About this project
We love Arduino. But we wanted more power. So, we created the AttoDuino. It's Arduino compatible, but with a lot more power.
Basically, it's like an Arduino on steroids. The main chip is an ARM M4F, with a math coprocessor, running at 80 MHz. It's completely wireless, with built-in bluetooth, and can be programmed by bluetooth as well.
Battery charging and voltage regulation are also onboard, making it simple to use.
Powerful - The AttoDuino features an fast ARM processor with a built-in floating point coprocessor. Low power consumption, tons of input and output pins, and the familiar, easy to use Arduino development environment make the Atto perfect for everyone, from the beginner who is just getting started, to the expert in need of serious computational power.
Wireless - With on-board bluetooth, the the Atto allows for fast, easy to use wireless communication, as well as wireless programing.
Simple - The AttoDuino uses the familiar Arduino environment, so you’ll be up and running in no time. The AttoDuino can be run from an external power supply or a battery - a battery charger and voltage regulator are built in, making integration a snap.
Much like the PC revolution that started in the 1980s, the microcontroller revolution has continued to grow. Since the introduction of Arduino in 2005, the platform has grown exponentially, with over a million devices in the wild.
And with good reason - Arduino makes it possible to harness the full features of a microcontroller, while making it easy to learn and use.
But as times change, demands change, and technology improves. The AttoDuino was developed to add computational power, wireless, and battery support, all while keeping things small, low-power, and easy to use.
Stretch Goal - DSP filters! We have developed some powerful, but extremely easy to use software to emulate common analog filters for signal processing. These include RC filters (highpass, lowpass, and “leaky integrator”), two-pole filters (highpass and lowpass), and some more advanced functions, such as derivative and running statistics (standard deviation, mean).
If this Kickstarter reaches $50,000 or greater, we will document and release these codes, under an open-source license. Note that although these codes take full advantage of the AttoDuino’s floating-point coprocessor, they will work on any Arduino platform as well.
- 10 analog input channels (12-bit), can also be used for digital input / output
- 14 additional digital input / output channels
- Multiple PWM (1-bit analog output), multiple serial (UART)
- 80 MHz operation, float-point coprocessor
- 3 color LED, with PWM
- Bluetooth 3.0, programmable by Bluetooth
- Two pushbuttons - one reset, and one general purpose
- Voltage regulation - regenerates 3.3 V for the system. Includes Lithium battery charging circuit.
- Temperature and battery voltage read functions
- 40-pin Molex header pins, as well as 40 pin breakout board with JST connector for battery
Design - From Concept, to Prototype, to Production
We’ve been successfully designing, building, and selling electronic devices for years. The experience let us go quickly from concept to a working device, in a few short months.
Currently, we’ve designed and built working prototypes of the AttoDuino, which demonstrate all the key technologies - the Arduio compatible ARM M4F, the battery management and voltage regeneration circuitry, bluetooth flashing, and the bootloader.
So, what happens next?
1) Testing, review, and board tweaks (May / June)
We'll continue putting the board through its paces over the next few months, to make sure we've debugged everything about the electronics and code.
Although there will probably be some board revisions between the prototype and the final shipping units, we don’t expect to make any major changes in the overall look or design of the device.
2) Finish porting and documenting the code (May / June).
The current code environment is in a branch from the main Arduino project. Although it looks almost the same, the code still needs to be ported back. This should be fairly straightforward.
Also, moving to a floating-point coprocessor changes some of the function calls slightly. We’ve added code to make this almost transparent to the user, but we want to make sure this is all documented, so users can quickly get up to speed on the new features that the AttoDuino provides.
3) Scaled-up manufacturing runs (July)
Almost all of the parts (except the battery) are currently sourced from within the US, and we are planning on building the devices in the US as well. Not only does this insure top-notch build quality, but it also takes out the huge variable of dealing with overseas suppliers and manufacturing.
Since we have worked with board assembly houses before, scaling up manufacturing should be fairly straightforward. The key is to have everything correct, and confirmed in the design, before the final print!
We plan on shipping boards to the early adopters in August, with the rest of the orders catching up a month or two after that. Depending on volume, this will likely be through a fulfillment service, like Shipwire.
Risks and challenges
We have already build a working prototype of the AttoDuino. As of the Kickstarter launch, all the main features have been tested and are working, greatly minimizing the risk of the project.
There are still some things left to do - for instance, folding our code branch back into the main Arduino IDE, and writing some Getting Started guides and documentation, and some further board tweaks.
Keep in mind that we have run a successful computer audio company, and build and designed a number of award-winning consumer electronics products over the years.
Probably the greatest challenge is simply scaling up the operation. Currently, we populate our own boards, with an in-house pick-and-place. Large scale production will be outsourced, and we'll need to connect with a fulfillment center to ship all the orders.
However, this is all pretty standard stuff, and we're confident we can handle the day-to-day tasks, and challenges, as they come up.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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