Weekly Roundup #40 – New Maker Products // News

In Weekly Roundup #40 we’re seeing sensors, wireless, SBCs and the demise of a Polish physicist.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsQjcM78oQo&w=640&h=360]


MATRIX Voice: Open-Source Voice Platform For All

The Matrix Voice was an IndieGoGo campaign I mentioned back in Weekly Roundup #25. It was successfully funded there, but now they’re back on Kickstarter. Not sure why, as this board is exactly the same as IndieGoGo at the same price. Have they run out of money for production? Who knows? But it’s not gaining the traction it did on IndieGoGo.

e-skin Smart Apparel

WR-NMP40p2This next one looks like promising alternative to using a motion capture suit. It uses flexible strain sensors instead of IMUs to determine movement of limbs. Not sure how accurate it is, but from the demos it seems to be able to be used in golf swing analysis and game play.

Pixel Mini – The Tiny Arduino Compatible Smart Display

WR-NMP40p3This next one is a small Arduino Zero compatible board from Rabid Prototypes. Contains a small 96×64 OLED display and microSD in a small 33mm squared package. Can be powered from USB or direct 3.3v supply.

SmartiPi Flex for Raspberry Pi

WR-NMP40p4If you have a Pi Zero and want to use a camera, then this case allows you to contain both whilst giving you a flexible head to position the camera anywhere you want.

Protractor: A Proximity Sensor that Measures Angles

WR-NMP40p5The Protractor is a cool idea. It’s a proximity sensor board designed for robotics that allows you to measure angles between objects up to 10 degree accuracy. This gives you much better obstacle avoidance for your robots. It’s powered from 6 to 14 volts with 85mA average consumption.

NanoSound – All-in-one HIFI Audio DAC Board for Raspberry Pi

WR-NMP40p6The NanoSound is a DAC sound hat for your Pi that contains a PCM5122 DAC which is capable of 24bit, 384kHz sampling rate and an ultra low noise regulator giving you some decent sound output. Also has 6 buttons, IR receiver and small OLED. So is ideally setup as a media player.

SmartMote – Alexa enabled smart home made affordable

WR-NMP40p7The SmartMote is a universal IR remote with on-board Alexa connectivity. Has 5 IR LEDs to give you full coverage as well as headers for additional IR LEDs and an ESP WiFi module pre-programmed with IR codes for popular devices.

Swidget™ Outlet: The Smart Home Device for All Platforms

WR-NMP40p8The Swidget is something that allows you to embed smart home devices into your existing power outlet. They have a number of modules from Bluetooth speakers, USB chargers, IR and motion sensors. It seems to be only for the US market, so everyone else is out of luck, but a good idea anyway.

Algobrix | The Ultimate Coding Learning Game

WR-NMP40p9The Alobrix looks promising. It’s a STEM education kit that can be placed on normal Lego trays that are used to program the movements of a small Lego robot. It seems to be one of the more complete kits giving you some coding concepts such as multi-threading, logic, loops, parameters, sensors and functions. So far I haven’t seen any kit aimed at this young age group capable of teaching such complex coding concepts.

RetroBall: Build-It-Yourself Pixel Fun For Upto Four Players

WR-NMP40p10This is a blast from the past. Good old pong kept us amused for hours as kids. Until my dad got annoyed enough to cut the power cord to the TV. The RetroBall is a DIY kit giving you a 32 by 32 RGB LED matrix, potentiometers, buttons, PIC MCU, on a 240mm squared circuit board. It also has headers to plug in an Arduino to extend out it’s capabilities. Nice.


Nothing interesting on IndieGoGo this week apart from spinners, but…


on CrowdSupply, the …


WR-NMP40p11Spora is another IMU based sensor running off a coin cell battery. There’s a lot of them around these days, but this one promises interchangeable components, such as Bluetooth, sensors and also the MCU, but I’m not sure how they’re going to pull that off.
Will be interesting once it goes live.

Tiny PAT

WR-NMP40p12Then there’s the TinyPAT which is pegged as a handy tool for USB-C power adapter testing. No more info apart from that on this one.