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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeenode seems to be better and cheaper:
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.
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)
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.
I need a sample code to test this rfduino.