Piccolino is like an Arduino on steroids.
For years, Alex Sardo has been on the prowl for a way to embed an OLED display into a project and to devise a remote-controlled appliance. She has found that such interfaces, while easy to embed, were either too expensive, not voltage compatible or too bulky. And so, the Maker sought out to create a low-cost alternative platform that would offer users a quick and simple way to deploy new designs. Recently launched on Kickstarter, the aptly-named Piccolino does just that.
It is an affordable yet powerful programmable controller equipped with an OLED display and Wi-Fi connectivity that allows Makers to program using existing tools such as the Arduino IDE and ESPlorer IDE. Based on an ATmega328P, the pint-sized platform (only 1.2″ x 1.2″ x 0.7”) adds a pair of individual capacitance touch inputs on the bezel, a bright 0.96″ OLED display, 32KB of SRAM, a microSD card and a powerful ESP8266 LUA Wi-Fi module, which takes care of the connectivity workload with just three lines of code. Furthermore, this module can be configured both as an Access Point or a Station, enabling users to develop mobile device-controlled appliances in a jiffy.
“Adding the ability for cloud-enabled devices, web alarms, event-driven email or text message notifications to phone or tablet, remote web-controlled appliances, Wi-Fi signal strength meters, monitors, loggers, network scanners has never been easier,” Sardo writes.
The so-called “Arduino on steroids” can be employed as a standalone device with an external battery, embedded into any range of custom designs or used for educational purposes. Beyond that, Makers can showcase their personality on their Piccolino through a custom 3D-printed shell.
As an open-source project, the Piccolino team will be releasing each of the necessary sample sketches, LUA scripts and optimized libraries in the coming weeks. Later this year, they will also be launching a Piccolino Gateway that will give Makers the ability to leverage their servers to conduct Internet functions with Piccolino using a easy-to-follow API.
Are you looking to add Wi-Fi connectivity and an OLED display to your next project? Head over to Piccolino’s official Kickstarter page, where the team has already surpassed its $5,000 goal.