Pi Wars

via Raspberry Pi

Helen: This December will see a Cambridge Raspberry Jam with a difference; we’re giving you all plenty of notice, so that you have time to prepare. We’ll let organisers Michael Horne and Tim Richardson tell you all about it.

Pi Wars

On 6th December this year, the Cambridge Raspberry Jam (CamJam) will play host to the first ever dedicated Raspberry Pi robotics competition: Pi Wars. Named after the BBC series Robot Wars, this competition is challenge-based and is similar to a ‘robot olympics’. Robots will take part in challenges to score points and, as we all know, points mean prizes! Our aim isn’t to have robots destroy each other – we want people to compete to show what they’ve managed to get their robots to do!

We’ve put together some overall rules for the competition which you can read here.

The robot challenges are as follows:

  • Line Follower
  • Obstacle Course
  • Proximity Alert
  • Robot Golf
  • Straight Line Speed Test
  • Sumo Battle
  • Three Point Turn
  • Aesthetics
  • Code Quality

You can read a full description of each challenge by visiting this page.

We’ve also got some side-competitions into which competing robots are automatically entered:

  • Smallest robot
  • Best non-competing robot
  • Best autonomous robot
  • Most feature-rich robot
  • The Jim Darby Prize for Excessive Blinkiness
  • Most innovative robot
  • Most visually appealing robot

We’re also hoping to have some non-competing robots in our Show-and-Tell area.

A robot

We are expecting (okay, hoping!) to have 16 robot competitors. This will give us a nice sized competition without having so many that we’re there until midnight :-) We’re even hoping that it will be an international competition – we’ve already had interest from a team in Egypt! Obviously, we’ll also have tickets available for spectators, of which we’re expecting between 100 and 150.

We are looking for sponsors to supply prizes for the competition and you can get more information on that by visiting this page.

Registration for the competition opens on 15th September and registration for spectator tickets will open sometime in late October/early November. We’re hoping that it will be an extremely popular event… Who knows? This could be the start of an annual event!

If you’d like to read more about Pi Wars, visit www.piwars.org.

Pololu DRV8835 Dual Motor Driver Shield for Arduino

via Pololu - New Products

This small shield is an easy, economical way to control two small brushed DC motors with an Arduino or Arduino-compatible board. Its integrated DRV8835 dual motor driver operates from 2 V to 11 V, making it a great control option for low-voltage motors. The shield can deliver a continuous 1.2 A (1.5 A peak) per motor, or a continuous 2.4 A (3 A peak) to a single motor when configured with both channels connected in parallel.

Upcoming Picademy Dates – Get Teachers Applying Now!

via Raspberry Pi

It’s the summer holidays, and I know teachers will be enjoying a well earned break from thoughts of planning lessons and marking homework. But here at Pi Towers, the Education Team are already busy thinking about the new academic year and the start of term. In particular, we are busy planning the next series of Picademies, and we want to make sure that your favourite teacher doesn’t miss out!

Dates for new academic year diaries are:

  • 29th & 30th September 2014
  • 27th & 28th October 2014

Note: We have changed the date for September’s Picademy from 1st & 2nd September to 29th & 30th, because many schools have Inset days at the start of the month.

So are you a teacher? Do you know a great teacher? Today is ‘Poke a teacher to apply for Picademy day’ (totally official). We need your help to track down wonderful educators to tell them about our free training course known as Picademy and ask them to apply to join the fast-growing ranks of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators (they get a badge and everything!)

Babbage with his Raspberry Pi Certified Educator Badge

Babbage with his Raspberry Pi Certified Educator Badge

Raspberry Pi Academies for Teachers (Picademies) take place in Cambridge, UK. We invite practising teachers with any subject specialism (we’ve had art, design tech, science and even history teachers attend), who teach any age group between 5 and 18 years old, to come to Pi Towers for two days of fantastic fun learning for free. There are no strings. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is an educational charity – offering free CPD to teachers is part of our charitable mission.

Want to know what actually happens at a Picademy? Then read Clive’s report about Picademy 3 or check out the Picademy section on the official Raspberry Pi forums.

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What will you learn? Don’t miss out, apply today!

September’s Picademy will look favourably on applications from teachers in the South West of England, because I love clotted cream, but also because we’re very aware of regional accessibility to training and support, and so occasionally we will focus on specific regions. So if you are a teacher in the South West, we would love to have you here. This does not mean applications are open to teachers in the South West only! Please apply, teachers, wherever you are. And because we’ve had so many requests from teachers overseas, we are also now accepting applications from practising classroom teachers outside the UK too!

Applications for September Picademy will close on Friday 5th September. If you have been successful, we will let you know via the email address that you supplied in your application, no later than two weeks prior to the event. Applications for October will close on Friday 10th October.

What are you waiting for? Go grab a teacher and APPLY HERE NOW! (Do it!)

Enginursday: DIY Assistive Technology Mouse

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

At SparkFun, there’s a good deal of discussion about assistive technologies and how we as a company can contribute to the design and advancement of these devices. With the proliferation of 3D printers and other mechanical rapid prototyping tools, assistive technology is moving more and more into the DIY realm. There are hundreds of groups and companies already working on the varied and complex problems solved by assisted technologies (and you can help!), but there is always room for design improvement of any solution. The more iterations and thought put into a solution, the better the it will be. For this reason, we decided to try our hand at designing a DIY solution to one particular problem: the control of a computer mouse by someone who doesn’t have the use of their hands.

One of the existing solutions (among many) to this challenge is a technology called Sip-and-Puff. We used this as the inspiration for our design.

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Photo Credit: Orin.com

The user controls the device by blowing or sucking air through a tube at specific intervals and forces, which trigger actions. This solution has proven successful, but expensive. A DIY solution is cheaper, and replicable by anyone with a soldering iron and a computer.

As I said before, this is just a design iteration to see what we could do. SparkFun doesn’t currently have any plans to start producing and selling assistive devices as such, but if some of our products are well-suited for use in an assistive solution, we want to explore that so we can possibly help others who are planning on producing them. If nothing else, we will have taken a shot at designing another iteration, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and learning from it. That being said, here’s what we’ve done so far:

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Raided the fridge.

This is our rapid-prototyped, off-the-shelf, super-inexpensive version of the sip-and-puff mouse. It is connected to a computer over USB and registers itself as a mouse. The cursor is controlled by moving the joystick (pen tube) in the direction of the desired motion, and it registers a click when air is blown through the tube. It’s not pretty, but it’s functional and surprisingly easy to use with a little practice.

The idea is to build something that could potentially have the same functionality as the commercial sip-and-puff controllers, but be totally DIY and cheaper than existing solutions. Manufacturers of assistive technologies are beholden to a lot of red tape: medical-grade components, certifications, testing, etc. DIY'ers can skip that and save a lot of money. Our design constraints for this device were:

  • It must be easy to build with readily accessible components
  • It must be inexpensive
  • It must be open and modifiable by the end user

alt text

The guts of our box contain a Teensy 2.0, running the code to register as an HID mouse, an Analog Joystick Breakout, and a BMP180 Pressure Sensor Breakout. The user actuates the joystick to move the mouse, and a click is registered by a change in the air pressure inside the box, detected by the BMP180. As a device, it functions well, but obviously parts of the design need improvement. Specifically:

  • The enclosure. A Tupperware box with Stick Tack isn’t going to cut it as an enclosure. It’s too big, and not rugged enough for extended use.
  • Spit. The tube (which in this case is a Bic pen housing) is replaceable, but that doesn’t stop saliva from accumulating in the box.
  • Alternate mouse functions. So far we have a click. We need to add functionality for scroll, double click, right click, etc.

This is our first bit of exploration. How could we further improve this design, while still adhering to our original constraints? This design rings up to a total of about $35, an order of magnitude cheaper than most off-the-shelf devices with similar functionality. It can be assembled and programmed by a beginner with nothing more specialized than a soldering iron. Are there any ways that we could make this even cheaper and easier?

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Smartphone rocket launcher

via Raspberry Pi

Teenage electronics enthusiast Lewis Callaway thought that an ad in which actors launch rockets from their iPhones was really cool, but he couldn’t find out how it was done, so he decided to start from scratch himself, using (of course) a Raspberry Pi.

Model rockets are launched by passing an electric current through an igniter, a device that includes a thin piece of wire in contact with the rocket’s propellant; the current causes the wire to heat up, igniting the propellant. Lewis used a relay board and jumper leads to complete the circuit between a 9V battery and the model rocket’s igniter, and connected power and signal wires between the relay board and his Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins so he could flip the switch on the 9V circuit with a signal from the GPIO.

To allow him to send the launch command from a smartphone, he installed the WebIOPi framework on the Pi. A custom web page hosted on the Pi contains a nice, big, orange LAUNCH button; pressing it runs a Python script which, in turn, controls the GPIO. A portable router provided the wifi hotspot necessary to view the web page on the phone.

Testing the system

Lewis also talks about his fantastic project in this Adafruit Show and Tell (starting at 7m55s), and shows how the system can be tested without actually launching anything—important if, like Lewis, you are working indoors.

We know that every day, Raspberry Pis lie idle when they could be launching rockets, and this makes us feel sad. Read the article Lewis wrote for Make: including links to his code and the parts that he used, and try it for yourself!

SXSW 2015 — Help us get to Austin!

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

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SXSW is a massive music, film, and interactive festival where people from all over the world gather to learn and be inspired. Right before the regular festival is SXSWedu, an education-focused event with the goal of fostering innovation in learning.

In considering proposals for acceptance, SXSW uses a tool called the ‘panel picker’ to take in public feedback and support, which substantially influences how a submission is judged. SparkFun has submitted ten (10!) proposals for things we feel strongly about sharing with the community. Today, we’re asking you help us get to Austin by voting for our panels (if you find them worthwhile - and we hope you do!). Here are our submissions:

Make First, Teach Later: A Classroom Manifesto - by Derek Runberg

The recent questions about the maker culture that are asked the most tend to be around how it works in the classroom. The “Maker Culture” does not fit nice and snug within contemporary educational models. A classroom that adopts a maker model inherits radical change. Historically, radical ideas have always been documented through manifestos; sets of rules and ideas to live by. We present our classroom manifesto that strikes at the culture and values of making within the classroom.

Beyond “Pink-Washing”: Including Girls in Making - by Tara Tiger Brown, Leah Buechley, Kylie Peppler, and Ben Leduc-Mills

There has been a lack of gender equity since the beginning of the “maker movement”. Solutions such as “pink-washing” are shallow and play into existing gender stereotypes. This panel will discuss different, deeper strategies focused on engaging girls and women in maker activities both inside and outside the classroom. Topics may include books, activities, websites, and other educational resources, tips on creating an inclusive environment, and other useful strategies for broad inclusivity.

Re-Making Education: Thinking about Thinking - by Brian Huang and Silvia Lebow-Martinez

The Maker Movement is a global revolution of people learning to solve problems with modern tools and technology. Contrast this with the growth of high-stakes testing and standards-based assessments, which result in rote memorization, teaching to the test - ineffective practices for real learning. We will share our experiences in teacher professional development that supports authentic “Making in the Classroom” experiences at Constructing Modern Knowledge and Microcontrollers for Educators.

Game Changers: Tools for Constructivist Learning - by Paulo Blikstein, Jaymes Dec, Carlyn Maw, and Ben Leduc-Mills

A panel of seasoned educators will share their experiences, strategies, tips, and tricks for running a successful “hands-on”, constructivist learning space. This applies to teachers looking to incorporate new technologies into their classroom, after-school robotics club and girl scout troop leaders, district administrators looking for new ideas, and especially those interested in evolving a fab lab or “makerspace”. Activities, curriculum, new technologies, and other resources will be discussed.

Collaborating through Data: Internet of Things 101 - by Jeff Branson

The Internet Of Things (IOT). What the heck does this mean? Participants will find out by creating networked objects that feed data to an internet-based “data channel.” We’ll explore the quick-start way to take data from sensors and post it on an open-source, free service on the internet. In many settings the ability to share data across the internet from local sources is a high-value topic. We’ll build an example project, connect it with a server, and then look at some tools for expansion.

Playful Computing – Programming All Ages - by Brian Huang and Kate McDonnell

Learning to code & program is a new literacy requirement for our students of the 21st century. We will present a set of activities designed to engage students in programming and computational thinking using physical computing. Physical computing is an approach to programming that focuses on how we interact with technology through the use of programming sensors, actuators, and LEDs. We will demonstrate activities in physical computing that weave art with engineering, mathematics and technology.

The Ins and Outs of Kickstarter Fulfillment - by Matt Bolton and Marcus Schappi

So you’ve got an awesome idea for the next Oculus Rift or Pebble, and you’re ready to go to Kickstarter. But wait! How are you going to manufacture 10,000 units in your garage? You need a competent partner that can deliver on your Kickstarter project. SparkFun Electronics has provided engineering expertise, manufacturing, and fulfillment for numerous wildly successful Kickstarter electronics products, such as MaKey Makey. Come hear Director of Production Matt Bolton and Geek Ammo’s Marcus Schappi talk about the MicroView, the newest Kickstarter success fulfilled by SparkFun. They’ll discuss the best and worst parts of supplying a product designed outside the office and the insanity of sourcing, producing, and shipping Kickstarter projects. You’ll come away with a better idea of what you need to have on hand in order to find the manufacturing partner of your dreams.

Why Patents Are Killing Innovation - by Nate Seidle

Gadgets. We all own one (or a hundred). But from Apple to Samsung to Oculus Rift, those beloved gadgets are drowning in a sea of intellectual property lawsuits, a tide that threatens to strangle tech innovation for good. Nathan Seidle, CEO and founder of SparkFun Electronics, happens to know a thing or two about IP and innovation. He made gadgets and their parts his life’s work, building a multi-million dollar company for embedded electronics, all without filing one single patent application. Nathan will guide you through the world of patents, how long it really takes copycat products to appear in the marketplace, and show you how sharing can truly build profitable, growing companies. Makers, gadgeteers, and anyone interested in what the future of innovation and business looks like—come hear how open-source technology will save the world.

Phant.io - The Super-Lightweight Internet of Things - by Chris Clark

You get what you pay for–literally. Almost any electronic device today can get online, including your car or your refrigerator, for a price, of course. But the Internet of Things is not solely accessible to big manufacturers with tons of resources. Christopher Clark, Director of IT for SparkFun Electronics, presents Phant–a tool for putting the power of building IoT networks into the hands of the average consumer. Built to be lightweight and modular, and open-source end-to-end, Phant is a free, open-source engine designed to run on the smallest devices. Phant powers SparkFun’s free streaming service (data.sparkfun.com), and coupled with open-source hardware, it is a powerful tool to rapidly deploy sensor networks to collect rich data from the field. Christopher will take you on a full tour of the open-source technology that makes Phant go and give a demo of building a private sensor network using open-source hardware.

Can Fandoms Fix Tech’s Gender Gap? - by Jessica McDonald

According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, 12% of 2012 computer science degree recipients from major universities were women. That number represents a staggering decline from just a decade ago. We talk a lot about closing the gender gap, but how can we if universities aren’t producing more women in STEM fields? Jessica McDonald, Director of Marketing and Communications for SparkFun Electronics, argues that the answer lies in changing how we think about teaching technology. She’ll present original research describing how participation in fandoms–yes, fandoms–through sites like Tumblr and cosplay are shaping a new generation of techie girls, as well as discuss initiatives her company has taken based on this research in an effort to help close the gender gap.

We hope some of these panels strike you as interesting - and we’ll let you know which of these ultimately get accepted. Thank you for your help - and see you in Austin!

comments | comment feed

SXSW 2015 — Help us get to Austin!

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

alt text

SXSW is a massive music, film, and interactive festival where people from all over the world gather to learn and be inspired. Right before the regular festival is SXSWedu, an education-focused event with the goal of fostering innovation in learning.

In considering proposals for acceptance, SXSW uses a tool called the ‘panel picker’ to take in public feedback and support, which substantially influences how a submission is judged. SparkFun has submitted ten (10!) proposals for things we feel strongly about sharing with the community. Today, we’re asking you help us get to Austin by voting for our panels (if you find them worthwhile - and we hope you do!). Here are our submissions:

Make First, Teach Later: A Classroom Manifesto - by Derek Runberg

The recent questions about the maker culture that are asked the most tend to be around how it works in the classroom. The “Maker Culture” does not fit nice and snug within contemporary educational models. A classroom that adopts a maker model inherits radical change. Historically, radical ideas have always been documented through manifestos; sets of rules and ideas to live by. We present our classroom manifesto that strikes at the culture and values of making within the classroom.

Beyond “Pink-Washing”: Including Girls in Making - by Tara Tiger Brown, Leah Buechley, Kylie Peppler, and Ben Leduc-Mills

There has been a lack of gender equity since the beginning of the “maker movement”. Solutions such as “pink-washing” are shallow and play into existing gender stereotypes. This panel will discuss different, deeper strategies focused on engaging girls and women in maker activities both inside and outside the classroom. Topics may include books, activities, websites, and other educational resources, tips on creating an inclusive environment, and other useful strategies for broad inclusivity.

Re-Making Education: Thinking about Thinking - by Brian Huang and Silvia Lebow-Martinez

The Maker Movement is a global revolution of people learning to solve problems with modern tools and technology. Contrast this with the growth of high-stakes testing and standards-based assessments, which result in rote memorization, teaching to the test - ineffective practices for real learning. We will share our experiences in teacher professional development that supports authentic “Making in the Classroom” experiences at Constructing Modern Knowledge and Microcontrollers for Educators.

Game Changers: Tools for Constructivist Learning - by Paulo Blikstein, Jaymes Dec, Carlyn Maw, and Ben Leduc-Mills

A panel of seasoned educators will share their experiences, strategies, tips, and tricks for running a successful “hands-on”, constructivist learning space. This applies to teachers looking to incorporate new technologies into their classroom, after-school robotics club and girl scout troop leaders, district administrators looking for new ideas, and especially those interested in evolving a fab lab or “makerspace”. Activities, curriculum, new technologies, and other resources will be discussed.

Collaborating through Data: Internet of Things 101 - by Jeff Branson

The Internet Of Things (IOT). What the heck does this mean? Participants will find out by creating networked objects that feed data to an internet-based “data channel.” We’ll explore the quick-start way to take data from sensors and post it on an open-source, free service on the internet. In many settings the ability to share data across the internet from local sources is a high-value topic. We’ll build an example project, connect it with a server, and then look at some tools for expansion.

Playful Computing – Programming All Ages - by Brian Huang and Kate McDonnell

Learning to code & program is a new literacy requirement for our students of the 21st century. We will present a set of activities designed to engage students in programming and computational thinking using physical computing. Physical computing is an approach to programming that focuses on how we interact with technology through the use of programming sensors, actuators, and LEDs. We will demonstrate activities in physical computing that weave art with engineering, mathematics and technology.

The Ins and Outs of Kickstarter Fulfillment -

with Matt Bolton and Marcus Schappi

So you’ve got an awesome idea for the next Oculus Rift or Pebble, and you’re ready to go to Kickstarter. But wait! How are you going to manufacture 10,000 units in your garage? You need a competent partner that can deliver on your Kickstarter project. SparkFun Electronics has provided engineering expertise, manufacturing, and fulfillment for numerous wildly successful Kickstarter electronics products, such as MaKey Makey. Come hear Director of Production Matt Bolton and Geek Ammo’s Marcus Schappi talk about the MicroView, the newest Kickstarter success fulfilled by SparkFun. They’ll discuss the best and worst parts of supplying a product designed outside the office and the insanity of sourcing, producing, and shipping Kickstarter projects. You’ll come away with a better idea of what you need to have on hand in order to find the manufacturing partner of your dreams.

Why Patents Are Killing Innovation - by Nate Seidle

Gadgets. We all own one (or a hundred). But from Apple to Samsung to Oculus Rift, those beloved gadgets are drowning in a sea of intellectual property lawsuits, a tide that threatens to strangle tech innovation for good. Nathan Seidle, CEO and founder of SparkFun Electronics, happens to know a thing or two about IP and innovation. He made gadgets and their parts his life’s work, building a multi-million dollar company for embedded electronics, all without filing one single patent application. Nathan will guide you through the world of patents, how long it really takes copycat products to appear in the marketplace, and show you how sharing can truly build profitable, growing companies. Makers, gadgeteers, and anyone interested in what the future of innovation and business looks like—come hear how open-source technology will save the world.

Phant.io - The Super-Lightweight Internet of Things - by Chris Clark

You get what you pay for–literally. Almost any electronic device today can get online, including your car or your refrigerator, for a price, of course. But the Internet of Things is not solely accessible to big manufacturers with tons of resources. Christopher Clark, Director of IT for SparkFun Electronics, presents Phant–a tool for putting the power of building IoT networks into the hands of the average consumer. Built to be lightweight and modular, and open-source end-to-end, Phant is a free, open-source engine designed to run on the smallest devices. Phant powers SparkFun’s free streaming service (data.sparkfun.com), and coupled with open-source hardware, it is a powerful tool to rapidly deploy sensor networks to collect rich data from the field. Christopher will take you on a full tour of the open-source technology that makes Phant go and give a demo of building a private sensor network using open-source hardware.

Can Fandoms Fix Tech’s Gender Gap? - by Jessica McDonald

According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, 12% of 2012 computer science degree recipients from major universities were women. That number represents a staggering decline from just a decade ago. We talk a lot about closing the gender gap, but how can we if universities aren’t producing more women in STEM fields? Jessica McDonald, Director of Marketing and Communications for SparkFun Electronics, argues that the answer lies in changing how we think about teaching technology. She’ll present original research describing how participation in fandoms–yes, fandoms–through sites like Tumblr and cosplay are shaping a new generation of techie girls, as well as discuss initiatives her company has taken based on this research in an effort to help close the gender gap.

We hope some of these panels strike you as interesting - and we’ll let you know which of these ultimately get accepted. Thank you for your help - and see you in Austin!

comments | comment feed

Rummage Giveaway Winners

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

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A couple weeks ago, we announced the SparkFun Rummage Giveaway - where we gave away four boxes of SparkFun gear from around the office. We had an overwhelming number of responses - thank you to everyone who entered! Today we want to announce the winners:

  • Member #284575 (Paul)
  • Member #307554 (Louis)
  • Member #97799 (Ben)
  • Member #327692 (Jim)

You should have all gotten emails and will be receiving your prize boxes shortly. We would love to hear from you once you receive them! Thanks again to everyone that entered for helping us out with the survey!

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News and updates from the beta-testing of the Arduino TRE

via Arduino Blog

Arduino TRE Summer testing

Internal Development of the Arduino TRE, Torino, Italy

We are getting closer and closer to the first release of the new TRE IDE. We are currently working on finalising some features for the Ethernet and WiFi connection, and for the Serial Monitor. We are also designing a new Arduino TRE Home, a place where users will be able to launch all the apps available for the TRE, run updates, and get support.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 16.44.13

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 16.42.51

Beta-testing program

More than 100 beta-testers are involved in the program, from a variety of backgrounds and ages. Most of the hardware tests have been completed by this incredible group of people. Beta-testers have been giving feedback on the software side too: as soon as we come up with a new release they try it out and report any issue they find. Beta-testers have also been helping out on porting existing examples to the TRE. Examples are really crucial to get beginners started with a new environment and this is even more relevant for this board, since it has so much more potential than classic Arduinos.

We are also very excited to see the results of the projects that are already in progress: a Robotic Arm, a Smart Thermostat, a DSLR Controller, a Car Diagnostic Dashboard, and a variety of audio/video projects.

Coming soon: Learn about the testing suite we are putting together to check all the production boards!

IMG_20140623_182354

News and updates from the beta-testing of the Arduino TRE

via Arduino Blog

Arduino TRE Summer testing

Internal Development of the Arduino TRE, Torino, Italy

We are getting closer and closer to the first release of the new TRE IDE. We are currently working on finalising some features for the Ethernet and WiFi connection, and for the Serial Monitor. We are also designing a new Arduino TRE Home, a place where users will be able to launch all the apps available for the TRE, run updates, and get support.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 16.44.13

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 16.42.51

Beta-testing program

More than 100 beta-testers are involved in the program, from a variety of backgrounds and ages. Most of the hardware tests have been completed by this incredible group of people. Beta-testers have been giving feedback on the software side too: as soon as we come up with a new release they try it out and report any issue they find. Beta-testers have also been helping out on porting existing examples to the TRE. Examples are really crucial to get beginners started with a new environment and this is even more relevant for this board, since it has so much more potential than classic Arduinos.

We are also very excited to see the results of the projects that are already in progress: a Robotic Arm, a Smart Thermostat, a DSLR Controller, a Car Diagnostic Dashboard, and a variety of audio/video projects.

Coming soon: Learn about the testing suite we are putting together to check all the production boards!

IMG_20140623_182354

Slice – a media player using the Raspberry Pi Compute Module

via Raspberry Pi

We revealed the Raspberry Pi Compute Module back in April, and released the Compute Module Development Kit in the middle of June. Since then we’ve had a lot of interest and will shortly start shipping the Compute Module in volume to a variety of manufacturers who have already designed it into their products.

One of our goals with the Compute Module was to enable a generation of “Kickstarter consumer electronics” startups to develop commercial-quality products at relatively low volume. We’ve already we’ve seen the OTTO point-and-shoot camera, which was the first ever Kickstarter using the Compute module, and today marks the launch of another campaign which we hope will be even more successful.

Slice media player and remote

Slice media player and remote

Slice is an XBMC media player built around the Compute Module, with simple custom skin, a shiny milled-aluminium case, and a cute ring of 25 RGB LEDs for (and I quote) “visual feedback and wow factor”. It’s been developed by Mo Volans, our old friends Paul Beech and Jon Williamson from Pimoroni, and our very own Gordon Hollingworth and James Adams; they’ve been burning the candle at both ends to get Slice to where it is now, and the prototypes are looking pretty drool-worthy.

Check out the video below, and then head on over to Kickstarter to see for yourself why we’re excited about Slice!