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Posts Tagged ‘kickstarter’

BuildOne is a $99 WiFi 3D printer with Auto Bed-Leveling (Crowdfunding)

May 26th, 2017 1 comment

3D printers have become more and more affordable with products like Anet A8 3D printer that sells for a little over $150, and now many models are below $200, such as the Prusa i3 clone just reviewed by Karl. But BuildOne is going a step further by bringing the price right below $100, at least during the Kickstarter campaign, and the basic model.

BuildOne 3D printer specifications and key features:

  • Print volume –  125 x 125 x 125 mm
  • Minimum layer resolution – 50 microns (100 to 300 recommended for most prints)
  • Horizontal position resolution – 20 microns / 0.02 mm
  • Filament size – 1.75 mm
  • Filament type – PLA (ABS, nylon, and more with heated bed)
  • Notable features – Auto-calibration, auto leveling,  LED status, panic button to interrupt prints, modularity with easy to replace parts and optional add-ons
  • Connectivity – WiFi to print from web browser or smartphone
  • Power Supply – 12V
  • Dimensions – fits inside a 200m cube
  • Weight – About 2 kgs

The 3D printer uses a modified version of the Marlin firmware with the ability to have the head unit communicate via I2C to reduce the wiring required and allow for future upgrades. That’s also mean you’ll be able to modify the 3D printer source code if you wish to do so. The printer is compatible with most sliders and interfaces sch as Slic3r, Cura, Craftware, etc…, and can also optionally connect to a cloud service, so you could print from anywhere, as long as your print is online.

Four models are available:

  • BuildOne Basic Edition ($99)
  • BuildOne Plus Edition ($114) with extra PEI build plate
  • BuildOne Deluxe Edition  ($149) ABS ready, with display upgrade, PEI build plate, and heated bed
  • BuildOne Ultimate Edition ($174) based on Deluxe Edition plus a full enclosure and carrying case

You can also pledge for upgrades independently:

  • $35 for heated PEI bed
  • $15 for display upgrade with OLED display, tactile joystick
  • $30 for full enclosure and carrying case
  • $15 for premium PLA filament spool

Robotic Industries LLC, the startup behind the project, aimed to reach $100,000, and they’ve already done that with 27 days to go. Shipping adds $20 to $25 for the basic edition, and goes up if you add more options (up to $30 to $45). Delivery is scheduled for September 2017, so it’s look like they are basically done with development, and are just getting funds for mass production. Some crowdfunding campaigns fail, and the number of failures appear to be even greater for 3D printer projects (actually an unrelated $100 3D printer KS project was a scam), but Robotic Industries LLC claims to have a proven and experienced team, as well as industry partners such as Digistump, and Rigao electronics. Their website currently contained a picture with a link to Kickstarter.

Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: 3d printing, kickstarter

ABC: Basic Connections is a Book Listing Common Circuit Diagrams for Arduino Boards (Crowdfunding)

May 19th, 2017 No comments

PighiXXX is known for their very useful and pretty pinout diagrams, but they’ve now created a book called “ABC: Basic Connections” comprised of a collection of easy to read circuit diagrams that shows you how to connect various circuits to your Arduino compatible board.

The book is in file folder format, so you can easily remove the sheets you need during your project. While you can normally find pretty much whatever circuits you need on the Internet, ABC book’s diagrams looks very neat, and since it comes with 100 A5 pages of circuit diagrams such as LEDs, decoders, shift registers, 7-segment displays, mux/demux, light bulbs, DC motors, solenoids, relays and so on,  you may discover circuits you did not know you needed. Every page of the book also comes with a 0-1.es/xx short URL redirecting to an online tutorial for the circuit with information about the theory, component list, tips, sample code, etc…

The book has been launched via Kickstarter with a $50,000 funding target. You’ll need to pledge 23 Euros to get the book sometimes in August 2017. Shippings adds 7 Euros to the US, 10 Euros to Europe, and 25 Euros to the rest of the world. While it’s a crowdfunding campaign, I’d assume the risk failure is close to zero for that project.

EduExo DIY Robotic Exoskeleton Kit is Arduino Powered, 3D Printable, Designed for STEM Education (Crowdfunding)

May 12th, 2017 1 comment

Robotic exoskeletons are used for medical purposes such as helping with the rehabilitation of stroke patients, or enable paraplegics to walk again, as well as in the work place to assist people lifting heavy objects. While it’s possible to learn about the theory about exoskeleton technology, practical experience may help grasping all concepts better. However, there are not many courses available, and exoskeletons are usually expensive, so Volker Bartenbach, PhD at ETH in Zürich, has decided to created EduExo robotic exoskeleton kit for education purpose.

The EduExo hardware is based on off-the-shelf components like an Arduino UNO board, a motor, and a force sensor, as well as a rigid exoskeleton structure and cuff interfaces. The latter is optional as you can get the kit without it, and will instead receive the STL files to 3D print the parts yourself.

There’s also a handbook to help you get started in several steps:

  1. Exoskeleton Introduction
  2. Mechanics and Anatomy – Theory + instructions to assemble the kit
  3. Electronics and Software –  Theory + instructions to connect electronic components and write basic software with the Arduino IDE
  4. Control Systems  – Theory explaining the behavior of the exoskeleton, and step by step instructions to implement and test the control systems with the kit.
  5. Virtual Reality and Video Games – Learn how to create a computer game, connect the exoskeleton to your computer (Windows PC) and use it as a game controller. The demo relies on Unity 3D engine
  6. The Muscle Control Extension – You can reproduce your arm movements with the kit using an electromyography-EMG sensor (sold separately)

One you’ve gone through the handbook, you should understand the basics of exoskeletons, and maybe try develop your own algorithm or programs. Note that’s it’s just an educational device, it’s not powerful enough to provide any kind of support.

EduExo has been launched on Kickstarter with a 8,000 CHF ($7,939 US) funding goal. A 15 CHF pledge will get you the e-handbook only. If you have a 3D printer and most of the components, 30 CHF should get you the handbook, 3D STL files, and the components list. A full kit with all parts and a printed handbook requires a 165 CHF pledge (early bird). If you want to play with the Muscle Control Extension part, you’d need to spend $250 for the full kit plus the EMG sensor. You may also learn more about the educational kit and exoskeletons in general on EduExo website.

Via Arduino blog

Helios4 Personal Cloud DIY NAS Supports 3.5″ Hard Drives, RAID, and More (Crowdfunding)

May 11th, 2017 25 comments

A few months ago, we covered GnuBee Personal Cloud 1, a NAS that runs on open source software, and that supports up to six 2.5″ SATA drives. The crowdfunding has been successful – after lowering the funding target -, and backers should hopefully get the NAS right after summer. But at the time, some people complained about the  memory capacity (512MB),  the lack of support for 3.5″ drives, and a few other items. A new project called “Helios4 Personal Cloud” addresses many of those concerns. It comes with 1 to 2GB RAM, enclosure supporting four 3.5″ drives, supports RAID, and is powered by Marvell ARMADA 388 processor that has been specifically designed for this type of application.

Helios4 NAS specifications:

  • SoC – Marvell ARMADA 388 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.866 GHz with RAID5/6 acceleration engines, security acceleration engines, etc…
  • System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 4x SATA 3.0 ports, 2x HDD power connectors for 3.5″ drives using the provided DIY enclosure; micro SD slot supporting SDHC/SDXC cards
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x micro USB port for serial console only
  • Expansion – 14-pin GPIO header, 4-pin I2C header which can be used for an LCD screen & control buttons.
  • Misc – 2x PWM fan headers + 2x fans provided with DIY enclosure
  • Power Supply – 12V/8A via 4-pin jack

The basic kit comes with an Helios4 board (shown below), 4x SATA data cables, 2x Molex to dual SATA power cables, and a 12V/8A power adapter. The full kit adds a case available in black or blue, two 70mm PWM ball bearing fan, and a fasteners set.

The NAS will support Armbian Debian and Ubuntu images, OpenMediaVault open NAS solution, and SynCloud open source app server. The developers (Kobol Team), based in Singapore, also promise to release software and hardware design files for the project. For now, they have Armbian build scripts, as well as Linux and U-boot source code on Github. The board has been designed in collaboration with SolidRun, which has experience with Marvell via their MACCHIATObin / ClearFog boards and system-on-modules.

The project has just been launched on Kickstarter, where Kobol aims to raise 150,000 SGD ($106,000 US). All prices are in SGD, but I’ll use the USD equivalent going forward. An early bird pledge of $125 US should get you the basic kit with 1GB RAM, while $149 is required for the 2GB version. If you want a full kit with enclosure, you’ll need to pledge $139 (1GB RAM) or $169 (2GB RAM). Worldwide shipping adds $39 or $43 for respectively the basic and full kit, even if you are in Singapore. Delivery is scheduled for September 2017.

ZX Spectrum Next Retro Keyboard PC Relies on Xilinx FPGA, Raspberry Pi Zero “Accelerator” Board (Crowdfunding)

May 2nd, 2017 12 comments

ZX Spectrum keyboard computer was launched in April 1982 in the United Kingdom, and 35 years later, a team of developers has now been working on ZX Spectrum Next somewhat resuscitating ZX Spectrum by emulating Z80 processor in a Xilinx FPGA, using an optional Raspberry Pi Zero board as an accelerator, and adding some modern features like HDMI output and WiFi.

While the case is only a 3D rendering for now, they have a working board prototype with the following specifications:

  • FPGA – Xilinx Spartan-6 FGPA emulating Z80 processor in 3.5Mhz and 7Mhz modes
  • System Memory – 512KB RAM (expandable to 1.5MB internally and 2.5MB externally)
  • Storage – SD Card slot, with DivMMC compatible protocol used in the original ZX Spectrum
  • Video
    • Hardware sprites, 256 colours mode, Timex 8×1 mode etc.
    • Output: RGB, VGA, HDMI
  • Audio – 3x AY-3-8912 audio chips with stereo output + FM sound
  • Networking – Optional WiFi module
  • Joystick – DB9 compatible with Cursor, Kempston and Interface 2 protocols (selectable)
  • PS/2 port – Mouse with Kempston mode emulation and an external keyboard
  • Special – Multiface functionality for memory access, savegames, cheats etc.
  • Tape support – Mic and Ear ports for tape loading and saving
  • Expansion – Original external bus expansion port and accelerator expansion port for Raspberry Pi Zero
  • Misc – Real Time Clock (optional), internal speaker (optional)
  • Power Supply – 9V

Spectrum Next board can also fit into the original case, if you find the new design too… well new.

The Raspberry Pi Zero is used to bring OpenGL support to the ZX Spectrum, as well as more memory and a faster processor, so beside running retro apps on the ZX Spectrum Next, you can also run apps that would not work before. The good news is that the board already works, and you can run program in normal or accelerated mode, Doom, Wolfenstein 3D and more. The source code for the FPGA’s Z80 core will be released to the community.

ZX Spectrum Next has launched on Kickstarter, and has been rather popular so far having raised over £412,111 out of its £250,000 goal. If you want to upgrade your old enclosure, you could pledge £99 ($128 US) for the board only, but if you want the full package with the new enclosure, you’ll have to pledge at least £175 ($226). It’s probably not coincidence that’s the same price as the original ZX Spectrum with 48KB RAM when it launched in April 1982. Delivery for the board only is schedule for August 2017, while you’re expected to wait until January 2018 for the full version. Shipping adds 10 quids to the United Kingdom, and 25 quids to the rest of the world.

The Register reports there is no relationship between RCL, the company behind the failed ZX Spectrum-branded Vega and Vega+ consoles, and the team working on ZX Spectrum Next.

Via Liliputing

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

March 10th, 2017 11 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