Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Arduberry: Unite Raspberry Pi and Arduino by Dexter Industries — Kickstarter

Arduberry: Unite Raspberry Pi and Arduino by Dexter Industries — Kickstarter

So What Exactly Is It?

The Arduberry is a shield for the Raspberry Pi that connects Arduino Shields.  You can think of it almost as an Arduino, built for the Raspberry Pi.  The Arduberry connects to the Raspberry Pi with the standard 26 pin header.  The shield has an Arduino UNO-compatible microcontroller on it, as well as standard pins for an Arduino shield.
The Arduberry requires virtually no hardware setup: slip it onto the Raspberry Pi and go.  It ships ready to work.  The Arduberry comes fully assembled, and you won't need to make any changes to the hardware (no pinning, no batteries, no nothing!).
The Arduberry microcontroller can be programmed to run on it's own and access Arduino shields.  Shields that use digital communications can be accessed directly by the Raspberry Pi, while shields that use digital or analog pins can be controlled by the Arduino.  The Arduino chip on the Arduberry can communicate directly with the Raspberry Pi with no extra setup required.
The Arduberry from above.
The Arduberry from above.
The Arduberry from below.
The Arduberry from below.

How Does it Work?

You can program the Arduberry directly on the Raspberry Pi.  With the latest version of Arduino, you can directly copy most of your Arduino sketches over to the Raspberry Pi with no modifications.

Program your Arduberry right on the Raspberry Pi.
Program your Arduberry right on the Raspberry Pi.
While most shields can work directly with the Raspberry Pi, some sketches, like those that use analog signals, will need slight modification to the sketch to be able to relay information on to the Raspberry Pi.  We will create a tutorial that walks you through how to adapt those sketches.
Our design uses an extended header, which is left open for expansion and testing.  The Arduberry has a special chip for translating voltages between the Raspberry Pi and the Atmega 328 chip, protecting your hardware.  

The Arduberry's microcontroller is most similar to the Arduino UNO with an Atmega 328 and Arduino UNO bootloader installed.  The device has a shield footprint almost identical to the Arduino UNO.  We used a DIP (pin rather than SMT) device for flexibility and to make the microcontroller easy to replace.

The Arduberry Pinout.
The Arduberry Pinout.

The device is powered through the Raspberry Pi.  For projects needing a little more power, you can connect an auxiliary power supply, or power the Arduberry through a USB micro adapter.  
The three ways to power the Arduberry.
The three ways to power the Arduberry.

You can see our open source design here.
You can see our open source design here.


All rewards include the cost of shipping via USPS.  An additional cost  is added to each level for international shipping.  All of our backers, no matter what the level they back at, will receive recognition and thanks on the Arduberry's Wall of Thanks.  

The Arduberry Board.
The Arduberry Board
The Arduberry Board
The main show here.  Fully assembled and programmed board for adapting your Arduino shields to your Raspberry Pi.  At the most basic level, this is all you need to get your Arduino shields working with the Raspberry Pi.

The Arduberry Image.
A 4GB SD Card with the latest build of the Raspbian Operating System, the Arduino programming language, and Arduino examples installed.

Power Supply.
5V, 1A power USB jack for powering your Raspberry Pi and Arduberry. This is a North American power adapter with an input voltage of 100 - 240 V.

Inventors Kit.
The inventors kit is meant to get you started in developing your own shields and electronics for the Raspberry Pi.  It includes an Arduino Protoshield Kit from Sparkfun, a breadboard, and the following electronics for getting started: 74HC595 Shift Register, 2N2222 Transistors, 1N4148 Diodes, DC Motor with Gear, Small Servo, SPDT 5V Relay, TMP36 Temp Sensor, Flex sensor, Softpot, Jumper Wires, Photocell, Tri-color LED, Red and Yellow LEDs, 10K Trimpot, Piezo Buzzer, Big Buttons, 330 and 10K Resistors.

Who are you?

We are Dexter Industries and our team makes educational robotic stuff.  We were founded by John Cole, an engineer who had never touched a soldering iron before 2009, but had a burning desire to make robots.  When we saw the Raspberry Pi, we saw the future and ordered six of them.  

We recently successfully completed our first Kickstarter campaign, the BrickPi, that brought together the Raspberry Pi and LEGO Mindstorms.

A corollary to your question might be: why are we capable of delivering the hardware?  We've been working with contract manufacturers for the past few years.  That's not to say that we know everything about manufacturing, but it is to say that we know who we're going to use on this project.  We have worked with the manufacturers on projects more complex than this, and we have faith they can deliver only because they do it for us on a monthly basis already.

Why Are You Doing a Kickstarter?

Like our previous project, we want to build a community around Arduberry, and get feedback on our project.  We believe that the best projects are responsive and the work of many, not just two nerds working alone.  For that reason, we wanted to get this project out of our heads, and in the open.  We think Kickstarter is the best way to do this.

Why is the design open?  Aren't you afraid someone's going to steal it?

The design is open because we genuinely want to contribute to learning, and the best way to do that is to show your work.  We want to honor those that made this project possible, in particular the brave folks that open-sourced the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi.  Like all things in the Arduino and Raspberry Pi community, we hope that people will use this, and make it better: it raises our game.
Even more importantly, we hope that whoever uses the Arduberry, moves the open source  community forward, and helps folks make their hacking dreams come true.

What Have You Done and What Is Left To do?  

We have hand-made prototypes, and a growing library of examples with the Arduberry. We have had the design reviewed by manufacturing engineers for mass production. If this product is successfully funded, our focus will be on three things:
  • Developing software examples. We have found that the best way to learn with software is to follow examples. We want to produce a solid library of examples with different shields to make sure Arduberry users have an easy start. Doing this takes developer time and effort. 
  • Developing tutorials for getting started. Furthering goal number 1, we want to make sure we develop tutorials for a few of the most popular Arduino shields to ensure that its easy for most folks to get started with the Arduberry.  
  • Developing a custom image for the Arduberry. The Arduberry needs a few changes made to the Raspbian image to operate. We found in our previous project that some folks prefer to have the changes to the image already made. In order to make the Arduberry as easy to use as possible, we will develop a custom image for download that will allow users to get started right out of the box, with minimal setup.

Hardware Delivery Timeline

The timeline can always be affected by the unexpected.  However, we have carefully pre-coordinated our timeline with our manufacturer for production.

For our project we anticipate the following timetable.
We plan for the campaign to end on approximately 2/14/2014.  We will immediately formalize the order with our manufacturer and begin material procurement.  We need a little under 30 days to secure the PCBs and components.  We allow a 7-day prototyping window in which a sample is delivered by the manufacturer and approved by our team.  Production afterwards should take 10 days, with an extra 2 days of testing and QA/QC.  Finally, we allow for 14 days of shipping from Asia to the US, where our team will ship the rewards.

Software Delivery Timeline

We will prioritize the development of the Arduberry Image.  We have developed an initial install script (found on our Github site) and will finish testing this mid-campaign.  We should have final changes to the image done by the end of the campaign.
We plan to finish the software examples and tutorials by the time the Arduberry is shipping so that it will be ready for backers receiving their rewards.

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