WeIO is an Open Source Hardware IoT Board Programmable from a Web Browser (Crowdfunding)

WeIO is an open source hardware board for the Internet of things with Wi-Fi connectivity and lots of I/Os designed by nodesign, a French based startup, in collaboration of 8devices, the makers of the Carambola boards. WeIO is powered by an Atheros AR9331 SoC running OpenWRT as well as an NXP LPC MCU for faster handling of I/Os and support for analog I/Os. One interesting aspect of this board is that it can be programmed via a web browser using HTML5 or Python, and it does not rely on the Cloud to store data.

WeIO
WeIO Board (Click for Larger View of the Board)

WeIO hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Atheros AR9331 MIPS 24K Wireless SoC @ 400 MHz
  • MCU – NXP LPC11xx ARM Cortex M0 MCU for analog I/O and real-time H/W interfaces
  • System Memory – 64 MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16 MB flash + micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with on-board antenna (AP and STA modes), solder pads for Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port (for storage, webcam, sound cards, …), 1x micro USB (FTDI) for console access.
  • Expansion Headers – 5 headers with:
    • 32x GPIO
    • 1x UART, 2x SPI, 1x I2C
    • 8x ADC with 10-bit precision
    • 6x PWM with 16-bit precision
  • Debugging – micro USB for programming, JTAG solder pads for AR9331 SoC, and LPC11xx MCU.
  • Misc – RGB LED connected to 3 PWM outputs, AP mode and soft reset buttons, LM75 digital thermometer
  • Power – 3.3V operating voltage, 5V tolerant I/Os (except ADC), external supply 5V.
  • Dimensions – 91 x 68 mm

There’s no IDE to install to program WeIO, as everything can be done from WeIO IDE hosted on the board itself, and you just need to connect using your favorite Web browser. There’s no cross-compiling, board flashing, or  programming electronics in C, unless you plan to update OpenWRT or the MCU firmware. That also means you should be able to program the board from any operating system, be it Windows, Linux, Mac OS, or even Android, FreeBSD…

WeIO IDE (Click to Enlarge)
WeIO IDE (Click to Enlarge)

The API is said to be “Arduino-like”, but using HTML5 (HTML, Javascript, CSS) and/or Python. You can find related code on weio repository on github.Some of the server technologies or protocols used include Tornado web server (written in Python), Websockets, SSH and SMB, and Bonjour zeroconf. The board is also supposed to be open source hardware, but the hardware design files do not appear to have been released just yet.

The company has made some demos using WeIO such as a smart lamp, real-time data visualizaton on iOS or Android smartphones, various displays support,  music and video streaming, interfacing with Arduino, and so on. You can watch the video for an overview of the board and have a look at some of the demos.

The project has been launched on Indiegogo, and have already reached its $10,000 funding target. A $86 pledge will get you a WeIO board, but various kits are available between $99 to $399, and there are also 1 to 2-day workshops for several thousands dollars. Shipping is either free, or $9 to Europe, and $12 to the other continents, depending on the perks, and delivery is scheduled for November 2014. You may also want to visit we-io.net for access to full documentation (work in progress), and/or join WeIO Google+ Community.

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10 Comments
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Marius Cirsta
5 years ago

Sounds like crap to me. I’m sorry but I don’t know any better way of saying this. It looks like almost everything gets crowd funded these days though.

vpeter
vpeter
5 years ago

Depends on a price. For IoT devices it would need to be very, very cheap.

Gaby
Gaby
5 years ago

actually I’m thinking to buy something like this for my kid, it should be all sorts of fun for a geeky boy

xxiao
xxiao
5 years ago

yet another AR9331, the more the merrier

Drasko DRASKOVIC
5 years ago

@MariusCirsta can you explain more yor point of view? I am one of the WeIO authors, and naturally, I disagree qith you :). I would like to know why did you get this impression? WeIO is indeed AR9331 hybrid, but it hides Linux from novice users through web application, so that they can program electronics directly in Python or JavaScript, while at the same time build GUI interfaces in HTML5. Once the program is finished, it is run on the board and WeIO acts as the HTTP server, serving the GUI through which we can control the object using only… Read more »

Fran Aquino
Fran Aquino
5 years ago

This self-contained concept is beautiful indeed but I think you could achieve something very similar with a Raspberry Pi and Eclipse Orion. More work involved indeed, but cheaper.

There are other similar products out there like Pinocc.io, Rascal, Tessel.io or Espruino but I don’t know they compare to WeIO.

Drasko DRASKOVIC
5 years ago

@FranAquino, yes – WeIO system can be run with very small modifications on RPi or similar Linux boards, as it is based on Python Tornado, a powerful asynchronous WebSocket server open-sourced by Facebook. However, RPi does not have integrated WiFi, which we consider a primary connection today for our design. Off course, WiFi can be added with USB dongle, but than you would have to add this to a cost, plus postal delivery, and you would have to find and install appropriate drivers (and configuring AP mode with hostapd can be very painful). RPi and similar Linux boards are also… Read more »

Jon Smirl
5 years ago

Everything Drasko says about the AR9331 is true. RT5350 and MT7620 are similar and each have their plus and minuses. Forget about designing anything around the RaspPi. It is a closed system and you are stuck with what Broadcom chooses to give you. I would have liked for the LPC11xx to have been a Nordic nRF51 instead. Same Cortex-M0, fewer peripherals but it has Bluetooth Low Energy. So maybe hanging a CSR8510 ($1.25) off from the USB hub would be better CSR8510 is inside these, but the antenna is crummy. $2.99 shipped on Aliexpress. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hot-Sale-Mini-USB-Bluetooth-Adapter-V-4-0-Dual-Mode-Wireless-Dongle-Wholesale-CSR-4/1916627686.html You could throw in one… Read more »

Fran Aquino
Fran Aquino
5 years ago

@Drasko DRASKOVIC
Thanks a lot for your nice elaboration about the differences between WeIO and potential alternatives

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