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Posts Tagged ‘gravitech’

A Day at Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0

December 6th, 2017 6 comments

The Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0 is now taking place until December 9, and I went there today, as I was especially interested in the scheduled NB-IoT talk and workshop to find out what was the status about LPWA in Thailand. But there are many other activities planned, and if you happen to be in Chiang Main in the next few days, you may want to check out the schedule on the event page or Facebook.

I’m going to go though what I’ve done today to give you a better idea about the event, or even the maker movement in Thailand.

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Booth and activity area should be the same over the 4 days, but the talks, open activity, and workshop will be different each day. Today, people could learn how to solder in the activity area.
The even was not really big with manufacturers/sellers like ThaiEasyElec, INEX, or Gravitech closer to the entrance…


… and slighter higher up in a different zone, companies and makers were showcasing their products or projects. I still managed to spent 5 interesting hours at the event attending to talks and checking out the various projects.

I started my day with a talk entitled “Maker Movement in South East Asia” presented by William Hooi, previously a teacher, who found One Maker Group and setup the first MakerSpace in Singapore, as well as helped introduce the Maker Faire in Singapore in 2012 onwards.


There was three parts to talk with an history of the Maker movement (worldwide), the maker movement in Singapore, and whether Making should be integrated into school curriculum.
He explained at first the government who not know about makers, so it was difficult to get funding, but eventually they jump on the bandwagon, and are now puring money on maker initiative. One thing that surprised me in the talk is that before makers were hidden their hobby, for fear of being mocked by other, for one for one person doing an LED jacket, and another working on an Iron Man suit. The people around them would not understand why they would waste their time on such endeavors, but the Maker Space and Faire helped finding like minded people. Some of the micro:bit boards apparently ended in Singapore, and when I say some, I mean 100,000 units. Another thing that I learned is the concept of “digital retreat for kids” where parents send kids to make things with their hands – for example soldering -, and not use smartphone or tablets at all, since they are already so accustomed to those devices.

One I was done with the talk, I walked around, so I’ll report about some of the interesting project I came across. I may write more detailed posts for some of the items lateron.

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Falling object detection demo using OpenCV on the software side, a webcam connected to…

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ASUS Tinker board to handle fall detection, and an NVIDIA Jetson board for artificial intelligence. If fall is detection an alert to send to the tablet, and the system also interfaces with Xiaomi Mi band 2.

Katunyou has also made a more compact product, still based on Tinker Board, for nursing home, or private home where an elderly may live alone. The person at the stand also organizes Raspberry Pi 3 workshops in Chiang Mai.

I found yet another product based on Raspberry Pi 3 board. SRAN is a network security device made by Global Tech that report threats from devices accessing your network using machine learning.

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Nordic Technology House showcased a magic mirror based on Raspberry Pi 3, and a webcam to detect your dance move, but their actual product shown above is a real-time indoor air monitoring system that report temperature, humidity, CO2 level, and PM 2.5 levels, and come sent alerts via LINE if thresholds are exceeded.

One booth had some drones including the larger one above spraying insecticides for the agriculture market.

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There was also a large about sewing machines, including some smarter one where you can design embroidery in a table before sewing.

There were also a few custom ESP8266 or ESP32 boards, but I forgot to take photos.

The Maker Party is also a good place to go with your want to buy some board or smart home devices.

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Beside Raspberry Pi Zero W / 3, ESP8266 boards and Asus Tinker board seem to be popular items in Thailand. I could also spot Sonoff wireless switch, and an Amazon Dot, although I could confirm only English is supported, no Thai language.

BBC Micro:bit board and accessories can also be bought at the event.


M5Stack modules, and Raspberry Pi 3 Voice Kit were also for sale.

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Books are also available for ESP32, Raspberry Pi 3, IoT, etc… in Thai language.

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But if you can’t read Thai there was also a choice of book in English about RPi, Arduino, Linux for Makers, IoT and so on. I then attended the second talk of the day: “NB-IoT” by AIS, one of the top telco company in Thailand. Speakers included Phuchong Charoensub, IoT Marketing Specialist, and Pornsak Hanvoravongchai, Device Innovation Manager, among others. They went through various part include a presentation of AIS current M2M business, what IoT will change (e.g. brings in statups and makers), some technical details about NB-IoT, and the company offering for makers.

I’ll go into more details in a separate post tomorrow, but if you want to get started the good news is that it’s now possible to pre-order a 1,990 THB Arduino Shield ($61) between December 6-9, and get it shipped on February 14, 2018. NB-IoT connectivity is free for one year, and will then cost 350 Baht (around $10) per year per device. However, there’s a cost to enable NB-IoT on LTE base stations, so AIS will only enable NB-IoT at some universities, and maker spaces, meaning for example, I would most certainly be able to use such kit from home. An AIS representative told me their no roadmap for deployment, it will depend on the business demand for such services.

If you are lucky you may even spot one or two dancing dinosaurs at the event.

ESP32 Updates – ESP32-S Module Replaces ESP3212, ESP32 DevBoards for Sale, Arduino & NodeMCU Support

October 29th, 2016 6 comments

There have been some developments with regards to Espressif ESP32 in the last month since my post about upcoming ESP32 development boards. First ESP3212 module is no more, and has been replaced with ESP32-S module with about the same features, but it’s not pin-to-pin compatible, so the new module won’t work with older breakout boards made for ESP3212. ESP32-S is now out of stock on Seeed Studio, but you’ll find it on IC Station, Banggood, and others shops.

One good news is that it’s now easier to buy – or at least pre-order – ESP32 development boards, although stock may still be an issue, as the platform is very popular.

sparkfun-esp32-thingIf you live in the US, you can now backorder “Sparkfun ESP32 Thing” for $19.95. ESP32 board can be powered by either a micro USB power supply or a LiPo battery, and exposes close to 30 I/O pins. ESP32 developer board is still listed on Adafruit for $15, but you can’t pre-order it now, only asked to be notified once it becomes available.

Olimex ESP32-Coreboard

Olimex ESP32-Coreboard

Europeans may prefer purchasing from ESP32-Coreboard from Olimex for 17 Euros, but again it’s out of stock right now. Another option is Pycom WiPy 2.0 breadboard-friendly module going for 19.95 Euros, but you may consider getting the expansion board too for a total of 35.99 Euros if you want to easily power it through a USB power supply or a battery, and add storage via a micro SD slot. You’ll find both options in Pycom online store. WiPy 2.0 board also differs from competitors, as it’s designed to be programmed with (micro) Python.

In South East Asia, Gravitech sells their NANO32 IoT development board for 690 Baht / $20. Like most (all?) other boards mentioned here, NANO32 is breadboard friendly, it includes two user buttons, and can be powered via its micro USB port.

All shops above will also ship all around the world, but if you want to pay less in shipping, and potentially avoid custom fees, it’s always good to check for local options.¬† If you live in other continents, or the board you want is out of stock, buying directly from China is also an option.

A.I. Thinker NodeMCU-32S

A.I. Thinker NodeMCU-32S

A.I Thinker has just listed their NodeMCU-32S on Aliexpress for $24.50 including shipping, with basically the same features as ESP8266 based NodeMCU 1.0, but upgraded to ESP32 providing both WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity.

Widora AIR is also up for sale for $14.88, but once shipping is included it adds up to $22.25. The board is also powered via its micro USB port, comes with two user buttons, and 2x 20-pin headers. It should be noted it’s quite cheaper on Taobao where the company offers it for 60 CNY ($8.88), so I think due to the mismatch between demand and supply, ESP32 boards are quite more expensive than they’d be in a few months, and I’m guessing price with shipping should eventually conerge towards $12 to $15 for NodeMCU types of boards.

If got most of the links to the boards through ESP32.net main page, where the community currently keeps tab of sellers of ESP32 modules and development boards.

One the software side, Espressif has now published Arduino core for ESP32 on their github account, which may not have all the new features of ESP32 yet, such as Bluetooth support, and it requires a “manual” installation, but you should be able to program ESP32 boards through Arduino IDE like you do on ESP8266 boards.

If you prefer NodeMCU / Lua programming, some progress has been made for NodeMCU firmware for ESP32, and while development is taking longer than expected since Espressif moved from RTOS- SDK used with ESP31B beta board to IDF SDKm you can get mostly working code through dev-esp32 branch, and follow the status on github.

Some ESP32 Development Boards to Look Out For: NodeMCU, Widora-air, Nano32, Noduino Quantum, and Wemos

September 24th, 2016 16 comments

Espressif ESP32 WiFi + BLE SoC launched at the very beginning of the month, shortly followed by ESP3212 module, and while Adafruit sold a few breadboard-friendly ESP32 development boards to developers for $15 a few days ago, stock was limited, and it’s not possible to easily purchase ESP32 boards today, and that’s OK because firmware and software support is still in progress. Several companies are working on such ESP32 boards however, and they tend to show the development progress on social networks, so I thought it would be fun to look at what’s coming…

Amica (NodeMCU) ESP32 Board

The current NodeMCU board is one of the most popular ESP8266 development platform, and that’s not surprising they are working on an ESP32 version. I don’t have pictures nor full¬† specs of the board yet, but the company showcased their early work on ESP32 last June.

Widora-air

I only discovered Widora recently via their NEO WiFi board running OpenWrt, but they are also working on Widora-air ESP32 board.

widora-air

There’s no product page yet, but we can see the board is powered through a micro USB port, comes with reset and user buttons, a PCB antenna, and two 20-pin headers for IOs.

Gravitech / MakerAsia Nano32

Nano32 clearly wins the best picture award of this post… It’s made by South East Asia based Gravitech, and combines ESP32 with an FTDI chip for USB to serial programming through the micro USB port. It also includes two buttons, and breadboard-friendly headers.

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A chip antenna can be found on the top left of the picture. You can follow their progress on Twitter.

Noduino Quantum Board

Noduino Quantum has a different form factor from the other boards in this list, as they’ve built an Arduino compatible ESP32 board, meaning compatible with Arduino shields.

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ESP32 can be programmed through the micro USB port (Silicon Labs CP2102 chip), the board can also be powered via a power jack, and includes a PCB antenna. The company had also made an ESP8266 board called Noduino Falcon with the same design. More details can be found on Noduino.org.

Wemos ESP32 Board

Wemos has made both an Arduino compatible D1 board and a tiny D1 mini board based on ESP8266 in the past, and according to a forum post, the company is working on one or more ESP32 boards:

WeMos have confirmed an ESP32 board is in development.
Now whether it has a D1 form factor, D1 mini, or something new is still unknown.

If you are aware of other interesting ESP32 development board in development, feel free to let everybody know in the comments section.