Tag Archives: Atmel SAM3X8E

Pinto lets you carry files on your wrist

This wearable device is ensuring that you never forget your documents and data again.

When it comes to saving files nowadays, we have several options ranging from good ol’ flash drives and discs to cloud storage. However, let’s face it. How many pocket-sized USB devices have you lost in the past, leaving you no choice but to go buy another? This was the premise behind the world’s first storage wristband.


Created by the Bean Beam team, Pinto aspires to modify the way people think about storing their files safely. The device itself is a waterproof Bluetooth-enabled wristband, that’s both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. What’s more, the wearable has no USB plug, port or other annoyances, allowing it to converge each of the good qualities of cloud storage and flash drives — nothing more.

“This is a something we have dedicated a huge amount of time to and that we feel incredibly passionate about,” a company rep explained. “Pinto is truly a better and more secure way of storing important files. It can be kept on the wrist 24 hours a day. How much more secure can something get? The technology is very exciting and we think people are going to really love Pinto, for all the best reasons.”

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According to Bean Beam, the one-size-fits-all band was designed to be a “true wearable” in the sense that it can literally be worn 24 hours a day if its owner desired to, from the bedroom, to work, to play and back home again. Aside from being able to walk to class on a rainy day, go into the shower or swim a couple of laps in the pool, the robust device also charges wirelessly, meaning it can refuel without ever leaving your arm.

Charging can be accomplished in one of two ways, either through what the company calls a “Charging CAP” or “Charging PAD.” The CAP is a round adapter that magnetizes on the bottom of Pinto’s rubber band, whereas the PAD can be placed alongside a keyboard or laptop allowing a wearer to rest their wrist on its comfortable silicone layer.


How it works is simple. The device is clasped onto the wrist of a user. Bluetooth technology allows files on Pinto to be accessed anywhere and everywhere, and operates at the touch of a single button. Equipped with LEDs, the wristband will emit a white light to indicate that the power is on, green that operation is idle, and blue that an incoming connection is pending approval. Pinto currently comes in both 32GB and 64GB of storage for you to jam-pack with all of your latest white papers, projects and documents. And, all files stored on it are password protected, so there’s no need to worry if somehow misplaced.

At its core lies an Cortex-M4-based MCU; however, in its earliest testing stages, the team tells us that they prototyped using an Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E. We will wait and see what the future holds as this wearable is brought to market!


Interested in wearing your files on your wrist? You’ll want to hurry over to its official Indiegogo page, where the team is currently seeking $190,000.

RepRapPro debuts the Huxley Duo

RepRapPro has debuted a new Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 based 3D printer kit, which is the offspring of its successful predecessor, the Huxley.


Aptly dubbed the Huxley Duo, notable features of the open-source device include an ethernet network connection for control via web interfaces, a Z-probe for automated bed plane compensation, shielded electronics, pre-crimped wiring looms (meaning no more soldering necessary), as well as its new all-metal, dual-nozzle ready hotend.


Though the Huxley Duo is one of the smallest 3D printers available in terms of its weight and footprint, its build volume is comparatively quite large.

RepRap 2

Key specifications of the portable and easy-to-assemble machine:

  • Build Envelope: 138x140x95mm
  • Printer Size: 260x280x280mm
  • Filament Type/Size: ABS, PLA, 1.75mm diameter
  • Build Surface: PCB-heated bed
  • Nozzle Size: 0.5mm
  • Layer Accuracy: 0.1mm
  • Resolution: 0.0125mm
  • Building speed: 1,800 mm/min
  • Extruder speed: 12,000 mm/min


Good news for those interested in the recently-unveiled Huxley Duo! The printers — which comes in five colors ranging from white to green — are now available on RepRapPro website for just over $450 with the plastic parts already printed. If you already have access to a 3D printer and wish to print your own parts, you can save a few bucks by checking out the components page here.

Read more about the latest Atmel | SMART based RepRap printers on the Bits & Pieces archive here.

FlexSense is a deformable surface that makes your tablet smarter

The team at Microsoft Research has recently unveiled a new ultra-thin, transparent piece of bendable material embedded with sensors.


Essentially, FlexSense is a self-sensing surface that can sit atop a tablet, like the Surface, and is capable of recognizing itself being folded or contorted. Upon being bent, the material accepts the deformation input and translates that information for the application in use.

FlexSense can be paired with tablets to provide users with what Microsoft dubs “2.5D input.” Any place you can imagine flexing or bending material, FlexSense can be applied. As the video below demonstrates, there are a wide-range of uses and opportunities, from paper-like animation to applying rendering effects in Photoshop.


In addition, there are also some entertainment value associated with FlexSense. Just envision playing a video game where you can use the entire smart cover as a gaming controller, flapping the surface like a pair of wings, or peeling back the material to check for crossword puzzle answers.

As its team notes, “FlexSense is based on printed piezoelectric sensors, which can reconstruct complex deformations without the need for any external sensing, such as cameras. FlexSense provides a fully self-contained setup which improves mobility and is not affected from occlusions.”

Using only a sparse set of sensors, printed on the periphery of the surface substrate, the Microsoft researchers developed two new algorithms to interpret the 16 sensors built into FlexSense.

The team went on to add, “Every piezoelectric sensor creates a surface charge which correlates to the applied deformation. Since the total number of sensors in our layout is small, we can connect each individually using conductive silver ink to the driver board. This removes the issues associated with the active ma- trix described earlier.”

“Each sensor is connected to a LMC6482 CMOS rail-to-rail amplifier. These are placed on a small PCB board that is connected to the foil. Before the amplification the signals run through a low pass filter, which protects it against electrostatic discharge. After the amplification a second low pass filter protects the signal from anti-aliasing issues.”

Each signal then gets measured through a MAX127 12-bit data acquisition system which sends the data via a two-wire serial interface to an Atmel | SMART Cortex-M3 MCU, the SAM3X8E.

Those interested in attaining more information on the innovative project — which was done in collaboration with Christian Rendl and Michael Haller of Media Interaction Lab at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria — can access the entire report here.