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Topic: New board! (Read 6773 times) previous topic - next topic


MichaelMeissner

#1
Dec 11, 2012, 02:47 pm Last Edit: Dec 11, 2012, 03:07 pm by MichaelMeissner Reason: 1
I don't know, to me the Esplora seems somewhat limiting.  Now, I don't play video games that need controllers which this seems to be designed for, so maybe I just don't get the market.

Given the form factor is meant to be a game controller, it seems unfinished in that there is no removable shell to make it into a finished case.  I would think providing a pre-made case and some games in the initial package would go a long way to help selling it.  I tend to think of it as the field of dreams (if you build it, they will come) approach to product design.  Sometimes such designs can pay off, but a lot of times you just have a bunch of engineers building toys they can understand, but can't get anybody else to join the crowd.  Presumably the team wants people to buy it to program it, but I think providing a little user friendlyness can help people realize they want it.

It is also curious that the thing is designed to have a video screen, but the screen was not part of the initial launch,  In products, you often have one shot at catching the user's attention before they move on to the next wonder gizmo.  If I were wanting to buy it, I would want to know how much the screen was going to cost and what specs there were, rather than hoping maybe some day a screen will come.

Obviously if you have the screen, you open the door to a portable game.  But the Esplora doesn't seem to have a battery option, other than say a cell phone charger battery hooked up to the USB port.

It also seems lacking in remote options.  There are no builtin bluetooth, wifi, or even infrared options that would allow the unit to connect to other devices wirelessly.  So you are left with a USB cord to connect to your game machine hooked up to the TV.

The two input and output tinkerkit connectors having male pins that are exposed would seem to me potentially being broken or bent.  Particularly if the unit is meant to be a console where people are moving it around.  If they had put a shroud around the pins to make it less easy to break or made it into a female connector like an audio 2.5mm/3.5mm connector.

Speaking of audio, there is a buzzer, but there seems to be no connection for an external speaker.  Again, if all this device is designed for is to be connected to a wii or ps/3, and that device provides the sound that's fine, but it does limit what you can use the device for in a standalone setting.  It may be with advanced iphone/android cell phones there is no market for independent handheld units.

The linear pot position is puzzling.  From the picture it seems to be far enough away that you wouldn't be able to use it along with the joystick or buttons.  Having it just adjacent to either might have been better.  Perhaps a rotary pot would have been better, perhaps not.

The timing is off.  It is now 2 weeks before Christmas (and in the middle of Hanukkah).  It is really too late for consideration in terms of gifts, etc.  I suspect the team was busy with the Due, and did not have time to get the Esplora off to a good start.

Finally the only distributor right now is Radio Shack, but I just went to the RS web site and searched for esplora, and I didn't find anything.  RS is mostly US based, but it does have a presence in several other central/south American countries, but very little presence in Europe or Asia (Bahrain and Egypt being the two exceptions), so it seems somewhat limited in world wide appeal.

I wish the team success with it, but I'm just puzzled what this was intended to be, and how it can be successful among all of the other offerings out there.

cyclegadget


I think this would be a very good board for robots, robotic arm, remote control cars,etc.

I also think it would be nice if they included a Processing sketch or library so that you could test the controller. It would be interesting to play some sort of game based on Processing using this board for a controller.
Good links: Eagle tutorial= http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDE1858BD83D19C70
General Arduion tutorials = http://tronixstuff.wordpress.com
http://www.gammon.com.au/forum/bbshowpost.php?bbtopic_id=123

AWOL

Small mistake on the graphic - it's an "accelerometer", not an "accelerator"
"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.

MichaelMeissner


I think this would be a very good board for robots, robotic arm, remote control cars,etc.

For robots where the controller is tethered the robot, I can imagine using it.

However, the lack of a reasonable set of free pins to add a radio, and a battery option, would seem to limits its use for radio controlled cars.

bitgeist

This is my first arduino, and after one evening, I'm loving it. Having a bunch of sensors and outputs makes projects instantly fun. It only took a little time to make an "intruder alert" project for the kids. If the esplora detects sound or light, it sounds an alarm (not very loud) and flashes the LED. Slider is used to set sensitivity. Great fun!

TheKitty



I think this would be a very good board for robots, robotic arm, remote control cars,etc.

For robots where the controller is tethered the robot, I can imagine using it.

However, the lack of a reasonable set of free pins to add a radio, and a battery option, would seem to limits its use for radio controlled cars.


The Esplora expansion header (that they will use for a display) has been documented and could be used for more sensors or a wireless radio.  See http://21stdigitalhome.blogspot.com/2012/12/esplora-expansion-header-pinouts.html for more info.

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