Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Snapmaker, The Modular & Multi-Functional 3D Printer

Snapmaker is a Kickstarter project with a lofty goal: to be the holy trinity for at-home makers by using detachable modules to convert between a 3D printer, a CNC carver, and a laser engraver. In retrospect, the idea seems almost obvious. All three devices need three-axis motors to work: so why not combine them into one?

But Snapmaker doesn’t just stand out for its modular nature — it’s also impressively cheap. The default Snapmaker costs $299 on Kickstarter, and includes just the 3D printer. The laser engraver and CNC modules then each cost $75, making the entire package cost $449 — which would be a pretty good price for just one of these devices, let alone all three.

Snapmaker also claims that it’s offering a fairly high-quality printer for the price, with an “all-metal” construction and 3.2-inch color touchscreen. When it comes to actual specifications, the 3D printing module can print items up to 125 x 125 x 125mm in size at a resolution of 50–300 microns. When it comes to engraving, the laser module offers a 500mW beam that can work with wood, bamboo, leather, plastic, fabric, and paper. And the CNC module can carve wood, acrylic, and PCB at speeds between 2,000 and 7,000 RPM.

Obviously, these are some pretty big promises to be making, especially at the relatively low price point that Snapmaker sells for. And as a first time, crowdfunded project from a new company that has yet to ship a product before, the burden is on Snapmaker to show that they can actually deliver. And while the company has posted videos to YouTube demonstrating the various modules in action, at the price that Snapmaker is selling, it’s possible the whole thing is too good to be true.

The crowdfunding campaign still has 35 days to go, and is already 130% funded! Check out the technical details at the official website.

Source: The Verge

Anyone Can Build A Robot Arm With MeArm Pi

Mime Industries launches Kickstarter campaign to fund their Raspberry Pi powered robot arm kit that’s simple enough for kids to build.

Mime Industries launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the production of the world’s first robot arm kit for the Raspberry Pi. Designed to be easy to assemble and not requiring extensive knowledge of electronics, the MeArm Pi STEM kit helps kids and adults learn robotics and teaches them how to code.

Created by Ben Pirt of Mirobot and Ben Gray of MeArm, this is their fourth overfunded technology campaign and is based on the original MeArm, launched back in 2014. “We believe in helping children to have fun whilst learning about technology and the MeArm Pi is completely designed around that goal” said Ben Pirt. “Our products are simple to build and can be easily understood. Meaning you can use them to learn whilst playing, adding your own imagination to make something great”.

The MeArm Pi integrates smoothly with the Raspberry Pi, the ubiquitous educational computing platform. The kit uses a Pi HAT (a plug-on board that fits on the computer) with on-board joysticks for control. MeArm Pi is made from plastic parts for the structure, screws and 4 metal gear servos in addition to the Pi HAT. It can be programmed in Python, Scratch, Java and many other programming languages.

The MeArm Pi campaign launched on the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter on February 7 2017 and runs until March 9 2017 with a goal of £10,000 (Approx $12,400 USD). All early birds are sold out, rewards include the standard MeArm Pi Kit of £60 (Approx $75 USD) which includes a robotic arm. All kits deliver free worldwide.

Check out the campaign video:

 

Stay Connected While Travelling Without Fees With VoxEra

Mobile Roaming allows you to stay connected wherever you are and receive calls and SMSs, but with very expensive cost. So if you don’t have enough budget, you will lose your incoming calls till you are back from a travel.

A team of innovators from Egypt had developed a new device called “VoxEra” that enables you to stay connected when travelling without using roaming service. Simply, all you have to do is to put your SIM card into VoxEra and connect it to the internet, install VoxEra App into your smartphone and enjoy calling and texting with a high quality connection.

Compared with other similar products, VoxEra uses a standard GSM network instead of VoIP service, which mean that other people don’t have to install any application to connect with them. It will also use your own SIM card with the same mobile number and will give you more options forward to record incoming calls when you are offline.

Think of VoxEra as a message converter; when you receive a call, VoxEra receives a GSM call and then converts it into a VoIP call. Then, it sends that converted message to the Cloud through the Internet. In the same way, while making a call, VoxEra sends a message through the Cloud. When the device receives the message, it converts it into a GSM call, at which point, it is delivered to the number you’ve dialed.

The voice roaming killer is now live on Kickstarter and has already reached a $28K fund! Super early bird edition is still available for $79. After the campaign, the device will be available for $119 with free shipping worldwide.

Hack Your Car With Macchina M2

Car hacking applications have been growing during the last few years, making it faster and cheaper to get into automotive tinkering. A new device was launched recently on kickstarter called M2 by Macchina.

M2 is an open-source, versatile development platform which can be wired under the hood for a more permanent installation or plugged into the OBD2 port, enabling you to do virtually anything with your vehicle’s software.

It is a tiny device (56.4mm x 40.6mm x 15.7mm) that is compact, modular, wirelessly connectable, and based on the popular Arduino Due. It consists of a processor board with a SAM3X8E Cortex-M3 MCU, a USB port, some LEDs, an SD card slot, and built-in EEPROM, as well as an interface board with two channels of CAN, two channels of LIN/K-LINE, a J1850 VPW/PWM, and even a single-wire (GMLAN) interface.

M2 is universal as its libraries and protocols are compatible with any car that isn’t older than Google. Macchina also aims to make the M2 compatible with as many existing open source software packages as possible.It is already compatible with SavvyCAN, CanCAT, MetaSploit, and CANtact.

Working with M2 is easy for Arduino users. Here is a summary of the steps needed to duplicate our shift light project on a CANbus-equipped manual transmission car that also illustrates the basic workflow when car hacking with M2:

  • Step 1: Download the latest Arduino IDE and install the Macchina boards add-on; test everything is working by blinking an LED.
  • Step 2: Download and install one of several open source “Sniffer” applications to your computer and upload the corresponding “sketch” to M2.
  • Step 3: Use the “Sniffer” application to identify the piece of data you are looking to use. In this case, engine RPM
  • Step 4: Write a “Sketch” to watch for RPM data and light up some LEDs proportionally and flash when it is time to shift.

You can also check this video to see an example of simple car hacking:

Macchina has partnered with Arduino, Digi and Digi-Key to develop M2, and it believes that its highly-adaptable hardware will most benefit hot rodders, mechanics, students, security researchers, and entrepreneurs by providing them access to the inner workings of their rides.

As it is an open source project, you can get its 3D files, schematics, BOM, and source files on the github repository. M2 will be available for $79 and it may cost about $110 if you build it yourself. Visit Macchina’s Kickstarter page to learn more or pre-order yours today. You can also check out Hackaday’s review about M2.

Macchina M2 tutorial introduction:

XPlotter, The All-In-One Plotter, Engraver and Laser Cutter

XPlotter is an affordable and easy to use desktop plotter, Laser cutter and engraver. It is designed to create a new definition of plotter. By integrating the laser engraver and cutter into the mechanism, it becomes a versatile desktop tool for artists, craftsmen and makers to set their imagination free.

The all-in-one machine can simulate real effects of handmade drawing and writing, can cut out and laser engrave on different materials. In addition, it has the capability to pick and place objects perfectly!

This machine is now live on Kickstarter, check out the video campaign to see XPlotter in action:

 

The writing of XPlotter is outstandingly similar to the real hand writing thanks to the angle of writing and the programmed process. Now you can do your paperwork or write your homework as neat as possible. Also you have the option to choose from a variety of fonts and pens! Drawing outputs also look so real because of demonstrating shadows and tiny tiny details.

A wide range of materials like paper, leather, fabric, cloth, and cardboard are able to be engraved by the laser engraver feature of XPlotter. Short time is needed to engrave your artworks due to the powerful laser equipped with the machine. Safety goggles are included too for making sure that users cope with laser safely.

This personal robot that is dedicated to write, draw and engrave for you has no limits. XPlotter team made a built-in vacuum pump system to enable XPlotter to pick and place at a high speed and features a precision within 0.012mm. It only takes you a few minutes to change the end effector into a vacuum suction cup, which is powerful enough to grab spherical items.

Amazingly, the team behind XPlotter has open-sourced the operation interface to welcome more applications made by users through the secondary development.

In short, these are the specifications of this amazing tool!

Check out this comparison between XPlotter and its alternatives.

The retail price will be around $500 but now you have the chance to get the basic XPlotter via the crowdfunding campaign for only $349. The full kit including engraving and pick and place is priced $529, where the final retail after Kickstarter will be $629. This campaign still has 52 days to go, you can check the campaign page now and choose your reward.

More videos of XPlotter in action can be found at this Youtube profile and the official website.

OpenScope, An Open Source Multi-function Board

In order to make learning and using electronics accessible to all, Digilent Inc., an electrical engineering products company, had created a new powerful and affordable tool for  beginners and enthusiasts. ‘OpenScope’ is an instrumentation device that empowers makers, hobbyists, engineers, and new learners to design and debug their most innovative products.

OpenScope is a portable multi-function programmable instrumentation module, that connects with computer through WiFi or USB to allow acquiring, analysing, visualising, and controlling signals from circuits, sensors, and other electronic devices. It can also be programmed to work as a standalone development board, like Arduino and Raspberry Pi, with high-speed precision analog and digital I/O.

WaveForms Live is a free, open-source, JavaScript-based software that runs in a browser. It comes with OpenScope and is used for configuring it to work as an oscilloscope, a function generator, a logic analyzer, a power supply, or a data logger.

OpenScope can be used to make real time monitoring and troubleshooting projects, to build long-term capturing and calculating IoT devices, and also to gain a deeper understanding of electronics through visualizing what’s happening inside of the circuit.

The core of OpenScope is the Microchip PIC32MZ Processor, a 32-bit MCU based on the MIPS processor, clocked at 200MHz with 2 MB flash memory and up to 512KB high-speed SRAM. It is placed on OpenScope’s top face with a WiFi module, MicroUSB port for power and programming, programming headers, 30 pins, two input channels, gain select multiplexers, with led and buttons.

 

OpenScope Features:

  • 2 12-bit scope channels at 2 MHz bandwidth and 6.25 MS/sec sampling rate.
  • 1 MHz function generator output with 10 MS/sec update rate.
  • 10 programmable digital I/O pins .
  • Up to 50 mA ±4 volts programmable power supply.
  • On-Board WiFi
  • Reprogrammable through Arduino IDE and Microchip MPLabX

$14,000 has been reached since launching the Kickstarter campaign yesterday. You can reserve your own OpenScope for $80 and also an optional 3D printed case is available for $25. According to the project timeline, early shipping will begins in April 2017.

SMART.IO, An Affordable Remote Control for Embedded Designs

Creating a smartphone application for your embedded products may be a high-cost process that consumes time and efforts. ImageCraft, a producer of high quality low cost embedded system tools, had developed “Smatr.IO” as a very cheap alternative solution that allows you to add a friendly user interface to any embedded project.

Smart.IO is a toolkit that helps you to create a compatible application with your product without the need of any experience in wireless technology or app development. It uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and it doesn’t require an Internet connection or data plan.

Smart.IO consists of three parts:

  • A Small Chip Module compatible with any microcontroller.
  • A Software API for creating Graphical User Interface (GUI) objects.
  • A Programmable Smartphone App that requires only a Bluetooth connection to use.

There is no need to write any wireless code, or write an app. All you need is to add the Smart.IO chip to your existing microcontroller-based design, then use the API to create GUI objects in your firmware.

The Smart.IO Chip Module

The Smart.IO chip module is only 25mmx14mm. It has a 10-pin headers which are easy to solder onto your PCB, or use in a prototype system. It interfaces with your host microcontroller using SPI pins, plus extra pins for interrupts for data notification. Smart.IO draws very little power, typically about 100mA, and much less during standby mode.

If you are an Arduino user, ImageCraft will provide an Arduino-compatible shield that comes with a Smart.IO chip module, so that Arduino users can start using it immediately.

The Smart.IO API

The API functions allow you to create GUI objects and to modify their values. A simple callback mechanism notifies your firmware of input changes. The API code will run in the Smart.IO chip firmware, and the host MCU only runs the API interface layer code, so it will not use the host MCU resources.

The Programmable Smart.IO App

The GUI elements incorporate solid, current user interface principles. The UI will look and work exactly the same way across all iOS devices, from the iPhone 5 to iPhone 7+, and all iPad devices, including the iPad Pro. An Android friendly UI is planned for Spring.

There is also a customized version of the app specific to your product and branding for an inexpensive one-time licensing fee including customized app logo and name and security key to ensure your product will only work with your app.

Smart.IO Security

Secret key encryption is used to ensure secure pairing of the device and customized app. As Smart.IO does not use the Internet, there is no risk of your device being used for DDOS or other types of attacks through the use of Smart.IO.

Through the Kickstarter campaign, Smart.IO reached about $9,500 and pre-ordering is still open here. ImageCraft will start work on the Android version of the programmable app and set up a forum for Smart.IO users. A use case example of Smart.IO is available on the official page.

Butterfly & Ladybug, STM32L4-Based Arduino-Programable Development Boards

Arduino boards are very useful for beginners to get started with building hardware projects. But at some point, more powerful controller than the Arduino’s 8 MHz one will be needed, featuring faster clock rate, floating point engine, and rich peripherals.

As Kris Winer found, the code editors and compilers for these controllers aren’t as simple as Arduino IDE. So using them may be a very frustrating experience.

Kris collaborated with Thomas Roell to solve that by developing new development boards that allow developers to use and program STM32L4 MCUs with the simplicity of Arduino IDE.

They started on Tindie with Dragonfly, a small (0.7” x 1.4”) development board for the high-performance, ultra-low-power line of 32-bit microcontrollers, STM32L4X6 family. Dragonfly uses the STM32L476RE 64-pin LQFP chip package with 512 kB of high-speed flash memory, 128 kB SRAM, running at up to 80 MHz with a single-precision floating point unit.

Dragonfly Development Baord

Two new boards are added to the Dragonfly family, the Butterfly and the Ladybug. These boards are small, low-cost development boards with simple, open-source designs that will allow approximately anyone to make use of the STM32L4 in their own custom applications. They rely on a single, inexpensive 32.768 kHz crystal oscillator and don’t require the ST-Link built into the STM32 Nucleo boards. Applications can be developed using the Butterfly and Ladybug development boards which provide access to all GPIOs and peripherals of the STM32L4.

Butterfly (Top) & Ladybug (Down) Development Boards

The Butterfly is 0.7” x 1.4” board and it uses the STM32L433 80 MHz ARM Cortex M4F 48-pin QFN package. While the Ladybug is 0.6” x 1.1” and uses the STM32L432 QFN package for more rational routing.

Technical specifications:

  • Microcontroller: STM32L4 ARM Cortex M4F
  • Clock speed: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, 48, 64, 80 MHz
  • Operating voltage: 3.3V
  • I/O pin limits: most pins 5.0 V tolerant, 20 mA
  • Digital I/O pins: 22, with 11 PWM (Butterfly), 13, with 10 PWM (Ladybug)
  • Analog input pins: 6 (Butterfly), 5 (Ladybug), 12-bit ADC channels
  • Analog output pins: 2 12-bit DAC
  • RTC: 1 ppm accuracy
  • Flash memory: 256 KB SRAM: 64 KB
  • Voltage regulator: 3.3-5.5V input / 3.3V, 150 mA output
  • Dimensions: 1.4 x 0.7″ (Butterfly), 1.1 x 0.6″ (Ladybug)

A kickstarter campaign had been launched to increase the production volume to allow rock bottom pricing. But unfortunately, the campaign ended without reaching the specified goal.

Butterfly and Ladybug were designed for ultra-low-power applications and for small LiPo battery operation. There is a port for a JST battery connector on the board as well as a Vin at the board edge that connects to the battery anode so peripherals like haptic motors or displays can be powered directly from the battery, or the board can be directly powered from Vin.

Butterfly Board Pinout
Ladybug Board Pinout

The boards are fully open source so anyone can get the source files and make his own easily. To find more details about the project visit its page at hackaday, and at OSH Park.

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PureModules, IoT Building Blocks

New range of building blocks for IoT development are just out there! Just like LEGO, PUREmodules by Pure Engineering are the building blocks for IoT connected smart sensors where there is no need to solder, using breadboard or wires. It’s all done just by snapping the modules together and writing some lines of code.

original

The modules that are already designed are:

  • COREModule
  • SUPER SENSOR module
  • General Purpose IO modules via I2C Expanders
  • I2C ADC and DAC modules
  • Energy Harvesting Modules
  • Low power chemical Sensors
  • PIN diode Radiation Detector Module
  • I2C thermal camera modules
  • Dual I2C DC motor Module
  • GPS and IMU Module
  • Long Range LoRa RF modules (10+ miles)
  • Li-Ion and other Power modules
  • Ethernet Module
  • Low Power LCD module
  • User IO button and LED modules
  • Multiple Core modules; CC2650, EFM32, ESP32 and more.
  • Adapter modules to other sensor systems such as Grove and LittleBits
  • Adapters to popular platforms such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Only COREmodule and SUPER SENSOR module are live now in the Kickstarter campaign that Pure Engineering has launched, check the campaign video:

COREmodule

The brain of other modules based on nRF52832 SOC. It is compatible with Arduino and a number of other open source frameworks, it has an onboard antenna and able to update its firmware over the air. Also it supports these IoT operating systems: Mynewt, Zephyr, Contiki OS, RIOT-OS, and mbed OS.

puremodules-internet-of-things-building-blocks

SUPER SENSOR module

This multi function sensor can be used in home automation and monitoring, health tracking, and industrial measurement. It contains the following embedded sensors: barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, accelerometer, magnetometer, UVA UVB, RGB, IR, and heart rate pulse oximetry.

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PUREmodules goal is to simplify IoT development for hackers, tinkerers and designers and to propose a new easy way of interaction and control everything through the Internet. More details can be found at the official website and the Kickstarter campaign. You can pre-order a COREmodule and SUPER SENSOR for $59 as an early bird pledge.

Meet Wembi – The World’s First, Closed Loop Conversion Kit for 3D Printer

wembi-mockup

The future of 3D printing is here and it has a name – Wembi. Boasting an advanced PID compensation system that detects issues while your 3D printer or other CNC based machine is moving, Wembi readjusts itself to eliminate printing problems and help you get the perfect prints fast!

Think of Wembi like a unique vitamin kit for your 3D printer that can boost its performance and take 3D printing to a whole new level.

A Sophisticated System That Revolutionizes DC Motor Control

Being faced with inadequate Open Loop and low precision printing in standard stepper motor technology, we decided to create a brand new, sophisticated controller that could achieve an unbeatable degree of accuracy. And we made it:

A Quantum Leap In 3D Printing Technology

By developing a revolutionary firmware and embedding it into a very simple hardware, we managed to tackle the problem of low accuracy levels and achieve unparalleled accuracy in 3D printing, unlike anything the world has ever seen so far. With important advantages over standard stepper motor technology, Wembi offers outstanding benefits.

Meet Wembi – The World’s First, Closed Loop Conversion Kit for 3D Printer – [Link]