This new Kickstarter project is looking to bridge the gap between the Raspberry Pi and Arduino worlds.
As Makers, it is practically inevitable that you will encounter some sort of issue during a project, whether it’s multiple voltage levels or an excess of adapters and regulators, something is bound to happen. And to no surprise, the fan-favorite Arduino and Raspberry Pi continue to be employed in countless automation gadgets; however, sometimes these two can’t play nice, which can only add to the headaches. The problem? Each of the processors have different shields, and require varying voltage levels in order to operate. With this in mind, the Armtronix team has set out to solve this conundrum with their aptly named Bridge Shield.
“We realized that in many instances, we require some basic add-ons… these clutter your board and make it difficult to debug. Not just this, you even need to take care of the mounting of these boards,” a company rep explains.
Fortunately, the new shield has been designed to bridge the gap between the Pi and Arduino via motor drivers, a real-time clock, a few sensors, an IMU, as well as a two-cell 7.4V Li-ion battery charger. What’s more, the Bridge Shield is compatible with most of the stackable Arduino Uno (ATmega328), Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) and Raspberry Pi shields out there today.
Using the Bridge Shield, Makers can easily build an array of projects. Possibilities include everything from an Internet-connected teleoperated robot, to a self-balancing droid, to a DIY drone, to a battery-backed wireless camera, to even a home automation system that controls the lights, fans and appliances.
Based on a versatile ATtiny85 MCU with an Arduino bootloader, the shield packs a number of useful features. Among those are a 10-DOF IMU, a dual-bridge motor driver, an eight servo motor driver, a temperature sensor, an IR sensor for wireless control, on-board voltage regulators (5V/3A and 3.3V/1A), level-shfitng for SPI, I2C and UART between the two boards, a USB-to-UART converter, and headers for both ESP8266 Wi-Fi and HC-05 Bluetooth modules.
“By combining both Arduino and Raspberry Pi, the applications [that Makers] can achieve are unlimited and beyond imagination. It is up to you how you can use our board to build tinkered projects which are fun and innovative,” the team writes.
In true open-source fashion, its creators plan on releasing their code on Github in the coming days. Pending a successful crowdfunding campaign, they will also look to further develop application examples, enhance its flexibility and devise a downloadable custom image for the Pi with Bridge Shield.
Meanwhile, backers can choose from two separate kits, one for starters and another for sensor-laden designs. The first includes everything a Maker could possibly need for their next project, such as a breadboard, RFID and LCD modules, a relay, a keyboard, servos and motor driver, LEDs and so on; the latter packs similar items along with some of the most basic sensors, like a buzzer, a heart beat monitor, rotary encoder and a microphone.
Interested? Hurry over to its official Kickstarter campaign, where the Armtronix team is currently seeking $4,100. Shipment is expected to begin in November 2015.