Obniz ESP32 Board is Programmable in JavaScript from the Cloud (Crowdfunding)

ESP32 WiFi / Bluetooth boards are now commonly supported by the Arduino IDE, and alternative firmwares are also available to program them using JavaScript (e.g. Espruino), or MicroPython. But if are familiar with JavaScript / Node.js, and don’t want to flash your own firmware, Obniz board could be an option.

The board exposes 12 I/Os programmable from the company’s Cloud service, and features a OLED display used to show your program information, or a QR code to easily program the board from your smartphone’s browse once a WiFi connection has been setup.

Obniz hardware specifications:

  • Wireless Module – ESP-WROOM-ESP32 based on  ESP32 dual core 802.11 b/n/g WiFi + Bluetooth LE WiSoC
  • Display – 128×64 OLED display
  • I/Os
    • 12x I/O pins each configurable as GPIO, ADC, UART, SPI or I2C (no specialized pin, each can handle those functions)
    • Up to 1A drive per I/O to control motors
    • 3.3 or 5V selectable for each I/O
    • Short protection
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port

You’d program the board directly inside your web browser using JavsScript in Obniz cloud, and the company also provide a parts library in JavaScript. A REST or Websocket APIs are also provided, so you could control or program the board with curl, Switch or Node.js.

Tokyo based CambrianRobotics has launched the solution on Kickstarter with the goal of raising 1.5 million JPY (~$13,200 US). A super early bird pledge of ~$26 should get your Obniz board in March 2018. If you’ve miss all early bird rewards, the required pledge amount rises to about $42. Other rewards include a robot kit, basic & ultra kits. Shipping adds about $4.40 to Japan, and up to $17.60 to the rest of the world.

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