For hobbyists and professionals, the electronic prototyping platform Arduino from Italy has been one of their best friends out there for developing quick projects. Its drawback? It is too expensive and not small or flexible enough for certain projects.
Tiki Wang and his team have come up with a solution—the Arduino-compatible Microduino, debuting on Kickstarter on August 22. It literally divides Arduino into two separate parts, the controller core and the communication core (see below), which can be stacked up and function together as a full Arduino Uno (see below). The result is a smart, powerful, low-cost Microduino of the size of a 1-yuan coin. (intro video on Youtube)
The Microduino platform uses the same processor and, with stackable shields, is as expandable as Arduino. Each module in the Microduino family has been optimized to include only the core circuits for its specific function to keep the size down. The add-on modules are easily stackable with 27 U-shaped pins to perform a variety of functions, whether it is Bluetooth, WiFi, USB, or sensor readings (via Wikipedia). Being compact also means users don’t have to pay for circuitry which they are not using, making it highly cost-efficient.
Like Arduino, Microduino is offered as an open-source platform that helps hobbyists get their projects going. Beijing Maxpace, the supporting community behind Microduino, provides not only tools for hackers but a sense of community built on knowledge, innovation and common good.
If you are excited like me about Microduino’s Kickstarter debut, also the first Kickstarter project from Beijing Maxpace, keep yourself posted by following its official Weibo or Facebook Page where you can also see Microduino users cooking up a range of fun projects with the tiny circuit board.