Tag Archives: Make: Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA

Open Electronics talks Adafruit’s FLORA (ATmega32u4)

Writing about wearable technology for Open Electronics, Alessio Biancalana highlights Adafruit’s FLORA, a popular platform powered by Atmel’s versatile Atmega32u4 microcontroller (MCU).

“Adafruit released more than 100 tutorials and over 25 libraries for the Arduino IDE, so they [ultimately] decided to produce their own wearable platform. The cool aspect about FLORA is that this tiny [platform] is fully compatible with Arduino, so no matter the operating system you will immediately be able to bootstrap your wearable startup,” Alessio explains.

“If you have the Arduino IDE installed on your computer, and if you know how to develop software for the original Arduino – and this is awesome, because as you know in an open ecosystem the knowledge reuse is on of the most important things.”

As Biancalana points out, FLORA boasts an on-board regulator, making the platform extremely beginner friendly.

“[It also] has four LEDs: power good, digital signal LED for bootloader feedback, data rx/tx. If we are power users, we can reprogram it all thanks to a ICSP controller; we have 14 sewing tap pads for electrical connections and attachments,” he says.

“[Makers] can expand [the] board to create even more powerful wearables, or maintain easy access to the controller so [it] can be hacked in many ways, growing a strong community around [the] hardware.”

Interested in learning more about Adafruit’s Atmel-powered FLORA? You can check out the platform’s official page on Adafruit here, read about Becky Stern’s “Make: Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA” here and browse our FLORA project archives here.

Getting started with Adafruit’s Atmel-powered FLORA

Adafruit’s Becky Stern and Tyler Cooper have penned a new book about the company’s popular Atmel-powered FLORA platform.

Titled “Make: Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA,” the upcoming book details various wearable electronics projects that can be designed and built using the device.

Indeed, FLORA weighs in at 4.4 grams and measures only 1.75 inches in diameter. Featuring Arduino compatibility, the platform is one of the most beginner-friendly way to create wearable projects.

“This book shows you how to plan your wearable circuits, sew with electronics and write programs that run on the FLORA to control the electronics,” Stern explained in a recent blog post.

“The FLORA family includes an assortment of sensors, as well as RGB LEDs that let you add lighting to your wearable projects.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Adafruit’s wearable electronics platform is built around Atmel’s versatile Atmega32u4 microcontroller (MCU).

The microcontroller boasts built-in USB support, eliminating the need for pesky special cables and extra parts.

According to Adafruit’s Limor Fried, FLORA is extremely “beginner-friendly.” Indeed, the device is difficult to accidentally destroy by connecting a battery backwards, thanks to a polarized connector and protection diodes.

Meanwhile, an onboard regulator ensures even connecting a 9V battery won’t result in damage.

Interested in learning more about Adafruit’s Atmel-powered FLORA? You can check out the platform’s official page on Adafruit here and sign up for book updates here.