Hi everyone !
I’m part of the team behind the reaDIYmate project and I’d like to introduce the board I’ve been working on, both on the hardware and software sides.
The hardware The reaDIYmate board is based on the Arduino Mega but it has many additional onboard components including a WiFly Wi-Fi module, a microSD card and a MP3 decoder. Below is a picture of our latest prototype!
As you can see, the headers on the board are mechanically compatible with the Arduino shield footprint. Furthermore, the four solderless connectors make it dead-simple to plug sensors – they are compatible with the Grove Series from SeeedStudio.
Of course this board will be Open Source Hardware. The SD card and the MP3 decoder are on the SPI bus while the Wi-Fi module is connected to UART1 with a few extra pins used for hardware control of the TCP socket.
The wiring of the board was done in order to use as few “standard Arduino” pins as possible. For example, the status LED uses pins PD4 and PD5. Since the Arduino IDE now provides a very simple mechanism to add new variants we have created our own variant with new pin numbers. Thus the status LED is on pins 78-79, the MP3 decoder uses pins 70-73 and the WiFly module uses pins 73-76.
The software The board itself is cool but what (I think) is even cooler is that it will come with a whole bunch of libraries that give access to all these peripherals and let you do things such as:
- play MP3s from the SD card
- download files from a URL and save them to the SD card
- send messages to/from the board in realtime using Websocket
- synchronize the motion of a servo with audio playback
We also have a set of webservices that allow our products built around this board to manage application settings, synchronize files and provide easy access to a variety of popular APIs such as Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Furthermore I've also written have a bootloader called reaDIYboot which gives the board two ways of programming itself:
- Over a serial link using the STK500v1 protocol to receive new programs from Arduino/avrdude.
- Over the internet using the WiFly module from to retrieve new programs from a remote server.
reaDIYboot is currently in a beta stage and works quite well with programs up to 128kB, but I’m not done writing the documentation yet and I’m still trying to increase the baudrate from 250 to 500 kbaud.
What do you think? This board and its software are at the heart of the reaDIYmates which are fun DIY-internet-connected-papercraft companions.
We’ve just launched on Kickstarter to fund the manufacturing of these little guys! If you’re interested in this board and want one for yourself you can pledge $100 for the Barebone edition - if you like the Paper Toys or the Kinetic Sculpture you can also order one :)