Magicbit is a wire-free, modular STEM education platform (Crowdfunding)

Magicbit ESP32

Magicbit board joins other ESP32 platforms for the STEM education market such as the Crowbits Master Kit or ESP32-based Micro:bit clones with visual programming and Arduino and/or MicroPython support, a mobile app, and training materials such as project tutorials and online courses. Magicbit is designed to be wire-free with the hexagonal board offering four module’s connectors, an OLED display, buttons, a buzzer, and more. You can still use cables if you’d like with six crocodile clip holes and an expansion connector. Magicbit hardware specifications: Wireless module based on ESP32 dual-core processor @ 240 MHz with 520kB RAM and 2.4 GHz WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2/5.x LE connectivity, plus 4MB flash storage Display – OLED display Audio – Buzzer USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming Expansion 4x module expansions Motor driver Misc – Reset button, 2x user buttons, potentiometer, light sensor, LEDs Power Supply – 5V via MicroUSB […]

Coin cell-powered OpenThread sensor board can send data every 20 seconds for three years

Thread Sensor Tag Openthread board

Monkey Store’s Thread Sensor Tag is a pressure, humidity, temperature, and light sensor that connects to the OpenThread network, and is capable of transmitting MQTT/UDP data every 20 seconds over a period of around three years from a single coin cell battery. As a reminder, OpenThread is an implementation of the Thread IoT network protocol that was unveiled in 2016 by Nest Labs (now Google/Alphabet). This has not been widely used so far, but we did write about MKR SharkyPro development board with OpenThread support via STMicro STM32WB5MMG wireless module earlier this year, and Monkey Store is telling us both Google and Apple are working on devices with support for the IoT protocol. Thread Sensor Tag specifications: Wireless module – Minew MS88SF2 based on Nordic Semi nRF52840 multi-protocol 2.4GHz wireless Cortex-M4 microcontroller Sensor VEMLS6030 I2C light sensor MS8607 pressure, humidity, and temperature sensor I/Os – 7x through holes with Tx/Rx, […]

SmartBug smart switch integrates neatly into in-wall sockets (Crowdfunding)

SmartBug Smart Switch

SmartBug is a smart switch based on ESP32 wireless SoC, equipped with several sensors to measure temperature, humidity, power usage, and listen to sounds. It is designed to fit neatly into most in-wall sockets found around the world. Each SmartBug relies on mesh networking to communicate with each other and extend the range, WiFi for Internet connection, and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) to control additional devices without the need for any additional hub. SmartBug’s key features: MCU – 32-bit dual-core microcontroller with WiFi, wireless mesh, Bluetooth LE Connectivity 2.4GHz WiFI 4 Wireless mesh to let SmartBug act as a signal repeater Bluetooth 4.0 and BLE to control home appliances Audio Digital microphone for voices commands, baby crying (only enable if the plugin is downloaded in the app). Buzzer On-Off Relay up to 2200W, both AC and DC. Sensors – Temperature & humidity sensor, built-in power meter (current, voltage, and power) […]

PlasticArm is a functional, non-silicon, flexible Cortex-M0 microcontroller

PlasticArm Cortex-M0 plastic MCU

Four years ago, we wrote about PragmatIC’s ultrathin and flexible plastic electronics circuit, with news that an ultra-cheap ARM Cortex M0 MCU made of plastic materials was coming soon. In this case, “soon” means about four years, but Arm has now finally announced PlasticArm, an ultra-minimalist, fully functional Cortex-M0-based SoC, with 128 bytes of RAM and 456 bytes of ROM that, with 18,000 gates, is twelve times more complex than previous state-of-the-art flexible electronics. PlasticArm specifications are similar to a standard Cortex-M0+ core with some notable exceptions: Cortex-M core in PlasticARM ARMv6-M architecture ISA – 16-bit Thunb and subset of 32-bit Thumb 32-bit data access and address width 86 instructions 2-stage pipeline Architectural register file mapped to RAM external to the CPU (instead of inside the CPU) Runs code from other Cortex-M CPUs 0.8-μm process There are two main advantages of PlasticArm. First, It’s flexible and integrated into paper, plastic, […]

RAKwireless announces 14 new WisBlock modules for IoT prototyping

Gas sensor & DC-Motor Wisblock Modules

Rakwireless has added 14 new Wisblock modules to the WisBlock IoT modular system introduced last year, plans to soon release a Raspberry Pi RP2040 based LoRaWAN Wisblock Core module, and will give away some Wisblock starter kits this week. As a reminder WisBlock IoT modular system is comprised of four block types: WisBlock Base – A carrier board with connectors for other block types, power supply, some ports WisBlock Core – Module with a microcontroller/processor WisBlock Sensor – Modules with environmental sensors, motion sensors, ambient light sensors, or others WisBlock IO – Adds more inputs, outputs, or connectivity options including  LTE-M / NB-IoT, cellular and Wi-Fi modules, NFC reader, and interfaces for I2C, UART, ADC, and GPIO. New WisBlock IO and Sensor modules Some modules are available right now, while others have been announced, but just coming soon Here’s a list of the 10 modules available now: RAK12002 – RTC […]

Posture correction smart sensor helps you sit or stand upright

Posture correction smart sensor

It’s easy to adopt a bad posture either while sitting in front of a computer or while walking and your mobile, and over time this may lead to unaesthetic and/or painful postural disorders. To solve this issue, a posture correction smart sensor may be used in place of a posture belt with what looks like a GPS tracker placed on the back of the patient, and which notifies bad postures by vibrating and to your smartphone depending on a user-configured angle range. Specifications listed for the posture-correction-smart-sensor: Sensor – Unnamed Bosch gravity sensor Connectivity  – Bluetooth 4.2 Misc Medical-grade gel patch to attach the device to the bag Vibration motor Battery – 200mAh; 30 minutes charge good for about 5 days when using it for about 8 hours per day Dimensions – 6 x 4 x 1.2 cm Weight – 16 grams. The device ships with a micro USB cable […]

Raspberry Pi CM4 based Exo Sense Pi multi-sensor device gets optional earthquake sensor

Exo Sense Pi

Sfera Labs’ Exo Sense Pi is a device with multiple environmental sensors based on the 2GB version of the Raspberry Pi CM4 module designed for residential and commercial applications such as environmental monitoring and data gathering, BLE positioning, indoor people and assets tracking, rooms management and access control, voice control, and more. The Exo Sense Pi devices include optional WiFI 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE connectivity depending on the RPI CM4 module selected, and ships with temperature, humidity, air quality (VOC), light intensity, microphone, and PIR motion sensors by default, but there’s also an optional earthquake sensor. Exo Sense Pi specifications: SoM – Raspberry Pi CM4 (16GB eMMC flash) or CM4 Lite module with 2GB RAM by default. But obviously compatible with other models. Storage – MicroSD card socket for CM4 Lite module Wireless connectivity – 2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless; Bluetooth 5.0, BLE depending on installed […]

Crowbits Master Kit Tutorial – Part 2: ESP32 intrusion scanner and visual programming

Crowbits Intrusion Scanner

I started Crowbits Master Kit review last month by checking out the content, user manual, and some of the possible projects for the ESP32 educational kit including a 2G phone and a portable game console. For the second part of the review, I’ll go through one of the lessons in detail, namely the intrusion scanner to show the whole process and how well (or not) it works. Let’s go to Lesson 5 directly, although I’d recommend going through the first lessons that provide details about the hardware and visual programming basics using Letscode program, which is basically a custom version of Scratch for Crowbits The user manual introduces the project, explains it is to detect intruders, and lists the learning goals as we’ll learn how to control the servo and play music on the Crowbits kit. Kit Assembly But first, we’ll have some assembly to do, in a similar way […]