soldering? If you’ve ever tried it, you know it can be a real pain in the neck.

This campaign is a kit making it easier for you to solder those little buggers using the reflow technique.

Nice for people just starting out.


Whoa Board: Explore with Touch Sensitive EL Wire

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If you missed the Whoa Kickstarter, you can now pick it up IndieGoGo.

The Whoa Board turns any Electro-Luminescient material into a touch sensor.


MOVEZ-motorize blinds and shades

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The MOVEZ is a nice little motor unit that can be retro-fitted to an existing blind or shade allowing it to be controlled via z-wave.

Can be easily fitted to several different blinds and shades.


Finally a Smart Cable & Charger Meter for Everyone

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The qualMeter funding has come and gone, but it’s still in the “InDemand” status.

If you’ve ever had dodgey cables or chargers, then this one can save your bacon.

It’ll evaluate the quality of chargers and cables with a very simple LED indicator.


 

CrowdSupply

From the Crowd Supply website – A couple of projects that are about to be launched. So you can sign up when they go live.

WearDuino: Expandable BLE Sensor Node

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There’s not much info around on the WearDuino, but it is a BLE based Arduino compatible containing a 9DOF sensor, expansion connector all running off a coin cell battery.


Fabric8: Just in Time Logic

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You might have seen the Fabric8 last year on the HackADay website. Well it’s now on CrowdSupply as a to-be-released project.

So, sign up to be notified when it goes live.


Arduino compatible GPRS, GPS & NFC Shield

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There’s also an Arduino compatible GPRS & NFC shield allowing you to make phone calls and SMS messages, along with GPS tracking. It also includes NFC.

It’s based off the SIM928A and PN532 chipsets.


MeshSpot: Autonomous Rugged Wi-Fi Hotspot

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MeshPoint is an OpenSource, OpenHardware WiFi repeater and hot spot. Designed to be able to throw around to form an on-the-go WiFi mesh network.

Great for instant WiFi access while camping, or during crisis events.


Arduino Compatible Open GPS Tracker

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This one is an Open Source GPS tracker for Arduinos designed around the SIM800. Will be interesting to see once this project is live, whether it is yet another GPS tracker or not.


Makerville Knit

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Makerville Knit is an industrial grade WiFi development platform. It’s not running the popular ESP chips, but based on Marvell’s 88MW300 MCU SoC. I’ve never used that chipset before, so will be interesting to see what advantages it has over the ESP.


idIoTware Shield: IoT with Arduino, Simplified

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The eye dee eye oh tee is another shield with all sorts of add-ons.

It contains headers for OLED, ESP8266 SoC, NrF24L01, and HC05, and an SD card slot, buzzer, touchpad, buttons, potentiometer, and light, temperature and IR sensors.

Nice little board.


DemoCracy DEV: Raspberry Pi + FPGA Audio Processing Board

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The DemoCracy board is an FPGA audio processing board. There’s not much detail on this, but it contains an onboard Raspberry Pi, Spartan 6 FPGA, USB, Bluetooth, WiFi and MIDI in/out.

If you’re in to audio, then keep an eye on this one.


Talos Secure Workstation

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If you are upset with the ever increasing lack of control over your desktop hardware, then the Talos is the board for you.

It’s a completely open hardware / open software platform free of any DRM constraints and obscure control mechanisms from major vendors. That means no binary blobs anywhere!

It has all the input and output options that can be expected from any desktop motherboard.


Open Video FMC: The Affordable 4K HDMI Receiver Card

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If you’re in to video editing, then check this one out.

Capable of handling up to 4K at 60fps or 1080p 3D at 60fps.

This is one video processing board for high end users as my guess is that it’ll be expensive, but might be one to watch.


EEZ H24005: Open Source Bench Power Supply

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Wow! An Open Source power supply. Never thought I’d see the day.

Inside is an Arduino that allows full control over voltage and current output with 16bit DAC resolution, reverse polarity detection, remote sensing, channel coupling, and a single GPIO.

Nice.


Explore M3

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Want to develop on a Cortex M3? Check out this campaign.

Contains an LPC1768 SoC running at 100MHz with 512K flash and 64K RAM and a bucket load of GPIO options.

Programmed using either the Arduino IDE or Eclipse and supports FreeRTOS out of the box. Even has a SODA compliant JTAG connector.

Looks to be a fairly complete product with lots of tutorials.


EspoTek Labrador: Five Powerful Lab Instruments. One Tiny, Open Source Board

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The Labrador is a tiny board containing a 2 channel oscilloscope, waveform generator and logic analyzer, and multimeter and power supply running from 4.5V to 15V.

Looks like a nice little board.


Tindie

On the Tindie side we have a few new products that are interesting.

SV-MESH series Mesh network modules (100mW power)

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The SV-MESH is ideal for ultra long range communications supporting GFSK modulation on 40 channels with an output power of 100mW.

Contains a 4 byte node ID necessary for mesh networks.


Banguino module

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What’s so special about the Banguino?

Well it’s just an Arduino Uno, but pushed into the smallest footprint you can get.

Contains additional features such as: onboard regulator, micro SD slot, and 10 additional GPIO pins.


Configum FPGA module

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This next one is made by the same guy, but it’s an FPGA in the same 1 inch footprint.

It runs the Spartan 6 FPGA, with 64M DDR, micro SD slot, JTAG connector, and a bunch of GPIO options.


WiFinch: WiFi Servo Controller

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The WiFinch is an ESP8266 based board capable of controlling up to 16 servos. Powered from either a LiPo, USB or DC power from 5 to 14V.


SilicamRIK Smart Camera

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The SilicamRIK is the successor to the SilicamIGO and is a small board capable of simple vision analysis using a 30×30 pixel image sensor at frame rates up to 105fps. You will need an M12 lense, but if you want to do things like edge detection, object tracking and depth estimation at 30fps, then check it out.


AdaFruit & SparkFun

And what about AdaFruit and SparkFun?

LightBlue Bean+

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The original LightBlue Bean was a nice little board. What better way to follow up, with a plus version!

The plus is almost the same as the original, but with a 600mAh LiPo, 16 digital and 6 analog GPIO pins, and 2 built in Grove ports.


Electron Cellular IoT Kit – 3G Americas/Aus

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Do you want to get into the Internet of Thingies with GSM 3G?

Well, the new Electron Cellular IoT Kit as everything to get you rolling with an ARM Cortex M3, 3G modem, 2Ah battery, breadboard and 3 months of Particle’s 1MB monthly data plan.

Note that this is a GSM only device and doesn’t support CDMA.


LIDAR-Lite v3

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The LIDAR-Lite is now on to it’s third version.

This 40m laser based ranging sensor uses a single-stripe laser transmitter @ 1.3W and has an optical aperture of 12.5mm. Accessible via I2C or PWM.

Only available for pre-order at this point.


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