Giveaway Week 2022 – Pico:ed Smart Cutebot Kit

Picoed Smart Cutebot Kit

The third prize of this year’s giveaway week comes courtesy of ELECFREAKS which offers a Cutebot Pico:ed kit based on the Pico:ed board with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller and following BBC Micro:bit form factor. The kit also includes two high-speed motors to drive two wheels, ultrasonic & distance sensors, two RGB LED lights and clearance lamps on the bottom, two line-tracking probes, and an active buzzer used as a horn. It is powered by three AAA batteries. The company initially me asked me if I wanted to review the board/robot, but since I may not have the time to do so, I asked whether they wanted to be included in our yearly giveaway week which they accepted. The company provides instructions to program the robot with “Micro block” visual programming IDE, C++, and CircuitPython. You’ll find resources to get started and eight projects for the robot in the Wiki. […]

LOLIN C3 Pico is a tiny ESP32-C3 board with battery charging support

LOLIN C3 Pico is a tiny (25.4×25.4mm) ESP32-C3 RISC-V board with 2.4 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, a few I/Os, and LiPo battery support including charging circuitry. I tend to like Wemos/LOLIN boards, because of their small form factor, support for equally tiny shields, and low price. The LOLIN C3 Pico is no exception, and even adds a few features such as an RGB LED, an I2C connector, and support for battery power and charging. LOLIN C3 Pico specifications: SoC – Espressif Systems ESP32-C3FH4 single-core 32-bit RISC-V (RV32IMC) microcontroller up to 160 MHz with 400 KB SRAM, 4MB Flash Connectivity – 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE (in SoC) Expansion headers 2x 8-pin headers with up to 12x GPIO, ADC, I2C, SPI, UART (3.3V I/O voltage) LOLIN I2C port USB – 1x Type-C USB for 5V power and programming Misc – Reset button and user button, […]

Easily add face detection to your project with the Person Sensor module

It’s now much easier to AI features to your project thanks to better tools, but as we’ve experienced when trying out Edge Impulse machine learning platform on the XIAO BLE Sense board, it still requires some effort and the learning curve may be higher than some expect. But for common tasks like face detection, there’s no reason for the solution to be hard-to-use or expensive, and Pete Warden (Useful Sensors) has designed the $10 Person Sensor fitted with a camera module pre-programmed with algorithms that detect nearby faces and reports the results over an I2C interface.   Person Sensor specifications: ASIC – Himax HX6537-A ultra-low-power AI accelerator @ 400 MHz with 2MB SRAM, 2MB flash Camera Image Sensor – 110 degrees FOV Image scan rate – 7Hz with no facial recognition Image scan rate – 5Hz with facial recognition active Host interface Qwiic connector for the I2C interface up to […]

Maker Pi Pico Mini adds battery, buzzer, GPIO LEDs to Raspberry Pi Pico (W)

Cytron’s Maker Pi Pico Mini is an add-on board for the Raspberry Pi Pico and the latest Raspberry Pi Pico W with a battery port, GPIO status LEDs, a WS2812B Neopixel RGB LED, passive piezo buzzer, user and reset button, as well as “Maker” ports for expansion. It comes with most of the features found in the company’s Maker Pi Pico board, but in a much more compact form factor, since the add-on board is only slightly larger than the Raspberry Pi Pico to allow for soldering using the castellated holes. Maker Pi Pico Mini specifications: Fitted with Raspberry Pi Pico / Pico W LEDs – 6x Status indicator LEDs for GPIOs, 1x RGB LED (WS2812B Neopixel) Audio – 1x Passive piezo buzzer (to play musical tones or melody) Buttons – Reset and user buttons Expansion 3x Maker ports compatible with Qwiic and STEMMA QT, as well as Grove modules […]

Unexpected Maker TinyS3, FeatherS3 and ProS3 boards feature ESP32-S3 dual-core wireless MCU

Seon Rozenblum, better known as Unexpected Maker, has launched upgrades to its ESP32-S2 boards such as the TinyS2 with ESP32-S3 variants, namely TinyS3, FeatherS3, and ProS3 boards. The new boards share the same form factors as the TinyS2, FeatherS2, and ProS2, but they get a more powerful dual-core microcontroller with AI instructions and 512kB SRAM. The microcontroller also adds Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy (BLE) connectivity with Bluetooth Mesh support, instead of just WiFi 4 connectivity found in the earlier boards. TinyS3, FeatherS3, and ProS3 boards share the following features: SoC – Espressif Systems’ ESP32-S3 with Dual-core 32bit Xtensa LX7 microcontroller up to 240MHz RISC-V ULP Co-processor 512KB SRAM 2.4GHz Wifi 4 (802.11b/g/n) Bluetooth 5.0 BLE + Mesh Memory – 8MB QSPI PSRAM Flash – 8MB to 16MB depending on the model. USB – 1x USB Type-C connector with reverse back-feed protection for power and programming Antenna – 3D high gain […]

Bee S3 ultra-low-power ESP32-S3 board can last several years on a LiPo battery

Smart Bee Designs’ Bee S3 is an ultra-low-power development board based on Espressif ESP32-S3 WiFi & Bluetooth microcontroller that consumes less than 20 uA in deep sleep mode allowing the board to theoretically last over 5 years under specific conditions. The board provides WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5 LE connectivity, features a battery voltage monitoring circuitry to check the battery charge level, a USB Type-C port for power and programming, plus 20 through holes for extensions such as connecting sensors, and so on. Bee S3 specifications: Wireless module – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3-MINI-1 module (PDF datasheet) with ESP32-S3 dual-core Xtensa LX7 processor with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, 4MB or 8MB QSPI flash, PCB antenna USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming Expansion – 2x 10-pin headers with up to 15x GPIO, 8x ADC, touch support, I2C, SPI, UART, 5V In/out, 3.3V out, and GND Misc – […]

$30 compact multi-sensor board works with any microcontroller with I2C (Crowdfunding)

SENSE is a compact multi-sensor board supporting measurement of air quality, sound, light intensity, temperature, proximity, etc… and designed by Zack Seifert, a seventeen-year-old electronics enthusiast and president of his school’s robotics team. SENSE can work with any microcontroller or processor with I2C (hardware or implemented with bit-banging), including Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards. and an extra Qwiic connector allows for additional sensors. SENSE board specifications: Storage – MicroSD card holder Sensors

Mini keyboards launched with ESP32-C3 or Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU

Last week, when I saw LilyGO T-Keyboard based on ESP32-C3, I didn’t think much of it and did not expect many people to be interested, so I skipped it. But earlier today I also noticed Solder Party launched a very similar-looking product – the BB Q20 Keyboard with Trackpad – based on Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU. So after all, it might be worthwhile to look into those mini keyboards for makers. LilyGO T-keyboard Hardware specifications: SoC – ESP32-C3 single-core RISC-V processor with Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE connectivity Display – 0.99-inch TFT color LCD QWERTY keyboard Battery – 400mAh built-it battery Power Supply – 5V via USB port Dimensions – 6.9 x 5.3 x 1.7 cm The company promotes it as a mini Bluetooth keyboard for iOS and Android smartphones, as well as Windows machines, but also has plans to make it work with their T-Echo LoRa messaging hardware.  […]