Tag Archives: BNO055

Light up the night with this LED Burberry skirt


Maker Guido Burger hacked a Burberry skirt with pico-Platinchen to give it a NeoPixels makeover.


A while back, Guido Burger introduced us to his board, the pico-Platinchen. The super small (only 20mm in diameter), Arduino-compatible button features a built-in BNO055 sensor (SAM D20) along with an ATmega328P at its core. Since then, the Maker has found several new and innovative implementations of the technology, particularly around wearables. Remember this ring? How about these smart socks? Adding to that list of projects is his recent hack of a Burberry skirt for Maker Faire Berlin.

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For this endeavor, Burger’s goal was to make the electronics easily removable, washable and expandable, while also dramatically reducing the necessary power to run 200 LEDs. He began the process with a CAD design of a fabric frame that would hold the NeoPixel strips in place. In the final project, the skirt’s top layer of fabric was comprised of a laser-cut repeating circle pattern, which allowed just enough light from the LEDs to seep through, giving it a nice blur effect.

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The pico-Platinchen enabled the high-end skirt to react to motion with its 9DOF sensor. Aside from that, the Maker decided to add a last-minute BLE module to sense whenever a smartphone or beacon was in close proximity — surely a colorful way to keep an eye on those around you during a night on the town! Normally Berger would operate the controller with a coin-cell battery, but for this wearable chose to go with a pair of AAA batteries instead. This provided the necessary 3V, along with an estimated runtime of four to five hours.

Intrigued? Check it out!

This smart system wants to make rehabilitation more enjoyable


These Makers are looking to revolutionize rehabilitation with their new system. 


As many of us know all too well, injuries to the hand and wrist are fairly common among children. Making matters worse, rehabilitation exercises tend to be just as demotivating as they are monotonous. So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a much easier, more efficient and engaging way to help propel young patients to achieve full recovery? This is a problem that a team of German Makers set out to solve.

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Their solution? An interactive system that they call Cynteract. It consists of a smart glove, an Oculus Rift headset and some self-developed software, which together create an immersive experience for kids and teens as they perform their rehab activities.

The unique design of the rehabilitation glove enables a wearer to track the positions of each finger individually. Combined with the Bosch BNO055 (Atmel | SMART SAM D20), the Makers were able to precisely reconstruct the movements of the real hand in their virtual environment while providing haptic and visual feedback back to the user. Aside from that, the wearable is equipped with a Bluetooth module for wireless operation, a LiPo battery for power and a microUSB port.

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Additionally, the Makers employed an ATmega32U4 MCU to drive the equipment as well as transmit the measurement between the glove and the computer. In terms of software, Cynteract features a multi-player VR game that lets two patients compete against one another. Little do they know that, as they control the game with their hands, they are actually carrying out the once-monotonous rehabilitation movements.

“The demonstration game is similar to Connect Four or Tic-Tac-Toe. When the player closes his hand, thus performing the essential human fist grip, he will automatically grab a disc. By moving his hand, the patient chooses the desired column. The disc falls straight down and occupies the next available space, when he releases his grip. The actions of both users are synchronized over a network,” the team explains.

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And we can’t forget to mention that Cynteract was also completed with the help of 3D printing, which allows for perfectly-fitting, personalized gloves with complex designs for each user. Interested? Head over to the project’s page here.

pico-Platinchen is a pocket-sized, Arduino-compatible wearable board


This Arduino-sensor combination is perfect for your next wearable design.


Last year, Guido Burger had brought to our attention his impressive blueIOT. The open sensor platform was based on the ultra low-power combination of an ATmega328P MCU and a BLE module along with a single coin cell battery. Created in collaboration with the Fab-Lab Europe team, the board would on to be successfully implemented in a number of applications, ranging from DIY fitness trackers and smart socks to  magical Easter Egg hunts and hacked Nespresso machines — which you will actually be able to witness live at Maker Faire Bay Area.

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Well, hot on the heels of its predecessor’s success, Burger has returned with the latest innovation from his crew: the pico-Platinchen. The uber mini, Arduino-compatible board was designed with wearable devices in mind and comes loaded with a high-precision, absolute orientation sensor from Bosch Sensortec. The BNO055 is joined by an ATmega328P, and like its older sibling, is powered by a CR2032 coin cell battery.

“The basis for your projects comes pre-integrated but you can still can expand it with more LEDs, sensors (e.g. I2C/SPI) and displays,” Burger explains. “Also, pico-Platinchen is a perfect basis for students and kids to start exploring the physical world: g-forces, magnetics, movements and much more!”

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With a diameter of only 20mm, pico-Platinchen is ideal for projects that involve sewing, particularly hats. What’s more, the platform packs the punch of an Arduino Uno along with the flexibility of an entire 9-DOF sensor. And, to provide on-board notifications and color-fading, the Fab-Lab team decided to add some NeoPixels (WS2812 LEDs) that can drive up to 256 lights with the pico-Platinchen right out of the box.

“By the way, it comes with a lot horse power,” Burger adds. “The motion co-processor for 3D maths is an Atmel | SMART SAM D21. [The] gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer are [all] combined with high-precision and 100Hz update for an absolute orientation in 3D space.”

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Using the Arduino IDE 1.0.7, Makers can build their own application with just a few lines of code in a matter of minutes. Aside from wearable projects, pico-Plantichen makes for a viable option in a variety of settings, whether that’s robotics, aviation or even in education (particularly physics). What’s more, the board can be coated for underwater projects.

Intrigued? The pico-Platichen is now available on Tindie for $32. Meanwhile, if you’re wondering what to make with the super small, wearable board, you can check out one of its recent projects on Hackster.io here.

Atmel launches Xplained extension board with Bosch intelligent sensor


Integrating the Bosch intelligent 9-axis sensor, these new extension boards provide IoT and wearable designers the ability to prototype designs using Atmel | SMART MCUs.


During Embedded World 2015, Atmel launched a new extension board for the highly-popular Xplained platform. Featuring a Bosch Sensortec BNO055 intelligent 9-axis absolute orientation sensor, the next-gen device connects directly to Atmel’s Xplained board making it ideal for prototyping projects for the Internet of Things, wearables and gaming markets, for applications like personal health and fitness, indoor navigation, as well as others requiring context awareness and augmented reality for a more immersive experience.

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The low-cost, easy-to-use Xplained prototyping and evaluation platform for Atmel | SMART ARM-based MCUs can be customized with a wide range of extension boards. The platform enables easy development with a rich selection of example projects and software provided in the Atmel Software Framework (ASF), Atmel Studio and third party integrated development environments.

“As a leading provider of secure, smart and connected solutions, we are committed to providing the essential tools and platforms to bring more IoT and wearable designs to market,” explained Steve Pancoast, Atmel Vice President of Development Tools and Software.

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The new extension board enables designers to easily allow developers to prototype motion control and smart sensing designs using Atmel’s broad portfolio of MCUs. The extension board is compatible with the Xplained-PRO expansion connector, and software examples are provided through the Atmel Studio integrated development environment.

“We are excited about the opportunity to feature our BNO055 sensor in the Xplained ecosystem,” added Jeanne Forget, Global Director Marketing of Bosch Sensortec GmbH. “Our advanced BNO055 absolute orientation sensor complements the Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-based MCUs and will allow developers to bring their designs quickly to market. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration with Atmel with this product.”

Interested? The Xplained extension board is now available in the Atmel Store for $19.00.

Atmel’s MCU maestro talks IoT

Atmel Sr. Product Marketing Manager Andreas Eieland (@AndreasMCUguy) recently sat down with Graham Pitcher of NewElectronics to discuss the Internet of Things (IoT). As Pitcher notes, the IoT is exerting a major influence on the evolution of microcontroller (MCU) technology in 2014 and beyond.

“In broad terms, the IoT comprises three elements: edge devices, which often perform one dedicated function; hubs or fusion devices, which integrate data from edge devices; and larger processing elements,” said Pitcher. 

”It’s the first two categories which are currently focusing the minds of MCU developers. The reason? The IoT demands two things above all others – minimal power consumption and the lowest possible cost.”

Eieland concurred.

“Being able to have the right features at the right power consumption will be critical,” he said. “Edge devices will need to run from harvested energy or for their full lifetime from a single battery.”

According to Eieland, MCUs will ultimately have to consume less than 1µA and less than 200nA in deep sleep.

“Atmel makes 8051 based MCUs, but if you want to connect to ZigBee, for example, our AVR cores are a better choice,” he explained. “But we also have a Cortex-M0+ part that competes in that sector.”

In terms of specific product examples, Eieland highlighted Atmel’s close collaboration with Bosch Sensortec on the development of the BNO055.

“There are six dice in the package, including a SAM D20 MCU,” Eieland confirmed.

“It’s a good example of how we are working with sensor manufacturers to get the most size efficient solutions possible.”

Eieland also commented on low geometry processes, noting that refinement of existing technology may very well be sufficient.

“We don’t think we want to go to 55nm because leakage at that node will be significant. Processes in the range from 100nm to 150nm may well be suitable, with one more product generation needed to evolve the low power aspects,” he concluded.

Bosch Sensortec GmbH adopts Atmel’s SAM D20

Last month, Atmel introduced the SAM D20, a comprehensive product lineup based on ARM’s Cortex -M0+. The new microcontroller series combines the performance and energy efficiency of an ARM Cortex -M0+ MCU with an optimized architecture and peripheral set.

In short, the SAM D20 offers a truly differentiated general-purpose lineup that is ideal for a wide range of low-power, cost-sensitive devices, such as GPS trackers, appliance controllers, intelligent remotes and optical transceivers.

Key hardware specs include:

  • 48MHz operation, 2.14 Coremark/MHz
  • Single-cycle IO access, supporting a pin toggling frequency up to 24 MHz
  • 8-channel event system
  • <150µA/MHz, <2µA RAM retention and RTC
  • Choose between internal/external oscillators and on-the-fly clock switching
  • Up to eight 16-bit Timer/Counters, 12-bit 350ksps ADC and 10-bit DAC
  • Peripheral touch controller (PTC) supports up to 256 channels
  • Real Time Clock (RTC) and calendar with leap year correction

Although Atmel’s SAM D20 only recently hit the market, the ARM-based MCU has already been adopted by industry heavyweight Bosch Sensortec GmbH.

“Customers for our next-generation self-contained 9-axis absolute orientation sensor (BNO055) will benefit from the same high performance with lower power consumption,” said Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO and General Manager, Bosch Sensortec GmbH, a global provider of micro-mechanical sensors for the consumer electronics market.

Atmel’s SAM D20 device optimizes Bosch Sensortec’s sensor fusion software at a level that was not previously possible.”

To be sure, the BNO055 is the first in a new family of Application Specific Sensor Nodes (ASSN) implementing an intelligent 9-axis “Absolute Orientation Sensor,” which includes sensors and sensor fusion in a single package. By integrating sensors and sensor fusion in one device, the BNO055 frees users from the complexities of multivendor solutions. This means more time can be spent on product innovation, including novel applications such as wearable hardware. It is also the perfect choice for augmented reality, more immersive gaming, personal health and fitness, indoor navigation and any other application requiring context awareness.

Additional information about Bosch’s BNO055 can be found here – and you can read more about Atmel’s SAM D20 here.