Tag Archives: crowdfunding

12 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


BoXZY

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This three-in-one 3D printer, CNC mill and laser engraver will bring an entire Makerspace to your desktop. Brothers Justin and Joel Johnson are currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

ELF

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This pocket-sized drone is equipped with an HD aerial photo that allows you to capture videos and photos from the sky. ElecFreaks is currently seeking $20,000 on Indiegogo.

Lumious

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This wall-adorned lamp hopes to redefine your relationship with artificial light by bringing the sun inside. Lumilabs is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

Project Ryptide

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This drone attachment that can deliver an automatically inflating life-ring to a swimmer in distress in a matter of seconds. Led by Bill Piedra, the team of Connecticut high school students are currently seeking $10,000 on Kickstarter.

Trickey

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This building block-style keyboard allows you to fully customize your keyboard layouts from scratch. The BreadBoardManic crew is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Electric Eel Wheel

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This electric spinning wheel is capable of taking fiber and twisting it into yarn. Maurice Ribble is currently seeking $5,000 on Kickstarter.

IONI

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This professional motor controller is ideal for CNC machine, 3D printers, racing simulators and robotics. Granite Devices is currently seeking $15,000 on Indiegogo.

Lumioto

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This Arduino-powered prototyping tool lets you easily add expressive LED effects to your designs. SCALAR Electronics is currently seeking $2,5000 on Kickstarter.

Orphe

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This smart shoe system uses motion sensors and LEDs to enable new forms of audio-visual expression. No new folk studio is currently seeking $30,000 on Indiegogo.

Disco Dog

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This smartphone-controlled LED dog vest displays a variety of animated patterns and custom scrolling text in thousands of colors. PARTY NYC is currently seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter.

WonderCube

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This 1-cubic-inch keyring is designed to function as numerous accessories for your smartphone, ranging from an emergency charger to a storage solution to an LED torch. Mutants DesignLab is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Percepto

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This plug-and-play computer vision add-on brings endless application potential to drones. Percepto is currently seeking $60,000 on Indiegogo.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here.

16 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


Podo

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This wireless, re-stickable camera can turn any surface into a photo booth. Podo is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Switchmate

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This solution simply snaps over a standard switch, pairs with a mobile device and automates your lights in seconds. Switchmate is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

The Monolith

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The first and only skateboard to be outfitted with motors in the wheels is also embedded with Bluetooth Low Energy. Inboard Action Sports is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

LowoTec

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This pair of devices allows users to tailor their teleworking needs in both a flexible and secure manner through zero-configuration hardware VPN. LowoTec is currently seeking €120,000 on Indiegogo.

AmbyGear

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The world’s first smartwatch for kids not only teaches life lessons, it keeps them safe. Ambit Networks is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Freiya

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This smart can connects to your smartphone to help monitor your flowers and let you know when it’s time to water them. Freiya is currently seeking $48,000 on Kickstarter.

PancakeBot

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This first-of-its-kind machine lets users design and print out custom pancakes. PancakeBot is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Stryd

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This device enables runners to accurately measure power levels across any type of terrain using the sports watches and mobile devices they already wear. Stryd is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Keys

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This keyboard that lets you learn, play and create music using LED lights and gestures. Opho is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Artiphon

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This touch-sensive digital fretboard can be played like a guitar, piano, violin, drum machine and lots of other instruments. Artiphon is currently seeking $75,000 on Kickstarter.

iSensor HD Patio

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This weather-resistant, remote-controlled outdoor camera you monitor the outside of your home from anywhere in the world. Amaryllo is currently seeking $1,000 on Indiegogo.

Plugzee

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This tiny device brings Bluetooth functionality and high-resolution audio to any speaker. Plugzee is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

Splash Drone

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This waterproof UAV features a live video feed, payload release mechanism, emergency flare system and camera stabilization gimbal. Splash Drone is currently seeking $17,500 on Kickstarter.

Quell

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This wearable device attaches to your upper calf and stimulates your brain’s natural opiates to relieve chronic pain. Quell is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

Baby Check

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This wearable monitor can track a baby’s temperature, body position, sleep and medicine administration using a companion mobile app. DK Tek Innovations is currently seeking $35,000 on Kickstarter.

Yerka

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This integrated system will make your bike “unstealable,” along with soon-to-be added Bluetooth connectivity that’ll give you the ability control its lock from your smartphone. Yerka is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here.

10 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


Qduino Mini

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This Arduino-compatible board features a built-in battery charger and fuel gauge. Qtechknow is currently seeking $12,500 on Kickstarter.

Ringo

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This palm-sized, Arduino-based digital pet robot is packed with an accelerometer, gyrosocope, 6x RGB LED lights, sound, and communication sensors. Plum Geek is currently seeking $12,000 on Kickstarter.

Sesame

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This smart device will let you enter your home with a secret knock on either the door or phone, thereby replacing your keys in a matter of seconds. Sesame is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

FlexCharger

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This all-in-one charging station allows simultaneous charging for multiple smart devices. FlexCharger is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

Woolet

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This next-generation, Bluetooth-enabled wallet keeps your cash and cards safe. Woolet is currently seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter.

Smart Rope

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This LED-embedded jump rope connects to your smartphone and creates an “anywhere, anytime” fitness experience. Tangram Factory is currently seeking $60,000 on Kickstarter.

STACKER

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This inexpensive, commercial-grade 3D printer offers high speed, a large build volume, and is specially-designed for composite filaments. STACKER is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

MIDIWidget

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This widget makes it easy to control real-world things using MIDI messages from your computer or controller. MIDIWidget is currently seeking $6,000 on Kickstarter.

FOGO Adventure Gadget

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This device boasts a flashlight, GPS, Bluetooth, a backup battery and a digital walkie-talkie, making for the ultimate adventure gadget. FOGO is currently seeking $125,000 on Kickstarter.

SPARK Electron

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This tiny Arduino-like cellular development kit comes with a SIM card and an affordable data plan for low-bandwidth things. Spark.IO is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here.

10 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo in the last seven days. 


ISS Above HD+

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This Raspberry Pi gadget lights up whenever the International Space Station is nearby with live HD video and wearable LEDs. ISS-Above is currently seeking $10,000 on Kickstarter.

Radium

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This next-generation, pocket-sized geiger counter enables data to be wirelessly recorded on a mobile device. Radium is currently seeking €100,000 on Kickstarter.

Neo

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The world’s first smart jar is equipped to provide users with real-time nutrition, healthy recipes and zero touch shopping. Neo is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

ZRRO

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This system is comprised of a standalone Android-based console that connects to any TV to make it smart, along with a touchpad used to play games right from the couch. ZRRO is currently seeking $200,000 on Kickstarter.

UnaliWear Kanega Watch

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The so-called “wearable OnStar for seniors,” this watch offers discreet support for falls, medication reminders and a safeguard against wandering. UnaliWear is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

iTraq

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This geolocation device allows for tracking anywhere that there is cellular service, determining its position and location in the world using cell towers. iTraq is currently seeking $35,000 on Indiegogo.

Beam

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This smart projector assists users in their daily activities, simply controlled by a smartphone or tablet. Beam Labs is currently seeking $200,000 on Kickstarter.

CogniToys

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These Internet-connected toys are capable of listening, speaking and simultaneously evolving with children, bringing a new element of personalized, education to playtime. Elemental Path is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Where’s Wallet

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These connected wallets are embedded with thin, unobtrusive sensors that let owners track their belongings using an accompanying app. Mijlo is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Pigeon

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This Wi-Fi-enabled digital frame is designed to make it easier for parents to share kid photos and videos with loved ones. TimeWyse is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

11 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have launched on Kickstarter and Indiegogo in the last seven days. 


EasyPlug Air

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This shield enables Makers to wirelessly connect their Arduino in under a minute. inXus interactive is currently seeking $20,000 on Kickstarter.

Akolyt

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This smart sensor plugs right into your car and gathers important data enhancing both safety and convenience. Drust is currently seeking €30,000 on Indiegogo.

Hive

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This automation system wants to make smart home devices, security, and entertainment accessible for everyone. Hive is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Safeti

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This personal security device is designed to keep you safe in any situation by tracking your exact location and guiding you through any emergency situation. Safeti is currently seeking $60,000 on Indiegogo.

Qmote

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Access your smart devices with just a click of this water-resistant remote. Qblinks is currently seeking $20,000 on Kickstarter.

Luna

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This mattress cover will make any bed smart, ranging from intelligently managing temperature to tracking your sleep, and integrate with your existing connected home devices. Luna is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

EinScan-S

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The EinScan-S aims to serve as the world’s first high-resolution desktop 3D scanner that gives Makers industrial-grade resolutions. The team is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Coolbox

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A complete reinvention of the toolbox, this latest product packs all of the classic storage compartments a handyman would expect — along with several next-gen features. Coolbox, in partnership with Project Copilot, is currently seeking $50,000.

Wishbone

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Read your baby’s temperature with the world’s smallest, easiest-to-use and smartest thermometer. Joywing is currently seeking $20,000 on Kickstarter.

Flicks

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This portable boombox projector wants you to bring the party anywhere you go with big-time video and sound. Dashbon is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Glow

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The world’s first smart headphones glow with laser light while pulsing to the beat of your music or rhythm of your heart. Glow is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Arduino helps pick a winner in KissKissBankBank’s startup battle


Eight startups, two boxes, one winner. 


With the rapidly growing Maker Movement continuing to take shape, many startups are turning to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The massive funding amounts that have been garnered over the past couple of years convey tremendous enthusiasm from communities, all wishing to support an entrepreneur’s dream and see a new product go to market. This DIY spirit spans across continents with a number of funding sites having been launched over the last five years, including French-based KissKissBankBank which has become one of Europe’s more popular communities. 

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As part of KissKissBankBank’s “La Social Cup” event, eights teams of young entrepreneurs were selected to do battle to acquire funding of their project. For the occasion, design studio Merci-Michel was asked to make an interactive installation that would serve as the heart of the campaign. The exhibit they devised was composed of two ballot boxes, where audience members would insert coins denoting their favorite project. Each time someone voted, an animation and sound was played on a big screen, while the battle’s score was displayed in real-time.

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In order to make this a reality, the device was made powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) attached to opto-interruptors, which could detect the coins as they were dropped and count the points accordingly.

“All the animations projected were made with Flash, and the connection Arduino/Flash was made with a serial proxy,” the company writes.

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So was it a success? Turns out, more than 200 eager voters used the live installation during the party. Interested in learning more? You can read all about the event on the event’s official page here.

16 tech trends Andreessen Horowitz is most excited about


This list lets you inside the mind of Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. 


One of, if not the, most prominent VC groups in Silicon Valley has revealed the hottest tech trends changing the world right now. For those wondering, that firm is Andreessen Horowitz and we’re referring to no other than its “16 Things” list. The breakdown, which highlights the most investable spaces at the moment, unsurprisingly includes Internet of Things, digital health, crowdfunding, and security — a couple of areas in which we know a little something about.

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“We don’t invest in themes; we invest in special founders with breakthrough ideas,” Andreessen Horowitz writes. “Which means we don’t make investments based on a pre-existing thesis about a category. That said, here are a few of the things we’ve been observing or thinking about.”

While the list — which includes several themes that were evident throughout the CES 2015 show floor — will likely change over time, it does provide a nice glimpse into the firm’s thinking at the start of this year. Just in case you don’t feel like clicking through and navigating a16z in its entirety, here’s a brief overview of those breakthrough areas.

Virtual Reality

“VR will be the ultimate input-output device. Some people call VR “the last medium” because any subsequent medium can be invented inside of VR, using software alone. Looking back, the movie and TV screens we use today will be seen as an intermediate step between the invention of electricity and the invention of VR. Kids will think it’s funny that their ancestors used to stare at glowing rectangles hoping to suspend disbelief.”

Sensorification of the Enterprise

“For enterprise, the value of the sensors is in being a shortcut for the user interface, potentially even replacing typing so we can concentrate on the easy, fun, creative things.”

Machine Learning and Big Data

“The key here is in more automated apps where big data drives what the application does, and with no user intervention.”

Full Stack Startups

“The old approach startups took was to sell or license their new technology to incumbents. The new, ‘full stack’ approach is to build a complete, end-to-end product or service that bypasses incumbents and other competitors.”

Containers

“The next step in containerization is treating the datacenter, with all its containers, like one giant computer or server. Many applications today are really just distributed systems: Applications aren’t necessarily confined to just one container.”

Digital Health

“Tomorrow? To understand your personal diagnostic data, you might soon depend more upon an iPhone app developed in a garage than on your local MD.”

Online Marketplaces

“We’re continuing to see tremendous innovation in marketplaces. The first generation of net companies saw a few big horizontal marketplace winners like eBay and Craigslist. But entrepreneurs are continuing to create the next generation of online marketplaces.”

Security

“There are two things now driving the security industry: (1) The bad guys are already inside. (2) New platforms — cloud and mobile — have arrived… Both are forcing a different set of technologies, and the creation of new kinds of companies.”

Bitcoin (and Blockchain)

“The clock has just begun on Bitcoin’s acceptance more broadly. Crash or no crash, we should expect a significant increase in the level of institutional adoption this year. Specifically, a large number of companies will put together groups focused on what Bitcoin means to them.”

Cloud-Client Computing

“Endpoints aren’t just phones; they could be wearables and other small devices and screens connected to the internet. Beyond the devices themselves, it all adds up to a massive amount of compute power. The next decade of computing will be about doing something with it.”

Crowdfunding

“Crowdfunding is going somewhere it never has — into the mainstream. That, in turn, will change all sorts of other things.”

Internet of Things

“Something often overlooked when we talk about all the shiny new connected gadgets emerging out of the Internet of Things is what happens to all the old things. I’m fascinated by the power of adding multiple sensors to old things and then connecting them to the Internet…. With the IoT we’re headed to a world where things aren’t liable to break catastrophically — or at least, we’ll have a hell of a heads up.”

Online Video

“What we do know is that online video is far from done… so it will be interesting to see what even a little competition will do here.”

Insurance

“Insurance is all about distributing risk. With dramatic advances in software and data, shouldn’t the way we buy and experience our insurance products change dramatically? Software will rewrite the entire way we buy and experience our insurance products — medical, home, auto, and life.”

DevOps

“The rise of the hyperscale cloud datacenter has now made this job much harder as developers have had to hack together tools and complex scripts for pushing code to thousands of pancake servers. This complex cloud infrastructure — coupled with the growth of the DevOps movement today — has opened up many opportunities, starting with helping developers and companies to manage the entire process … to much more.”

Failure

“The goal is not to fail fast. The goal is to succeed over the long run. They are not the same thing.”

Rewind: These successfully-funded Kickstarter projects are powered by Atmel

Kickstarter first opened its virtual doors on April 28, 2009. Since then, the wildly-popular crowdfunding site has tracked just shy of $1.5 billion in pledges from 7.6 million individuals actively backing 75,800 creative projects.

Many have pondered as to whether the crowdfunding bubble would burst anytime soon, and as the burgeoning Maker Movement and Internet of Things have conveyed, the answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! By 2025, the crowdfunding investment market is expected to near $100 billion.

Since its inception five years ago, more than $116 million has been raised for over 1,400 technology projects — a number of which have been hardware gadgets powered by Atmel | SMART and AVR microcontrollers. In fact, 217 projects were based and built around the fan favorite Arduino boards (and AVR) over the last 12 months. Specifically, 160-plus AVR based projects garnered $7 million in Kickstarter funding, of which nearly two-thirds were successful, including:

Robox

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C Enterprise Ltd. (CEL) debuted its new desktop 3D printer and micro-manufacturing platform. Powered by an Atmel | SMART ARM-based MCUthe Robox was designed by its creators to “demystify” the 3D printing process.


The Reactor Core

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The Reactor Core is a hardware programming platform for Arduino boards and stand-alone AVR-based MCUs. Designed by Frank Fox, the Reactor Core is powered by an ATmega328P and an FT232R for USB to serial communication.


ATtiny85 ISP! 

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Designed by Ben Escobedo, the open source ATtiny85 ISP! can probably best be described as a breakout prototyping board for Atmel’s ATtiny85/45/25 lineup.


OpenBCI

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OpenBCI – created by Joel Murphy and Conor Russomanno – is a low-cost programmable open-source EEG platform that gives Makers easy access to their brainwaves. Aside from its ADS1299 IC, the OpenBCI is equipped with an ATmega328 (+ Arduino’s latest bootloader). The Maker duo have have thoughtfully broken out all the Arduino pins, allowing Makers to blink lights or drive motors. In addition, version 3 of the OpenBCI board uses bluetooth low energy (BTLE) for data transmission and programming of the ATmega controller.


White Bread Shield

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Mark Davidson has designed an ATmega328 based Arduino prototyping shield that can also be used as a stand-alone board for various DIY Maker projects. Dubbed the “White Bread Shield,” the platform is compatible with Arduino Uno boards.


MicroSlice

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The MicroSlice is a mini laser cutter and engraver, controlled by an ATmega328. The open source platform is being promoted as a kit that takes approximately 15 hours to build.


The ABXY

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The ABXY – the brainchild of Kevin Houck – is an open source ATmega328 based rapid fire and macro platform for the Xbox 360.


Smart Nixie Tube

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The Smart Nixie Tube is an open-source platform, powered by the versatile ATmega328p MCU of course, that is ideal for any dorm room, bedroom or Makerspace.


UFactory

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UFactory – located in China’s Shenzhen – has debuted a 4-axis parallel-mechanism desktop robot arm. UArm, modeled after the ABB industrial PalletPack robot, is built around an ATmega328 which powers a custom board. 

The platform is constructed with acrylic or wood parts and fitted with standard RC hobby servos.


King’s Assembly

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Solid Art Labs has introduced the King’s Assembly – a unique device that packs a high-precision laser mouse, full mechanical keyboard and an analog joystick into a single platform. For its mapping and programmability, it’s no wonder the team selected the beefy AT90USB128 MCU.


DIY Delta Robot Kit

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The Robot Army crew unveiled a DIY Delta Robot kit, which of course was driven by an ATmega328 MCU, that caters to the rapidly growing Maker community. The kit includes all mechanical pieces in grey and neon yellow plastic (the yellow fluoresces under black light), spacers, brackets, ball bearings and hardware required for assembly. In addition, the kit is packed with electronic components, PCB and wire harnesses.


Game Frame

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Game Frame – a grid of 256 ultra-bright LED pixels – was designed by Jeremy Williams to showcase pixel art and old school video games. As its creator notes, video game artists used to draw everything with a sheet of graph paper, a few colors and a couple of animation frames.


Pi-Bot

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STEM Center USA revealed its ATmega328 embedded Pi-Bot, a hands-on robotic learning platform for both students and professional engineers.


OSCAR

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OSCAR is a super high resolution 9.7″ screen with an ATmega32U4 powered adapter that allows users to easily link the display to their PC, Mac or Linux machine.


energyShield

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NightShade Electronics unveiled a rechargeable battery shield for Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and Leonardo (ATmega32U4) boards.


Dual Arduino Micro XplorerBoard

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Rich Electronics developed the XPlorerBoard, a portable platform that allows Makers to easily plug in two Arduino Micro boards (ATmega32U4) and eliminate loose parts with integrated components.


Open Enigma Project

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Designed by the ST-Geotronics crew, the Open Enigma (M4) Project – powered by an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) – first surfaced towards the end of 2013.


Skirmos

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Skirmos is an open-source, versatile laser tag system that features an ATmega328P MCU, an Arduino bootloader, a color LCD screen (acts as a realtime HUD) and an infrared LED.


EasyPlug

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EasyPlug – designed by InXus Interactive – is a versatile sensor shield for Arduino boards, and enables Makers to connect a plethora of sensors to their board in just seconds.


Vega Edge

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Made of laser-cut leather, the Edge is a wearable light that snaps securely onto your clothing with the help of four strong neodymium magnets. You can wear it discreetly by day or brightly at night with your winter coat, cardigan, hood, scarf, handbag, collar, pocket, belt, or wherever you’d like a touch of light.


Reflowster

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The Reflowster is an ATmega32U4 powered smart outlet designed to instantly turn your toaster oven into a reflow soldering station.


Primo

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Primo is a playful physical programming interface that helps teach children programming logic without the need for literacy. Powered by an Arduino unit, the play-set uses shapes, colors and spacial awareness to instruct programming logic through a tactile learning experience.


MicroView

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MicroView is a chip-sized platform with a built-in OLED (64×48) display that allows Makers to see what their board is “thinking” without having to link with a PC.

 The device, designed by the Geek Ammo crew, is built around the ATmega328P MCU.


Pocket Printer

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Developed by the team at ZUta Labs, the Pocket Printer is an untethered device comparable in size to a CD case that features a set of omni wheels and a printer cartridge tethered to an Arduino board. Once placed down, the device begins to run along the paper, using its aforementioned wheels and a high-res optical sensor to move around, distributing ink wherever it’s needed. For multi-paged documents, simply pick up the printer and place it onto the the next blank sheet of paper.


Printoo

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Printoo is a printed electronics prototyping platform designed to help bring everyday objects to life. The core Printoo module is powered by an ATmega328, while additional hardware modules consist of a display driver, battery connector, batteries (soft and ultra-thin), battery holder, sensor module, solar cell connector, conductive ink adapter, DC motor drivers, electrochromic display, organic photodetector slider, polymer solar cell and LED strip.


Digispark Pro

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Powered by the uber-mini ATtiny167 MCU, the new board is even easier to use than the original Digispark.


Mirobot

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Mirobot – created by Ben Pirt – is an ATmega328 powered DIY WiFi robotic kit designed to help children learn about technology and programming.


Mr. Beam

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Mr. Beam is an open source DIY laser cutter and engraver kit for paper, wood and plastic, whose key components include an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), custom shield and a Raspberry Pi.


Hummingbird Duo Robotics Kit

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BirdBrain Technologies (a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff) debuted the Hummingbird Duo, a robotics kit powered by an ATmega32U4 MCU.


Lil’Bot

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Created by Chris Hakim, Lil’Bot is a low-cost, open-source balancing robot powered by an ATmega328 MCU.


The Papilio DUO

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The Papilio DUO is a board that allows Makers and developers to easily draw circuits, move pins, connect extra serial ports and even link a Bitcoin miner to the ATmega32U4.


LazerBlade

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Designed by Darkly Labs, the LazerBlade is an entry-level laser cutter and engraver kit targeted at Makers, artists and DIY hobbyists that is driven by an ATmega328 MCU.


CNC xPRO

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Spark Concepts has debuted the CNC xPRO on Kickstarter, a versatile platform powered by an ATmega328.


Ai.Frame

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The open source Ai.Frame is a miniature robot powered by an Arduino Mini (ATmega328) paired with infrared and ultrasonic sensors.


DuinoKit Essential Project

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Designed by math teacher Dan Alich, the DuinoKit Essential Project (DEP) is a cost effective development system for aiding the learning of electronics and programming.


PopPet

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PopPet is as an “expandable, customizable and easy-to-assemble” robot kit powered by the an ATmega8 microcontroller.


M-One

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M-One is described by the MakeX team as a “personal desktop factory” for Makers, designers, artists and engineers.


IMUduino BTLE

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The innovators over at Femtoduino have developed an uber-tiny device for all of your emulation needs, the IMUduino BTLE. Powered by an ATmega32U4, the Arduino-compatible board comes in at just under 2.7 grams and is packed with USB keyboard and mouse emulation, Bluetooth LE (BLE), real-time orientation and motion sensing IMU, as well as 10V max voltage regulation.


ChainDuino

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Michael Tedeschi originally created the ChainDuino after realizing that he wished it were simpler to connect multiple Arduino Uno (ATmega328p) boards with readily available Cat5 cable.


Homey

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In an effort bring homes to life, Homey converges all of the smart devices under one roof and allows homeowners talk to them. Homey can learn a homeowner’s habits and predict their next move to make their life more efficient.


AmbiLED

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The AmbiLED HD is the first high-resolution ambient light conversion kit for computer monitors. The wireless ambient light strip affixes directly to the back of your TV, thus allowing for your field of view to be flooded with visual stimulation.


Multi-Program Laser Trip Wire Set

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Straight out of the ‘90s movie Entrapment, crowdfunding veteran Patrick Thomas Mitchell has created a system of laser trip wires designed to keep any area secure.


CANBus Triple

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Driven by an ATmega32U4, CANBus Triple has been developed in hopes of providing an Arduino-style device for cars that can be used to bus data and add awesome functionality to your vehicle.


Pax Instruments T400

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The Pax Instruments T400 is a simple, inexpensive and open-source temperature datalogger. Designed by Charles Edward Pax, the ATmega32U4 powered T400 is a first in a new class of affordable lab instruments.


Dr.Duino

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Dr.Duino is a fully-equipped breakout board for testing all features of the Arduino platform. Created by Long Island-based Innovative Electronic Solutions LLC, the newly-launched device enables developers using the popular board to have a genuine fixture for testing their Atmel based designs. Think of it as a shield for your shields!


DUO Light

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Maker Jack Eisenmann has developed a lightweight, single board computer that can connect to an SD card, a composite video monitor and a keyboard, and provide a low-level computer programming experience.


LED Matrix Shades

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Garrett Mace of macetech LLC recently designed a pair of open-source, programmable stunna Matrix Shades.


TinyScreen

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With much of the tech community is abuzz about larger screen sizes, the TinyScreen is here to show customers just how adaptable a miniscule display can be in a world overrun by massive screens. Led by Maker Ken Burns, TinyCircuits successfully launched a campaign for its


MicroDuino

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Paying homage to Game Boy’s 25th birthday, the MicroDuino Studio team has now debuted the Microduino-Joypad, an 8-bit multi-functional game console capable of playing all-time classics ranging from Tetris to Snake. The open-source gadget will allow Makers to relive some of their greatest childhood memories of clicking away at those giant buttons on a vintage Nintendo handheld.


DrumPants

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Ever catch yourself drumming on your thighs? Your table? Your desk? Your steering wheel? Now, starting a one-man band is as simple as wearing this musical kit. DrumPants, dubbed by its creators as “the world’s industrial quality wearable musical instrument,” transforms your outfit into a full ensemble with 100+ built-in high-quality sounds. Its control box — powered by an Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M3-based MCU — features an ultra-low latency Bluetooth 4.0 chip, a built-in sound engine for 1/8-inch headphone jack, 128 instrument sample banks and a Micro-USB for connection to a laptop or PC.


APOC Pro

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Developed by AeroSplice, the APOC Pro is an advanced open-source Gamma particle and X-ray radiation detector powered by an ATmega328 MCU.


Makesmith CNC Router

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Designed by Bar Smith and Tom Beckett, Makesmith uses off-the-shelf parts to put viable CNC technology into the hands of engineers, DIY hobbyists and Makers.


Controllino

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Designed by the SG-Tronic team, the Controllino is an open-source programmable logic controller (PLC) built around Atmel’s ATmega328 and ATmega2560 microcontrollers. The Arduino-compatible PLC allows Makers to produce and control their next Internet of Things project, ranging from industrial to home automation applications.


Nomiku Wi-Fi

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In an attempt to make sous vide cooking more accessible to the home chef, the team behind the Nomiku Immersion Circulator unveiled a new prototype that features Wi-Fi connectivity. Embedded with an ATtiny88 MCU, the Nomiku can receive inputs from the accompanying Tender smartphone application. Tender, available on the iOS and Android platforms, grants users the ability to share recipes throughout the sous vide cooking community. With a few clicks and the correct ingredients, a home chef could have a Top Chef winner’s recipe brewing on their stove in just a matter of minutes.


DrinkMate

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Developed by the team at Edge Tech Labs, DrinkMate is a lipstick-sized breathalyzer that plugs directly into your smartphone. Unlike others of the past, the world’s smallest breathalyzer — which measures 1.8″ long x 0.62″ in diameter — works in conjunction with the Android phone’s app and displays his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) results instantly with no calibration, no mouthpiece and no battery.


MangoCube

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MangoCube is a pocket-sized, Arduino-compatible development board powered by an ATmega32u4 MCU. Created by London-based Maker Bhargav Mistry, MangoCube provides developers with an uber-mini, stackable header-friendly board that comes in three versions: MangoCube LEO, MangoCube BLE (Bluetooth 4.0) and MangoCube Wi-Fi. Additionally, it can be found in a selection of five vibrantly colored cases, each of which allow a Maker to express his or her personality.


Lo-Fi SES

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Designed by the Assorted Wires crew, Lo-Fi SES is a hackable 8-bit chiptunes device generated quite a bit of buzz on Kickstarter. Based on an Atmel AVR MCU, the Lo-Fi SES replicates the shape of a good ol’ SNES controller, whose buttons are used to trigger samples, change tempo, as well as play, record and delete tracks. The controller, which is the heart of the Lo-Fi SES experience, comes equipped with a default playlist of onboard sounds including a lo-fi drum set. Bring back attack sounds from those childhood video games!


MAID Oven

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Powered by an ATmega32L, the MAID (Make All Incredible Dishes) Oven is an all-in-one device that can learn your eating habits, like daily caloric intake, and then suggest new recipes for you based on its pre-programmed optimization algorithms — which are driven by an ARM processor. The appliance functions as a microwave, convection oven and top-heater, meaning that it can whip up anything from a bag of popcorn or Eggo waffles to a birthday cake for a family celebration.


BeON Home

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While there has been an influx of smart bulbs in recent years, none of them may be nearly as intelligent as one Cambridge-based startup’s new system, which has been designed to out-smart would-be intruders. As its creators note, the BeON Burglar Deterrent aspires to give off the impression of a lived-in home while you are away. Embedded with an Atmel | SMART SAM G ARM Cortex-M4 MCU, BeON’s sound processing engine can detect the tone of a doorbell and will immediately trigger the lights on in sequence to simulate your active presence, thereby increasing its level of ‘smartness.’ (Think of it as a professional grade Home Alone contraption.) Aside from the ATSAMG53 based sound algorithm, each BeON bulb boasts a backup rechargeable battery, ensuring its burglar prevention powers work even without power.


Phoenard

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As seen at the Atmel Maker Faire, Embedded World and Electronica booths, former AVR Hero Pamungkas Prawisuda Sumasta, Ralf Smit and their team have successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign for their all-in-one Arduino-compatible prototyping gadget, Phoenard. While its form-factor is rather convenient, its hackability and wide-range of applications is where the Phoenard truly sets itself apart. The gadget, which is powered by an ATmega2560, not only sits perfectly in your hand but can slide quite easily into your pocket. The 11.8 x 6.1 x 1.1 cm device boasts a full-color touchscreen display and an on-board battery, and is even equipped with its own operating environment. Given its incredible versatility, the self-programmed Phoenard is bound to make every true Maker’s dream a reality.


AllPixel

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Designed by the team at Maniacal Labs, AllPixel is a USB interface capable of controlling up to 680 pixels on any popular LED strip equipped with a USB port. Based on an ATmega32U4, the small, open-source board measures just 2.7″ x 0.9,” as well as provides easy USB control of all major programmable LED strips. It is compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows platforms, and can run on any device that supports Python, including Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, or pretty much any desktop/laptop.


Arki

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Arki is a stylish wearable band that not only tracks a wearer’s daily activities, but seeks to improve posture along the way. In short, the device analyzes your steps, then vibrates if and when you aren’t standing tall. The brainchild of Los Angeles and Seoul-based startup Zikto, the latest tech to adorn our wrists is powered by an Atmel | SMART SAM4LS ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller. The gadget offers all the classic activity tracker functions, however in a rather attractive and fashionable package. A popular complaint around fitness trackers is that they are bulky and not practical to wear in professional settings. However, the newly-unveiled device caters to everyone, from activity seekers to fashionistas, with its waterproof casing and interchangeable straps to match any ensemble.


AirBeam

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Designed by the Brooklyn-based HabitatMap team, AirBeam is a portable, palm-sized system for mapping, graphing and crowdsourcing air pollution in real-time as you make your way around city streets. While the wearable instrument may not purify the air, it does enable you to monitor what you are breathing in, thereby increasing your awareness of the budding issue. As its creators note, pollution is among the leading causes of chronic illnesses as well as contributor to a number of terminal illnesses. In an effort to share and improve the atmosphere, the device is powered by an ATmega32U4 and based on the Arduino Leonardo bootloader.


SnapJet

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Have you ever browsed through your smartphone pics and wished you could print copies in a moment’s notice? A new device, aptly named SnapJet, is now making that a reality. The open-source, instant-film printer uses Polaroid technology to let users wirelessly print their photos directly from a smartphone. Powered by an Atmel AT90USB1286, the mobile device also features an OLED display and other connectivity options — like USB and BLE — just in case you feel the need retouch a few pics, or for those Makers out there, the urge to reprogram or hack the open-source device.


SmartBox

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The RepRap-based printer, which features a build envelope of 200 x 200 x 180mm, is equipped with an easy-to-use LCD screen, an SD card slot, an extrusion nozzle measuring 0.4mm in diameter, as well as an integrated aluminum frame. Based on an ATmega1284P MCU, the SmartBox team claims to be the lowest-cost FFF 3D printer with a large building space and an LCD screen convenient battery. In addition, the machine’s convenient battery was designed to eradicate any possibility of the printer shutting down during a power outage, meaning no more fretting over losing that project after countless hours of hard work!


MeArm

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Developed by Benjamin Gray and Jack Howard, MeArm aims to bring a simple robotic arm well within the reach (and budget) of everyday educators, students, young Makers and parents alike. Powered by an Arduino Leonardo (or Uno), the MeArm is essentially a shrunken-down version of an ordinary industrial robot arm. Meanwhile, its MeBrain platform is based on an ATmega32U4 MCU — which is the same chip used in the Leonardo — the MeBrain’s two joysticks are responsible for commanding the MeArm. By simply plugging the robot arm into the board and the board into a power supply, Makers can control the robotic contraption as well as a few movements to play back.


SuperDuino

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Created by Maker Mohsin Farooq, SuperDuino is a coin cell operated, Arduino-compatible board with a built-in 1.7-inch color display and a three-axis accelerometer. Designed for experienced engineers, hobbyists and students alike, the ATmega328 based SuperDuino comes with a series of tutorials which can be used to create anything from a temperature or humidity controller, to a capacitance or frequency meter, to a smartwatch, to a talking clock, to a digital logical analyzer, to even a game controller for Flappy Bird or Bricks Breaker.


L3D Cube

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What better way to ring in the holidays than by transforming your living room into a dance party? With the L3D Cube, now you can. Developed by the Looking Glass Factory crew, the 3D fixture is a true DIY kit allowing Makers to create their own “volumetric” display in just 30 minutes. After constructing the easy-to-assemble box, users can download a number of visualization apps to it or program it themselves using either Arduino or Processing language.

Hoverbikes may soon become a reality

Want to ride into work like a Stormtrooper in “Star Wars?” Good news: While hoverbikes may not be ready for your daily commute just yet, thanks to UK-based Malloy Aeronautics, we’re now closer than ever. After successfully completing its Kickstarter campaign, the firm is producing a one-third sized version of its design to help fund the full-sized prototype.

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“This drone was originally built as a proof of concept for our latest full-sized Hoverbike prototype,” said inventor Chris Malloy. “After testing the one-third Hoverbike, we realized that it had lots of features that made it a fantastic drone, not only this — selling this scale Hoverbike to the public would allow us to raise funds to continue the development of the manned version.”

As Wired recently noted, the 1.15-meter-long mini replica can carry payloads of around 1.5kg and weighs in at 2.2kg unladen. The 3DR Pixhawk flight controller allows for it to be controlled remotely, as well as follow predetermined flight paths — or the pilot themselves — automatically. The mini-hoverbike also comes equipped with a third-scaled, 3D-printed humanoid ‘pilot’ complete with a space on its head specifically-designed for a GoPro camera.

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The futuristic prototype has the potential to travel up to 92 miles or for about 45 minutes on a single tank of fuel, with a 3,048-meter maximum altitude and a top speed of around 45 MPH. “This a far cry from the full-size prototype’s theorized 173 MPH,” writes Wired’s Chris Higgins.

“We combined the simplicity of a motorbike and the freedom of a helicopter to create the world’s first flying motorcycle,” says a company rep. Powered by four motors and four propellers, the ‘copter is equipped with an ATmega32u4 based Macro Micro. The Arduino Micro-compatible microcontroller is easy to program with 3A inputs and outputs, up to 30V in, analog out, and has hundreds of uses in robotics and home projects, including stepper motor driver, LED strip light controller, servo actuator, fan speed controller, brew kit controller, electric car window conversions.

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“We designed this tiny board to drive the multicolor LED’s on the Hoverbike, and to allow owners of our 1/3rd Hoverbikee to do more with their drone than just look passively from the sky, by switching and actuating levers, release pins, spot lights via their radio or program.”

The “bare bones” one-third Hoverbike drone will be delivered with:

  • 1x Frame
  • 4x Motors
  • 4x Propellers
  • 1x Macro Micro board and built-in LED lights
  • Fully assembled

The standard “bind-and-fly” one-third Hoverbike drone will be delivered with:

  • 1x Frame
  • 4x Motors
  • 4x Propellers
  • 4x ESC
  • 2x Battery (6Ahr)
  • 1x Flight Controller (Pixhawk)
  • 1x Macro Micro board and built-in LED lights
  • Fully assembled and flight tested (just need to bind to your own radio)

“When compared with a helicopter, the Hoverbike is cheaper, more rugged and easier to use — and represents a whole new way to fly,” its Kickstarter blurb explains.

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The campaign garnered nearly $105,000 over several weeks, doubling its original $48,000 goal. Safe to say, this isn’t just an everyday drone you may encounter at the park; rather, this can potentially become the first airborne vehicle which combines the functionalities of a motorbike and a ‘copter together. Following the completion of its funding round, Malloy Aeronautics will continue onto the final design and testing needed to make the Hoverbike a reality.

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Interested in learning more or pre-ordering yours today? Fly on over to its official page here. The drone versions of the hovercraft will cost a little over $1,700 and are expected to ship this November.

Atmel and the Maker Revolution

I was part of the “original” Maker revolution. This was years ago, in the late 1980’s, and I was a latecomer. We used to make our own circuit boards, but slightly different from the ones today.

There was a 386 computer on my desk. My trusty 386 had ISA ports, extension card space, that most of us used as a basis for our designs. The ISA bus was easy to use, and the connector was large, meaning we could use simple, basic, cheap equipment to make our boards. What did we make? Everything! Digital IO, radio, remote control systems, everything. When I was a student, my flat was controlled entirely by one of these cards. Of course, the brain of my invention was the computer itself, it wasn’t easy to create a computer system.

A computer system requires several components. It requires a processor, and there were quite a few on the market at the time. It also requires memory, but two kinds; random access memory, RAM for short, is where variables are stored, and is the memory that a program uses to copy, calculate and modify data. A computer also requires read-only memory, ROM for short, and this is where the program is placed. Even that was tricky. You see, at the time, in order to “flash” a new program, we had to remove the EPROM device (short for Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) and place it in ultraviolet light for up to 30 minutes. That was only the beginning. In order to flash a new program, you had to put it into a programmer, a device attached to the computer that wrote data into the device. Once that was done (it took a few minutes), then you could put the chip back onto the circuit board, and away you went. If you made a mistake, or if your program didn’t work, then you had to redo everything, which took over half an hour.

All of this was complicated, and required multiple components. The processor was one component. The RAM was another. So was the ROM. Interrupt controllers? Digital IO? PWM? They were all external components too. There was a reason why computers used to be that big. So we simplified things. The processor was the PC, and we just made extension boards. Of course, this made making things like robots difficult, but we had lots of fun.

The ISA bus was slow, and users wanted PCs to become faster and faster. The ISA bus was soon replaced by VLB, short for VESA Local Bus. It added an extension to the ISA bus, allowing for faster memory transfers. We had faster computers, better graphics, and we could still use our boards. However, it also sent a clear message; we were soon to find a new way of doing things. VLB was replaced by PCI, which was replaced by PCI Express. This bus is lightning fast, but requires complex electronics, and very good equipment to make boards with connectors that fine. Our trusty ISA cards soon ended up in the dustbin. We could still use the serial port or the parallel port, but it wasn’t the same. Most of us stopped.

It was depressing. We tried making our own computers, but they were complicated. External components, long flash times, prohibitive prices… One company was listening.

Atmel's ATMEGA328P-PU an AVR 8-bit processor

Atmel’s ATMEGA328P-PU an AVR 8-bit processor

In 1996, Atmel shipped the AVR processor. It was an 8-bit processor, with a twist. It had internal RAM, and internal flash. No more external components. It could be flashed within seconds, and reflashed. You didn’t even need to take it off the breadboard to reflash it. Founded in 1984, Atmel had already made semiconductor devices for the professional market, but was also very close to Makers. They heard our cry for help, and they delivered. The AVR changed everything.

AVR-XMEGA

The AVR chip was an 8-bit device (32-bit devices also exist), but the computer we used to control our ISA cards was 32-bit. The thing is, we didn’t need 32-bits, and an 8-bit microcontroller was perfect for our needs. The AVR was small, cheap, reliable, and really, really easy to use. We flooded back, we redesigned our boards, and we made. We made everything. How good were the AVR chips? By 2003, Atmel had shipped 500 million devices.

Fast forward a few years, and here we are today. Makers are everywhere. We are back. We are making more than ever. And with awesome sponsors like Atmel, we are here to stay. 2013 was the year of 100 Maker Faires, and they were full of Arduinos.

New Breed of Maker Movement Engineers Blooming from Garages, Maker Faire, Hackerspaces, and Makerspaces

New Breed of Maker Movement Engineers Blooming from Garages, Maker Faire, Hackerspaces, and Makerspaces

What is on the Arduino? Well, most of them have an AVR. The Arduino Due isn’t an AVR-based device, it is an ARM device, but even that is made by Atmel too, and is just as easy to use. 2014 promises to be even more exciting!

New Breed of Engineers - Some Images from Maker Faire Bay Area, there were over 100 Maker Faires in 2013 budding in cities all across the globe

New Breed of Engineers – Some Images from Maker Faire Bay Area 2014. There were over 100 Maker Faires in 2013 budding in cities all across the globe

Arduino Due

Here’s the Arduino Due – with an Atmel ARM Based Processor

With Atmel as a sponsor, Makers are here to stay. If you haven’t tried to make your own device yet, try it! It doesn’t cost a lot, and you don’t need all the complicated hardware we used to have. You will be up and running in mere minutes, and believe me, it is fun! If you have any questions, go and see Atmel at one of the Maker Faires. If you come by the Maker Faire Rome, come say hello, I’ll be there with Atmel to show you just how much this technology has changed my life, and show you how to start.