About this project
You can use Heatit to develop projects and fabricate prototypes that require high current or heat to be activated – such as nitinol, resistive heating, thermochromic inks, solenoids, stepper motors and more.
The activation of certain materials requires higher power than typical prototyping boards can provide. Heatit supports the necessary power handling with onboard transistors and current regulating circuits; Heatit is aware of the exact current output. The small size and modularity of Heatit boards allow easy integration within a wide range of static, mobile and wearable applications.
The heart of Heatit is an Atmega32U4 microcontroller, it is based on the Arduino IDE and very easy to use with the Heatit Library. To activate a Heatit pin, simply use: heatit.set(pin, mA);.
With the design and aesthetics of Heatit we inspire creative minds to develop their prototypes one step further, to potential products. The small size and shape of heatit helps to embed the board into the creator’s medium. We encourage the integration of the open-source 2/3D Heatit models both functionally and aesthetically into the digital fabrication process such as laser-cutters, 3D printers and CNC machines.
Currently Heatit is in testing stages. We need your support to build a useful online resource on Heatit, to manufacture the boards and to make it available for you - and for everyone!
- 8 Heatit pinout, upto 500mA each; total 2A.
- 4x 5V analog IO (can be configured to digital)
- 2x 5V digital IO, RX - TX
- onboard SPI communication to connect several Heatit boards
- miniUSB connector, for programming
- 9-12V DC power jack, mini connector
- Arduino IDE
What you can do with Heatit
- easily activate muscle wires - without overheating them
- drive solenoids
- drive stepper motors
- use it for resistive heating, to build warm plates, incubators. By connecting a temperature sensor for feedback, you can have an exact temperature control over the surface / area. Perfect for keeping your plants / eggs / bacteria warm / hot. It is also suited for activating thermochromatic pigments, to make flexible, organic displays and a variety of wearable projects.
What is the stage of Heatit and where your money goes
We've developed functioning prototypes of the hardware platform and the Heatit library. We are now testing and fine tuning the boards. Your contribution will help us funding the initial manufacturing costs. We will produce the boards in New Jersey. Our aim is to send the final design out for fabrication latest early winter 2012. In the meantime we are working on extending the Heatit library by implementing extra functionality. We are developing a community website, under the name www.heatit.cc, where we publish tutorials and example applications to help you getting started and to showcase inspirational projects. We will also publish the open-source hardware design and the 2D / 3D models on our website.
If we meet our funding goal, we plan to deliver the first batch of Heatit and have the software beta ready in the first months of 2013. We aim to ship the scarves before the cold winter enters.
All it begin in a cold January day in Estonia, in 2009.
Kärt and I (Eszter) started working together on developing e-textiles under the name SymbiosisO: materials with embedded electronics in order to give an extra functionality, behavior to these soft objects. Our main focus was on heat sensitive materials, such as thermochromic pigments and muscle wires.
Arduino was just getting popular back then; we started using the platform, though we had to modify it to our own needs.
First, we had to solve the power handling issue - we needed much more current than Arduino could output. We attached transistors to our handmade boards.
Secondly, we needed to reduce the form factor of the boards so we could integrate it into our projects. From the beginning we believed in a modularity and distributed electronics layout - so we can use the boards for both small and large scale installations.
We have developed numerous installations (under the name SymbiosisO) and through the iterations we started to understand the requirements of such, high current systems.
One of the key challenges was to optimize our power consumptions, therefore we had to be aware of our exact current output. More sophisticated systems, such as muscle wires, operate within a small interval or applied current. It was clear a simple transistor shield does not meet our requirements.
Our project outcome is always relies on simple, clear interaction.
During my ITP years I realized the most physical computing projects only uses few inputs and more outputs. Exception is the first time one tries electronics platform and attaches flex sensors, buttons, different meters and wild actuation mechanisms to utilize all the available IO-s. The reduced inputs and maximized outputs was especially true in soft electronics and wearables.
We have been frequently asked how we operate our installations, and we saw an demand towards these boards.
We decided to perfect and open up or design and make it available to everyone. Bence, Sly, Sue, Paola and Alex joined the team as well - giving their knowledge and expertise in hardware design, interaction design, computer science, soft electronics and education, to develop a board that is both functional and well designed.
So here we are, presenting Heatit and asking your support to make it available to everyone.
co-founder of Heatit
Video Music composed and performed by Nick Yulman using his mechanical instruments. More info at nysoundworks.org
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge with Heatit was producing a well designed specification and a functional prototype. We have a proven concept, that went through three iterations and we are currently finalizing the board design. The final product may slightly differ in size (may be smaller) and performance (may be faster). The Heatit library is developed along with the boards.
The boards are pre-examined and verified with hardware specialist at a NJ based manufacturing company, where we decided to produce the boards. Our funding goals cover a minimal batch that enables us to set up a production line.
We plan to finish the production of Heatit in 2012; we left enough time until the release to solve any unexpected problems. If needed, our talented team with diverse set of skills will do a great job in problem solving.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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