Tag Archives: devs

Atmel-powered Printoo featured on Gigaom, EDN

Printoo – powered by Atmel’s ATmega328 microcontroller (MCU) – is a lineup of paper-thin, low-power boards and modules that offer Makers and devs new levels of creative flexibility.

The open source platform, created by the Ynvisible crew, made its official Kickstarter debut last week and has already been covered by a number of prominent publications, including EDN, Gigaom and Quartz.

“A spin-out from YDreams, Ynvisible was founded in 2010 with the goal to bring more interactivity to everyday objects and surfaces, mostly through the use of flexible and printed electronics including the company’s fully transparent electrochromic display. The paper-thin display, which only becomes visible when activated can easily be integrated with different background graphics,” writes EDN’s Julien Happich.

“Running Arduino software, the first Printoo packs include novel printed modules including LED light strips from VTT lab, 1.5V printed batteries from Blue Spark and Enfucell, 0.350mm thin organic photodetectors from ISORG, printed polymer solar cells from Mekoprint, and Ynvisible’s own transparent printed displays running from 1.5V. Also included are modules like Bluetooth LE, DC motor control, flexible LED matrixes, and a variety of sensors. The Printoo core is powered by the Atmel ATmega328 microcontroller.”

As Gigaom’s Signe Brewster notes, printed circuits are currently being considered for everything from shipping labels to tiny spacecraft NASA might send to Mars.

“Ynvisible expects Printoo to find a home among 3D printer owners and DIYers already familiar with Arduino,” Brewster explains.

“The modules are small enough to slip into a 3D printed object, opening up ways to easily create robots and other moving or connected devices. They could also be worn as a bracelet or sewn into clothes.”

Meanwhile, Lio Mirani of Quartz points out that bendable electronics could be the future of the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT).

“When the first Harry Potter movie came out in 2001 the idea of the Daily Prophet, a newspaper that contains moving pictures, qualified as magic. A Kickstarter campaign by Ynvisible, a Lisbon-based technology firm, is bringing that magic to life with its displays, held together with paper-thin circuitry,” writes Mirani.

“Ynvisible’s ‘vision’ is to ‘bring everyday objects to life.’ For that to happen, it isn’t just processing power that needs to get cheaper and smaller, which it has, but the input and output mechanisms also need to be smaller and easily adaptable. Ynvisible is betting there is a broad market for such technology. The roaring success of its Kickstarter campaign is an early validation of that belief.”

Indeed, Ynvisible has already raised close to $36,000 – with support from almost 300 backers. Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Kickstarter page here.

ATmega328P + ARM Cortex-A7 = Akarel

Akarel – which recently surfaced on Indiegogo – is a hardware development kilt that integrates Atmel’s ATmega328P microcontroller (MCU) and a 1GHz Allwinner A20 dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor (CPU) on a single board with a touch screen.

As Akarel creator Karel Kyovsky notes, the platform is targeted at devs and Makers who require a touch screen interface to implement their respective projects.

The development platform is currently available in two iterations: Akarel 7 (7-inch display) and Akarel22 (22-inch display). The former features an industrial grade projected capacitive multi touch connected via I2C, while the latter is equipped with a USB-linked capacitive single touch.

“Some development kits are missing displays or touch, [while] others use obscure software stacks. Imagine implementing your hack ideas within hours instead of days like you’ve been doing until now,” Kyovsky explained.

“Akarel integrates Android OS running on [the] ARM Cortex A7 via UART, with Arduino software running on [Atmel’s] ATmega328P MCU. Integration and connection of both chips on [a single] PCB [offers a number of] advantages.”

According to Kyovsky, these include:

  • 

Graphics and UI capabilities of Google’s flagship Android OS
  • Optimized environment for application development
  • Seamless network connectivity via WiFi or Ethernet
  • Access to extensive Arduino community libraries

Kyovsky says he envisions Akarel being used to develop smart home automation and security systems, kiosks/payment terminals, along with Internet of Things (IoT) devices and appliances.

On the software side, the Akarel kit offers Makers and developers access to a Git repository stocked with Uboot source code, Linux kernel source (3.4.39), fine-tuned Android OS sources (4.2.2), Arduino firmware sources, Arduino tools (i.e. avrdude) and example apps.

“We want you to concentrate on writing an application not on spending time to make the basic things work. We have done it for you already. And if you want to dive deeper and modify the Linux kernel or Android OS…Why not? You have all the sources available for you to change and compile,” Kyovsky added.

“In order to save you from the hell of installing all the toolchain (correct version of gcc, libs, headers, automake, make, java, you name it) we have also prepared a Ubuntu virtual machine for you which may be downloaded and which has [the entire] toolchain preinstalled so that you can start recompiling your complete stack within a few minutes.”

Interested in learning more about the Akarel? You can check out the project’s official Indiegogo page here.