Marvin, A Plug & Play IoT Development Board

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Internet of Things became one of the most important technology trends nowadays, and everyday we have a new board or tool that helps people to create IoT application. Today, we introduce you to “Marvin”, a new IoT board developed at RDM Makerspace.

Marvin in his natural habitat of sensors, cables and power
Marvin in his natural habitat of sensors, cables and power

Marvin is an easy to use, plug and play development board for rapid prototyping of IoT solutions with a full size USB port. It is compatible with the open source Arduino platform and works with LoRa communication on LoRa networks.

The board is designed as a USB stick, so you can program it directly into your computer, and once you are done you can plug it into a power bank easily without having to bother with any cables in the process. Marvin is based on the Microchip RN2483 as a LoRa module with 868 & 434 MHz frequency bands, so you can use it anywhere outdoor in Netherlands, and other countries.

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Marvin is also compatible with Grove System, modular, ready-to-use tool sets. Similar to LEGO, it takes a building block approach to assembling electronics. The Grove system consists of a base shield and various modules with standardized connectors. A wide range of Grove modules are available for use within the Grove System.

LoRa, stands for Long Range Low Power, appears to be one of the most popular LPWAN standards. It is a very efficient, light weight way of communicating small messages wireless. The LoRa module is a hardware chip, that is most of the time sleeping, which means you save loads of power.

Advantages of the LoRa Network
Advantages of the LoRa Network

Marvin board specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel/Microchip ATmega32u AVR MCU (same as Arduino Leonardo board)
  • Connectivity – LoRa via Microchip RN2483; Supports both 868 MHz and 433 MHz frequency bands, on-board antenna
  • USB – 1x USB, 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Debugging – USB, and ISP header
  • Expansion – 5x Grove connectors
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB port
  • Dimensions – N/A, but similar to USB flash drive

There are five steps to create an IoT project, first connect Marvin to your PC and add sensors, then write your code and upload it to Marvin, finally connect to the power source and enjoy testing your project.

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The project has been recently launched on kickstarter, and the developers had surpassed their €10,000 funding target with close to €16,000 raised so far. Ordering Marvin is available for €70 through the campaign page with many other offers.

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