Tag Archives: Intel Edison

The SDuino is an SD card-sized board


Boasting the form factor of an SD card, this Hackaday Prize entry consists of an ATmega328P and four LEDs.


Not too long ago, Intel announced a miniature, programmable computer platform that was said to be the size an SD card. According to its CES 2014 release, the Edison would be based on the company’s dual-core 22nm SoC, run Linux and boast both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. However, the board has since undergone a significant redesign, dumping one of its most unique features: the SD form factor. Over time, this got Maker kodera2t to thinking, “Why can’t you fit an MCU inside an SD card?”

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And just like that, the idea for the SDuino was born. The device, which also happens to be an entry in this year’s Hackaday Prize, is comprised of an ATmega328P and four LEDs crammed into a microSD adapter. For the most part, the Maker’s creation adheres to the standard pinout for SD cards. Kodera2t simply assigned both a TXD1 and RXD0, as well as reversed the MISI and MOSI so that one of the grounds on the SD pinout is now tied to an analog input pin on the MCU while the chip select on the SD pinout is ignored completely.

“I assigned several non-standard function to SD card interface, but I needed to be careful for VCC and GND, not to make short circuit even if my wife puts it to computer by mistake. A0 is assigned to one of GND, which will not make fatal side-effect for computer connection,” the Maker adds.

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Kodera2t does note that while it would be nice if the SDuino could be programmed through an SD card interface, he believes this implementation is completely out of his skill set and would require the help of a developer. Still in his prototyping phase, the Maker continues to develop variations of the SDuino with hopes of finalizing the design.

“I have some plans, for example implementation of direct binary writing through SD card interface via iSDio or adding new function like putting some kind of sensor on it,” he explains.

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At the moment, the SDuino can be programmed through a general USB-TTL interface. As a result, Kodera2t has created an SDuino writer. While it may look just like an SD card reader, a look inside of it will reveal an FTDI chip. Simply put the SDuino into the unit, connect it to the computer and upload a sketch.

In the end, this is certainly the closest thing a Maker will find in his or her search for an SD-sized board — still a tad bit smaller than the Edison’s 35.5mm x 25.0mm footprint. Intrigued? Head over to the project’s Hackaday.io page here.

Eedu is an easy-to-use drone kit for young Makers


Assemble. Code. Fly. It’s as simple as that.


According to Mary Meeker’s 2015 “State of the Internet” presentation, drone shipments are estimated to hit 4.3 million units this year, with consumer drone usage expected to jump 167%. Combine those figures with the hundreds of thousands of Makers looking to begin tinkering with their next DIY project, and well, you have yourself quite the market. Much like a number of educational robotic kits that have been introduced to provide children with basic electronics and programming principles over the years, one Las Vegas startup is looking to take that education from the ground and into the skies.

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Inspired by the hands-on learning that goes on inside classrooms, Skyworks Aerial Systems has launched Eedu an easy-to-use drone set that allows young Makers, educators and hobbyists starting out to devise new applications, other than just flying cameras. In order to make this a reality, the team has developed an intuitive platform that gives Makers the canvas they need to design their own UAV. The airborne apparatuses can be quickly pieced together using nothing more than its included parts, and are completely compatible with Arduino shields and other open hardware (littleBits and Seeed Studio).

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Once assembled, the drone can be paired with its special robotic development environment (RDE) called Forge. This cloud-based, community-driven software lets users code their vision into a reality, while offering ground control, community interaction and various programming capabilities. What’s nice is that, being open source, Makers can build from existing codes. As soon as an app is completed and compiled onto their Eedu, the DIY copter is ready for the skies.

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The drone itself is based on an Intel Edison, which enables programs to be easily created on a full Linux OS and boast enough processing power to develop more advanced apps, and employs an ARM Cortex-M4 running on RTOS for sensor processing, main flight control and to interface with the Edison. Eedu also comes with a set of four brushless motors with standard trapezoidal drive, each powered by megaAVR MCUs. What’s more, the machine features a sensor mounting platform, an Arduino shield port and a quick release battery pack. Crafted with safety in mind, the propellers are extremely lightweight and comprised of soft plastic alongside intelligent speed controllers that automatically disable the rotors whenever something gets in the way.

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Beyond that, the team has unveiled a highly-advanced, adaptable flight controller driven by an Atmel | SMART Cortex-M7 MCU. Equipped with all of the electronics required for a drone to take to the sky, LUCI includes four built-in 20Amp brushless speed controllers, an Intel Edison expansion port, a DSMX compatible radio receiver, an optical flow position sensor, GPS and Arduino shield capability. Impressively, she can even be integrated on a number of consumer 250mm sized drones, giving Makers the ability to produce their own LUCI and Forge-powered UAV.

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With hopes of granting future Makers and engineers access to the necessary tools for innovation, the team has given its crowdfunding backers the option to purchase a kit for students or entire classrooms.

“More than ever, schools are having a hard time acquiring technology. We passionately believe that students’ accessibility to technology should not be hindered! As such, we are creating a donation fund that will allow us to distribute drones to schools across the nation.”

Intrigued? Fly on over to Eedu’s Kickstarter page, where Skyworks Aerial Systems is currently seeking $100,000. Delivery is expected to begin in December 2015.