The Fiat Lux controller is an Arduino-compatible board specifically designed for DIY wearable projects.
Sisters and entreprenuers Lavanya and Melissa Jawaharlal have already successfully run a pair of Kickstarter campaigns. You may recall the AVR powered Pi-Bot from last year? Hoping three’s a charm, the co-founders of Southern California startup STEM Center have now introduced Fiat Lux — a wearable electronics kit for students, teachers, Makers and hobbyists alike.
Fiat Lux — which appropriately means “let there be light” in Latin — is based around an Arduino-compatible, compact board specifically designed for wearable projects, ranging from rudimentary circuits to more complex gadgetry. For your convenience, the ATmega32U4 driven controller comes equipped with everything a Maker could possibly need in bringing their idea to life: RGB LEDs, a photocell, a buzzer and a pushbutton.
To add a little more pizazz to any project, Fiat Lux includes a variety of LED options: basic LED shines, a smart tri-color pixellite and even a 17-pixellite ring for more advanced creations. And that’s not all. The kit also packs a light sensor, a LiPo battery and charger, conductive thread and Aida cloth. Not only bounded by the supplies provided, those wishing to broaden their creativity canvas can do so by transforming any ordinary object, like a T-shirt or safety vest, into a flashy accessory or nighttime garment. A special friendship bracelet. A light-up tie. A dangling pair of earrings. An LED-laden bike jacket. The possibilities are truly endless!
“Wearable electronics are becoming extremely popular — smart watches, wearable fitness trackers, virtual reality glasses, and more! Now imagine creating your own wearable electronics,” the Jawaharlals explain. “Real learning happens by doing. By designing, creating, and programming their own wearable tech, students build their confidence and have a higher chance of pursuing a tech career. DIY wearables are not just for students — it’s for everyone!”
For the younger generation or the novices starting out, STEM Center USA offers two separate dialed-back kits that will help users work their way up to the more comprehensive set. The Fiat Lux will be complemented by a user manual, an assortment of suggested projects and video tutorials, so that beginners can familiarize themselves with electronics and other requisite DIY skills.
But what’s hardware without software? Makers with a little experience will be able to code their Fiat Lux in the C language using Arduino. According to the Jawaharlal sisters, they have also developed a first-of-its-kind, easy-to-use graphical programming interface for young students that’ll automatically generate the corresponding C code right there on the computer screen, making the process as seamless as possible!
Intrigued? Head over to Fiat Lux’s Kickstarter campaign, where STEM Center USA is currently seeking $30,000. Delivery is slated for March 2016. On another note, the duo recently appeared on the ABC hit series Shark Tank, drawing interest from several of the sharks and eventually scoring a $200,000 investment from QVC’s Lori Greiner. Safe to say, the Maker Movement has gone mainstream!