Home > Android, Hardware, Video > $19 RFDuino is a Coin-sized Bluetooth Arduino-compatible Board

$19 RFDuino is a Coin-sized Bluetooth Arduino-compatible Board

RFDuino is a tiny board, about the size of a coin, powered by Nordic nRF51822 Cortex M0 SoC including bluetooth 4.0 LE support, and software compatible with Arduino UNO and DUE board, so you can just use Arduino sketches with the board. Bluetooth allows it to communicate with your smartphone (iPhone for now, but Android support is coming) to control motors & relays, monitor sensors, turn LEDs on/off, and more.

RFDuino (Left) & RFDuino with 2 shields connected to a breadboard

RFDuino (Left) & RFDuino with 2 shields connected to a breadboard

Key features of RFDuino board:

  • MCU – Nordic nRF51822 Cortex M0 @ 16 MHz
  • Memory -  16 KB on-chip SRAM
  • Storage – 256 KB on-chip Flash
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy built in MCU
  • GPIO – 7 pin software configurable as digital IO, analog ADC, SPI, I2C, UART and PWM. 

The company currently offers several stackable shields for RFDuino including battery shields (1x AAA, 2x AAA, and CR2032 coin battery), a servo shield, a USB shield, a prototype shield and more.

RFDuino will be open source hardware, and it looks quite simple as it’s just a DIP board where RF Digital RFD51822 module has been connected. You can learn the whole design story, and get more technical details in the video below.

In order to load code unto RFduino you’ll need a USB adapter board in order to connect the board to your computer. If you want to use an existing sketch, you don’t need the USB adapter board, as they can preload a sketch on the board before shipping.

RFDuino developers are looking for funds on KickStarter. You can pledge $19 to get an RFDuino, but it’s probably a better option to pledge $39 as it includes the USB shield that allows you to program the board with any sketches. If you don’t live in the US, add $10 for shipping. If everything goes according to plans, you should receive your boards in July 2013.

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  1. March 20th, 2013 at 22:16 | #1

    You need to pledge at a level the includes the USB shield in order to be able to change the sketch loaded into the device. The $19 RFduino is just the RFduino and does not include the USB shield.

  2. March 22nd, 2013 at 04:43 | #2
  3. Jon Smirl
    March 22nd, 2013 at 14:00 | #3

    @zoobab
    Jeenode is in the 900Mhz ISM band which means different board for the various regions – EU, NA, Asia.
    RFduino’s 2.4Ghz is the same everywhere.

    Big difference is that you can talk to the rfDuino using your phone. Can’t do that with a Jeenode.
    Jeenode doesn’t seem to have FCC approval either.

  4. March 22nd, 2013 at 17:13 | #4

    FYI. I’ve just come across 2 other mini Arduino boards but without RF (unless you add a shield):
    Femtoduino – http://www.femtoduino.com (Available now)
    CuteUino – http://www.frantone.com/CuteUino/cuteuino.html (Coming this summer)

  5. Nathan
    March 29th, 2013 at 21:08 | #5

    Does anyone know that what is the chip on the USB shield board? I am very interested in this product. However, July seems too late for me.

  6. Akhil manikkoth
    June 4th, 2013 at 16:22 | #6

    I need a sample code to test this rfduino.

  1. June 5th, 2013 at 17:50 | #1
  2. June 23rd, 2013 at 10:30 | #2
  3. July 31st, 2013 at 16:50 | #3
  4. November 27th, 2013 at 16:45 | #4
  5. March 19th, 2014 at 13:30 | #5