The Qduino Mini is an ATmega32U4 based board with a built-in battery charger and fuel gauge that’s just as affordable as an Arduino, but a quarter of the size.
Hot on the heels of a rather successful Kickstarter campaign, Quin Etynre continues to amaze us with his pure ingenuity and passion for creating things. As the quintessential example of what it takes to go from ‘MakerSpace to Marketplace,’ earlier this year the 14-year-old CEO introduced what he calls the Qduino Mini — a tiny Arduino-compatible board equipped with a built-in battery charger and fuel gauge that can let a user know when their LiPo needs a little more juice.
Born out of his own frustrations of having to guess when a project was running out of power, the open source dev board is based on an ATmega32U4 — the same MCU that can be found at the heart of the Arduino Leonardo, which the Maker has used to tinker around with for quite awhile. The small device isn’t only packed with a charger circuit and fuel gauge, but possesses a lightweight, ultra-thin form factor as well. This allows for it to be programmed and have its energy restored simulatenously via USB. On top of all that, each Qduino is also breadboard-friendly and has two RGB LEDs: one for status, another that’s user programmable!
The Qduino Mini measures just 0.8″ x 1.5” in size and weighs a mere fraction of an ounce, making the shrunken down Arduino ideal for drones and high-altitude balloon projects, as well as a wide range of other gadgets like Etnyre’s incredibly popular B&W Photo Booth that had been on display inside our Maker Faire New York booth.
How the selfie machine works is pretty straightforward. A user stands before a webcam mounted to a monitor, presses a button, and 20 seconds later, a thermal printer spits out an instant photo on receipt paper. The best part? It doesn’t require any ink! As you can imagine, this would be a perfect novelty item for any birthday party, prom, wedding or just for some fun around the office. (Heck, even AVR Man seems to enjoy it!)
The system itself is comprised of a monitor and two green 3D-printed parts: a button and a thermal printer, both embedded with an Qduino Mini. Pressing the round button triggers a sketch, which in turn, processes the captured image from the webcam and sends it over to the thermal printer.
Pretty cool, right? But don’t just take it from us. Watch Etnyre explain it himself in the video below! Plus, those wishing to pre-order a Qduino Mini of their own can now do so over on SparkFun.