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Posts Tagged ‘kickstarter’

Macchina M2 is an Open Source Hardware OBD-II Development Platform for Your Car (Crowdfunding)

March 10th, 2017 10 comments

ODB-II Bluetooth adapter and head-up displays to monitor and diagnose your car have been around for a while. I actually got two models to use with a Toyota Avanza and Torque Lite app, but never managed to make it work with my phone. Macchina M2 board is doing much of the same thing and more, as it is open source hardware, and supports more communications protocols including GPS, WiFi, 3G/LTE,  BLE, and Ethernet using XBEE boards.

M2 with Xbee Cellular Board

Macchina M2 specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex M3 processor @ 84 MHz (also used on Arduino DUE) with 96 KB SRAM, 512KB flash
  • Storage – micro SD card socket, 32KB EEPROM via I2C
  • USB – 1x micro USB port (USB device or host mode)
  • Wireless XBee Socket – For Bluetooth LE, WiFi, GSM, 3G, LTE,
  • I/Os
    • 6x automotive level I/O pins to control 12V devices (Examples: relays, fans, lights, etc) OR act as analog input (like temp sensor)
    • 2x channels of CAN, 2x channels of LIN/ K-line, J1850 VPW/PWM, single-wire CAN interfaces for maximum car compatibility.
  • Misc – 5x user LEDs, 1x RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V@ 3A, [email protected] amps for connecting add ons
  • Dimensions – 56.4mm x 40.6mm x 15.7mm

Once you’ve done the hardware setup – very easy with the ODB-II connector, and a little bit more difficult under the hood -, you can hack your car away, programming it with the Arduino IDE to gather RPM, speed, diagnostics data, etc…. This will also allow you it to tune it, or even control it remotely, for example starting it with a mobile control app. If you don’t want to program the board, ELM327 emulation will allow support for popular apps such as Torque for Android, or Dashcommand for iPhone, Android, and Windows App. The developers also uploaded some video tutorials on YouTube, some guides can be found on M2 Wiki, and one of the member of the team wrote a book called “The Car Hacker’s Handbook“.

Macchina M2 launched on Kickstarter a few weeks ago, and the project has already raised over $90,000, surpassing its $25,000 goal. Rewards start at $45 with M2 interface board only, which requires you to add your own MCU/CPU board, but most people will be interested in the $79 pledge to get a complete Macchina M2 board including the Atmel SAM3X board. Shipping is free to the US, but adds $15 to the rest of the world. Deliver is scheduled for July 2017.

Thanks to Thomas for the tip.

Dride is a Voice Controlled Dashcam Driving Assistant Powered by a Raspberry Pi Board (Crowdfunding)

February 8th, 2017 4 comments

Next Thing introduced Dashbot Car Dashboard Assistant based on CHIP Pro module late last year, and it will get some competition with Dride, a driving assistant powered by Raspberry Pi, that can also be voice controlled like Dashbot, but includes a Pi camera to record videos, and alert the users of dangers using computer vision, for example when they drive too close to the car in front.

The system leverages Raspberry Pi board and Pi Camera, and adds an outer shell, Dride’s Raspberry Pi HAT, and a car charger & cable. Some of the key features listed for the Dride include:

  • Cloud support – Upload and store driving videos to your Dride profile
  • ADAS – Safety alerts in case of lane deviation or frontal collision
  • Voice – Voice commands for navigation & messaging
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS

The developers also provide “Dride – Passenger Seat Driver” app for Android & iOS in order to easily share videos, and use third party services like Google Maps, Alexa Assistant, or Spotify. The video below will give you a good idea of what Dride is capable of.

Dride software will be open source, and you can already find some documentation about the SDK.

The project has just launched on Kickstarter with the goal of raising $100,000 for mass production. If you already own a Raspberry Pi and Pi camera, a $99 pledge will get you the extra parts with the HAT, outer shell, and car charger. A complete system with the board, camera, and micro SD card pre-installed with DrideOS, requires a $139 pledge (Early bird). Shipping adds $20, and deliver is planned for September 2017.

Source: Raspberry Pi Spy, via Nanik

Crowd-designed ZTE Hawkeye “Project CSX” Smartphone with Eye-Tracking, Adhesive Back Launched on KickStarter

January 5th, 2017 5 comments

ZTE launched Project CSX last year in order to let anybody submit product ideas and/or vote for the best choices, and after several months, the winning entry was a phone with an adhesive backcover and eye-tracking function to control the phone without hands. The company has now named the phone ZTE Hawkeye launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds for the development and manufacturing of the smartphone.

zte-haweye-eye-tracking-phoneHawkeye smartphone specifications [Updated on Jan 18 with the released the specs]:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core processor @ 2.0GHz
  • System Memory – 3GB RAM
  • Storage – 32GB flash memory + micro SD slot up to 256GB
  • Display – 5.5″ FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Audio – HiFi audio
  • Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, dual SIM card slot
  • Camera – Rear: Dual Lens 13MP + 12MP with optical zoom; front: 8MP
  • USB – 1x USB type C port
  • Sensors – Fingerprint sensor
  • Battery – 3,000 mAh with Quick Charge 2.0

The phone will run Android 7.x Nougat and support OTA firmware updates.

zte-hawkeyeSo the company is not quite ready to stick to full detailed specs at this stage of development, but is committed to fulfill the main requirements of the winning concept design, namely:

  • Scrolling based on Eye-Tracking (Senseye) – Pages can scroll automatically up-down or left-right based on movement of your eyes.  Voice commands can be used to navigate between pages.
  • Stick to Walls and Surfaces with Self-Adhesive Case – The phone can be mounted to a vertical surface using an optional case, freeing up the need to hold the phone.

The two features are demonstrated in what looks like a prototype.

The project might have a hard time reaching its $500,000 target, because of the relatively high funding target, unclear specifications, ZTE decided to launch the campaign right during CES 2017 when many people are flooded by tech news, and this type of hands-free smartphone might be only useful for a limited number of users. If you’d like to contribute to this smartphone with design inputs from the community, you can do so by pledging $199 for the phone and the adhesive case. Shipping is free worldwide, and backers should be sent their rewards around September 2017.

Via Liliputing

JeVois-A33 is a Small Quad Core Linux Camera Designed for Computer Vision Applications (Crowdfunding)

December 27th, 2016 8 comments

JeVois Neuromorphic Embedded Vision Toolkit – developed at iLab at the University of Southern California – is an open source software framework to capture and process images through a machine vision algorithm, primarily designed to run on embedded camera hardware, but also supporting Linux board such as the Raspberry Pi. A compact Allwinner A33 has now been design to run the software and use on robotics and other projects requiring a lightweight and/or battery powered camera with computer vision capabilities.

allwinner-a33-computer-vision-cameraJeVois-A33 camera:

  • SoC – Allwinner A33  quad core ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 1.35GHz with  VFPv4 and NEON, and a dual core Mali-400 GPU supporting OpenGL-ES 2.0.
  • System Memory – 256MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – micro SD slot for firmware and data
  • 1.3MP camera capable of video capture at
    • SXGA (1280 x 1024) up to 15 fps (frames/second)
    • VGA (640 x 480) up to 30 fps
    • CIF (352 x 288) up to 60 fps
    • QVGA (320 x 240) up to 60 fps
    • QCIF (176 x 144)  up to 120 fps
    • QQVGA (160 x 120) up to 60 fps
    • QQCIF (88 x 72) up to 120 fps
  • USB – 1x mini USB port for power and act as a UVC webcam
  • Serial – 5V or 3.3V (selected through VCC-IO pin) micro serial port connector to communicate with Arduino or other MCU boards.
  • Power – 5V (3.5 Watts) via USB port requires USB 3.0 port or Y-cable to two USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc
    • Integrated cooling fan
    • 1x two-color LED: Green: power is good. Orange: power is good and camera is streaming video frames.
  • Dimensions –  28 cc or 1.7 cubic inches (plastic case included with 4 holes for secure mounting)

jevois-camera-hardwareThe camera runs Linux with the drivers for the camera, JeVois C++17 video capture, processing & streaming framework, OpenCV 3.1, and toolchains. You can either connect it to a host computer’s USB port to check out the camera output (actual image + processed image), or to an MCU board such as Arduino via the serial interface to use machine vision to control robots, drones, or others. Currently three modes of operation are available:

  • Demo/development mode – the camera outputs a demo display over USB that shows the results of its analysis, potentially along with simple data over serial port.
  • Text-only mode – the camera provides no USB output, but only text strings, for example, commands for a pan/tilt controller.
  • Pre-processing mode – The smart camera outputs video that is intended for machine consumption, and potentially processed by a more powerful system.

The smart camera can detect motion, track faces and eyes, detect & decode ArUco makers & QR codes, detect & follow lines for autonomous cars, and more. Since the framework is open source, you’ll also be able to add your own algorithms and modify the firmware. Some documentation has already been posted on the project’s website. The best is to watch the demo video below to see the capacities of the camera and software.

The project launched in Kickstarter a few days ago with the goal of raising $50,000 for the project. A $45 “early backer” pledge should get you a JeVois camera with a micro serial connector with 15cm pigtail leads, while a $55 pledge will add an 8GB micro SD card pre-load with JeVois software, and a 24/28 AWG mini USB Y cable. Shipping is free to the US, but adds $10 to Canada, and $15 to the rest of the work. Delivery is planned for February and March 2017.

Firefly-RK3399 Rockchip RK3399 Development Board Launched on Kickstarter for $139 and Up

December 5th, 2016 33 comments

Firefly-RK3399 is the first, and for now the only one, development board equipped with the latest Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core Cortex A72 & A53 processor. It’s just not available yet, but the board has now been launched on Kickstarter where it is offered for $139 to $199 depending on options.

rk3399-development-board

Firefly-RK3399 board specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with dual core ARM Cortex A72 up to 2.0 GHz and quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with OpenGL 1.1 to 3.1 support, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL and DX 11 support
  • System Memory
    • Standard – 2 GB DDR3
    • Plus devkit – 4 GB DDR3
  • Storage
    • Standard – 16 GB eMMC flash, micro SD card, M.2 socket
    • Plus devkit – 32 GB eMMC flash, micro SD card, M.2 socket
  • Video Output & Display Interfaces
    • 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
    • 1x DisplayPort (DP) 1.2 interface up to 4K @ 60Hz (via USB type C connector)
    • 1x eDP 1.3 (4-lanes @ 10.8 Gbps)
    • 1x MIPI DSI interface up to 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz
  • Video Decode – 4K VP9 and 10-bit H.265 video codec support up to 60 fps
  • Audio
    • Via HDMI or DisplayPort
    • 3.5mm headphone jack with stereo audio output and mic input
    • optical S/PDIF
    • 1x LINE Out and 1x speaker via GPIO header; Speaker: 1.5W or 2.5 W per channel for respectively 8Ω or 4Ω speakers
    • Built-in microphone
    • I2S output and input interface up to 8 channels
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) port using RTL8211E transceiver, WiFi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1 (AP6354 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 type C port
  • Camera
    • 2x MIPI CSI interfaces up to 13MP or 2x 8MP
    • 1x DVP camera interface up to 5MP
  • Debugging – 3-pin serial header
  • Expansion
    • 42-pin GPIO female header with access to 1x I2S, 2x ADC, 2x I2C, 1x SPI, 2x GPIO, 1x LINEOUT, 1x SPEAKER
    • 1x mini PCIe for LTE, 1x PCIe 2.1 M.2 slot B-key (2x PCIe, SATA, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HSIC, SSIC, Audio, UIM, I2C)
    • SIM card slot
  • Misc – RTC battery header; power & user LEDs; power, reset and recovery buttons; IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A DC (5.5×2.1mm barrel connector)
  • Dimensions – 12.4 x 9.3 mm (8-layer PCB)
  • Weight – Board: 89 grams; board + cooling fan and heatsink: 120 grams

The company will provide Android 6.0.1 and Ubuntu 16.04 firmware images for the board, including a dual boot image. There are also work-in-progress documentation and placeholder links to Android SDK and schematics in the product page which will hopefully soon link to the actual documents and files, as well as a work-in-progress Wiki. It may also be worth monitoring the company’s  Github account.

firefly-rk3399-boardThe company aims to raise $50,000 from the crowdfunding campaign, and you’d have to pledge $139 to get “Firefly-RK3399 Development Kit” with 2GB RAM, and 16GB flash together with a 12V/2A power adapter, a USB Type C adapter, a USB to UART serial board, a USB cable, and a a cooling fan (I assume with an heatsink). After the 50 first pieces, the price goes up to $159, and if you want the “Plus development kit” with 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, you’d need to pledge $199 instead. Shipping adds $5 to $30 depending on the destination country, and delivery is planned for March 2017.

Sevenhugs Smart Remote is a Universal Direction Aware WiFi, Bluetooth and IR Remote Control (Crowdfunding)

November 25th, 2016 2 comments

You may have all sort of remote control devices around your home from the traditional IR remote control for your TV, air conditioner, audio system etc.., as well remote control apps for WiFi or Bluetooth objects such as smart light bulbs or water pumps running on your smartphone. Sevenhugs Smart Remote promises to replace them all, and all you have to do is to point the remote control to your devices, or setup virtual actions to your door or window to order a Uber drive or check the weather.
sevenhugs-remote-control

Sevenhugs Smart Remote specifications:

  • MCU – ARM Cortex-M4 @ 200 MHz
  • System Memory – 32 MB RAM
  • LCD – 3.43″ touch screen IPS display; Dragontrail damage ans scratch resistant cover glass, anti-fingerprint & anti-glare
  • Wireless Connectivity – IR transceiver, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE connectivity
  • USB – USB C port for charging
  • Sensors – Indoor positioning sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor
  • Misc – Small speaker
  • Dimensions – 135 x 41 x 9.7 mm

The remote comes with a charging base including a lost & found button to make the remote control ring in case you can’t locate it, as well as three room sensors to place close to the object/service your want to control, for example one close to your TV, the other on your door, and the last one next to your window. You’ll still need a smartphone running Android or iOS to install an app to configure the remote control for your devices, and currently 25,000 devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Infrared are supported with more being added daily.
smart-remote-room-sensorsOnce this simple setup is complete, simply point to remote to the device or service you want to control, and the screen interface will adapt to the objects pointed with for example volume control for an audio system, and weather forecast when pointing to a window. If you have several objects in a zone for example a TV with set-top box and AV receiver, you can use the carousel on the remote control to switch between each of them. This also means you can control other WiFi devices from any room in your home.

The company will also release a Lua SDK based in C/C++, first allowing to add new devices to be released in June 2017 but with an early release already available in github, and then allowing much more control over the remote such as developing custom gesture, screens, and menus. The Level 2 part of the SDK is scheduled for release at the end of 2017.

The remote control has been launched in Kickstarter, and have been very successful so far having raised over $700,000. Most early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge $149 to get  Smart Remote Kit including the charging base and 3 room sensors. Shipping is free to the US and western Europe, but for other countries it will cost you $20 to $35 extra, and delivery is scheduled for July 2017. More details may be found on Sevenhugs Smart Remote microsite.

iv-Robotics Brings SMT Resistors, Capacitors, LEDs to Breadboards (Crowdfunding)

November 14th, 2016 1 comment

Most people will prototype electronics projects using a breadboard and typical axial resistors and “legged” capacitors & LEDs. This works reasonably well but can be messy, and you need to learn resistor codes to choose the right value. To reduce the number of legs and make it easier for beginner, iv-Robotics has decided to create small boards with SMT resistors, capacitors and LEDs instead with markings to solve those small issues.

smt-components-arduinoThe company calls those iResistor, iCapacitor and iLed components, and offers them in boxes of 50 pieces with various values. Experienced users might also like the fact this it’s easier to store compare to traditional components, but I feel this is really a good idea for education, and kids getting started with electronics.

smt-resistor-capacitors-breadboard

The project is now on Kickstarter, where you can get 50 pieces for $10, 4 boxes of 50 pieces for $35, 8 boxes with iResistors and iCapacitors, plus a free iLED box for 450 pieces in total ($80), as well as larger quantities with up to 450 boxes (12,500 components) for wholesalers. Shipping adds $2 to $160 depending on destination and reward, and delivery is planned for January 2017.

Categories: Hardware Tags: electronics, kickstarter

Marvin is a Plug and Play, Arduino Compatible, LoRa USB IoT Development Board (Crowdfunding)

November 11th, 2016 9 comments

LoRa appears to be one of the most popular LPWAN standards so far, with hobbyist development boards such as LoPy or LoRaONE, and we’ll soon have at least one more choice thanks to Marvin, a LoRa development board with a full size USB port.

marvin-loraMarvin 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

The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE, and they mention IBM Bluemix platform, and Node-RED, but overall details about documentation and software are scarce right now. One of the advantage of this form factor is that you can program it directly into your computer, and once you’re done you can plug it into a power bank easily without having to bother with any cables in the process.

lora-sensorsThe board is based on  RN2483 chip with 868 & 434 MHz frequency bands, so it will work in many countries in Europe, but it won’t work with LoRa networks in the US, Japan, New Zealand, etc.. where other frequency bands are used. You could use two Marvin for points to points communication in those countries, but you’d have to make sure 868 Mhz is not used by something else… LoRA is designed for low power long range communication for IoT project, and if you send messages of about 50 bytes at around 5000bit/sec, you’d be able to send about 300 messages per day. The LOS range is about 10 to 20 km.

The project been launched on Kickstarter yesterday, and the developers have already surpassed their 10,000 Euros funding target with close to 16,000 Euros raised so far. All 60 Euros early bird rewards are gone, but you can still get the board for 70 Euros, as well as full suitcases with some Grove sensors and multiple Marvin boards. Most rewards will only ship to Europe, probably due to limitations discussed above, but somehow if you order a Marvin development suitcase (825 Euros) it will ship anywhere in the world. Shipping is included in the pledge, and delivery is scheduled for February 2017.