Elements14 has just announced that it will be the exclusive distributor of the PiFace Digital I/O expansion board for the Raspberry Pi and sell it for 20 GBP. The PiFace Digital board, whose first prototype was unveiled back in May, is an expansion board allows you to interact with the outside world and control and sense physical devices such as lights, motors and sensors like the Gertboard, but has the advantage of fitting neatly on the top the Raspberry Pi, which should allow it to be used with some of the existing Raspberry Pi cases.
Detailed technical information is scarce on the Mk2 version of PiFace Digital (the one sold by Elements14), but the board apprars to include 2 relays (which can be disabled by jumper), a buffered I/O interface with 8 inputs and 8 outputs, and buttons & LEDs.
If will primarily be an education platform and free educational tools and learning materials designed by the University of Manchester will be made available for teacher including full documentation, software downloads and tutorials.
The video below shows one of the fun thing you can do with this expansion board (i.e.. controlling a robotic chicken with twitter to make it move and say your latest tweet out loud)
If you are interested in the PiFace Digital board, you can pre-register your interest (I don’t like “register interest” pages by the way, let alone “pre-register interest” pages…) now and shipping should start in January 2012. The board cost will be 20 pounds.
You can find a little bit more information on a dedicated Manchester Univesity page, as well as PiFace blog.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.