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Small and powerfull development board for ARM Cortex-M3
Small and powerfull development board for ARM Cortex-M3
226 backers pledged £8,641 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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News!!! The line follower is ready(half of the kit). Components development continues for the balancing robot now!!!

News!!! Robotic platform for MatchboxARM

The MatchboxARM team is proud to announce the upcoming release of a robotic platform especially made for balancing robots and line follower robots development..

The robotic platform feature: 

  • a motor driver for 2 motors based on L298 IC  
  • connector for SWD (debugger)
  • connector for USART
  • connector for SPI
  • connector with analog inputs for reflectance sensor array board (used for line folower robots)
  • 2 x connectors for MPU-6050 boards (MPU-6050 Breakout Board from Sparkfun and MPU-6050 GY-521 board) used for balancing robots 
  • 3.3V and 5V voltage regulators 

Soon we will add more rewards featuring this robotic platform and also demo videos! Stay tooned!

The photos show the three boards of the robotic platform, the motor driver board, the control board and the board with line sensors. These images were generated on PCB Visualizer from the eurocircuits.com page, from the gerbers of each boards. 

Tiny Revolution

MatchboxARM fits a powerful 32-bit ARM chip, that runs at 72MHz and has 64Kb flash memory. It comes with pre-burned bootloader so you can start programming right away without needing any other tools. Everything in a tiny format to instantly improve your electronic projects. You develop software for it with open, cross-platform and easy-to-use tools. Everything about MatchboxARM is optimized to help you make things better.

What is MatchboxARM?       

Is a tiny revolution in rapid electronics prototyping. It combines a powerful ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller on a tiny circuit board, allowing hobbyists and professionals alike to turn project ideas into reality faster and better than other microcontroller platforms. 

How all started

About 2 years ago, the ARM revolution started when ARM micro entered in the world of hobby development boards with faster and faster microcontrollers. In the present we have ArduinoDUE, Maple and few other boards. None so easy to use in our opinion. We thought... Why not build a small, yet powerfull development board based on ARM micro, the Cortex-M3 one, which in our opinion is still easy to understand for a beginner, has lots of peripherals and speed. Here started the research in how to make a board to be simple and easy to use, not use any external hardware except one simple USB adapter cable, be seen by the host computer as a usual usb memory stick, not need any drivers, have an ecosystem of examples to learn from, free compiler and IDE. 
And of course to be small enough to enter in a matchbox!

After many days analyzing datasheets information and lots of schematics based on STM32 micros we had knowledge enough to manually make the first board so we can start checking the schematic consistency and also start developing the USB mass storage based bootloader. This was our first result :), the war horse!

After spending few months and see that we were heading in the right direction, we thought it was time to bring to life the MatchboxARM.

So we did it!

Now you understand where the name MatchboxARM came!

How can you use it? 

 Plug MatchboxARM into a standard breadboard for quick prototyping, or integrate it directly into your commercial product. MatchboxARM is inexpensive enough that you can leave it built into a project and is the first prototyping platform specifically designed to be cost-competitive with custom PCB engineering for small production runs. This means you can prototype a product with MatchboxARM, put it on Kickstarter and afford to produce the first batch using the same hardware you prototyped with. Incredible!

Developing with MatchboxARM

MatchboxARM plugs into a standard solderless breadboard and connects to your computer with miniUSB cable. The USB connection permits downloading firmware just like you would have an flashdisk, plus it will power MatchboxARM if it's not connected to another power source. Write C, C++ code with Coocox simple but powerful development environment and deploy it to the hardware with a single click.

Where we are

Design MatchboxARM board ... DONE  

Develop MatchboxARM bootloader technology ... DONE 

Build MatchboxARM prototypes ... DONE 

 Exhaustively test MatchboxARM prototypes over the span of seven months ... DONE

Kickstarter Campaign

Prototypes of MatchboxARM, some with over 7 months of testing, demonstrate the ruggedness and reliability of the platform. MatchboxARM has been subjected to mechanical torture testing, continuous power supply short circuits and thermal stress. We're very confident in the product and we think you'll be very happy with it too. Now we're getting ready to manufacture a large batch, and that's where this campaign comes in. Electronics are expensive to manufacture unless you build a lot at once. MatchboxARM is on Kickstarter so we can raise funds to manufacture a large quantity and get them to you at a great price. We have quotes board manufacturers and assemblers who are just waiting for us to place our orders. This is where you come in - your contributions fund the start of a great Open Hardware electronics prototyping platform. We hope you'll join us in this vision! 

Technical specifications

Board features

  • 72 MHz 32-bit ARM CPU with 64 Kbytes of flash memory, 20 Kbytes of SRAM 
  • Clock, reset and supply management 2.0 to 3.6 V application supply and I/OsPOR, PDR, and programmable voltage detector (PVD)4-to-16 MHz crystal oscillatorInternal 8 MHz factory-trimmed RCInternal 40 kHz RCPLL for CPU clock32 kHz oscillator for RTC with calibration
  • Low powerSleep, Stop and Standby modes VBAT supply for RTC and backup registers
  • 2 x 12-bit, 1 μs A/D converters (up to 16 channels)
  • 7- DMA channel. Peripherals supported: timers, ADC, SPIs, I2Cs and USARTs 
  • 37 I/Os, all mappable on 16 external interrupt vectors and almost all 5 V-tolerant 
  • Debug modeSerial wire debug (SWD) & JTAG interfaces 
  • Three 16-bit timers, each with up to 4 IC/OC/PWM or pulse counter and quadrature (incremental) encoder input
  • 16-bit, motor control PWM timer with deadtime generation and emergency stop
  • 2 watchdog timers (Independent and Window)
  • SysTick timer 24-bit downcounter
  • 2 x I2C interfaces (SMBus/PMBus)Up to 
  • 3 USARTs (ISO 7816 interface, LIN, IrDA capability, modem control)Up to 
  • 2 SPIs (18 Mbit/s)
  • CAN interface (2.0B Active)
  • USB 2.0 full-speed interface 
  • CRC calculation unit, 96-bit unique ID

Libraries and Software 

 Because MatchboxARM uses a popular ARM chip, lots of existing code and libraries can be brought to the platform with ease. Also our team developed lots of examples to start with!

In the examples provided we cover all the peripherals of the microcontroller, as:

  • GPIO input/output
  • EXTI (external interrupts)
  • SysTick timer
  • PWM using timers
  • ADC read
  • internal flash memory read/write
  • communication over USART, SPI, I2C
  • USB mass storage and virtual COM port
  • watchdog
  • CRC calculation               

Manufacturing plan

 For the manufacture of the PCB and assembly of the components we have quotation from the:

This is the company used by Sparkfun when they didn't have the PCB production service, so we are pretty sure the quality of the manufacture is good.

When we will get the boards made and delivered to our door we enter in the phase two, which is the bootloader burning and testing to assure the board we deliver are OK: 

  • component correct placed and soldered
  • correct voltage regulation from 5V to 3.3V
  • bootloader correct functioning
  • pins correct functioning
  • peripherals stress with feedback over USART
All the boards must get in perfect shape to our supporters!

Risks and challenges

The obstacles are to wait until the components are delivered on time and then the normal production delays.
You should allow for the delivery time as well.
The manufacturers are waiting for our demand!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.53

    Our sincerest thanks for supporting our project, plus regular backer updates of our progress. MatchboxARM wouldn't be possible without your kind support!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £7 or more About $11

    CD with examples and free IDE and compiler for ARM Cortex-M3. (Please add £5 for shipping outside the UK)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $23

    Devotee reward: One MatchboxARM at one incredible price. (Please add £5 for shipping outside the UK)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £22 or more About $34

    Early adopter reward: One MatchboxARM plus the examples CD. Get a head-start on your projects! (Please add £5 for shipping outside the UK)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $61

    The ultimate reward: one MatchboxARM + examples CD + direct contact with our team to debate any question you have about the board, USB bootloader or examples.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £70 or more About $107

    The pack for your hackerspace. You can now create amazing projects using this five MatchboxARM in your hackerspace. They are connected over I2C forming a small red. You can now test parallel processing algorithms. Also as a reward you get the CD with examples.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £120 or more About $183

    Robotic platform kit for MatchboxARM FEATURING:
    1 x Motors driver board with L298, back EMF diodes, 5V/3.3V regulators, 2x micrometal 30:1 motors, 2x weels 32x7mm white.
    (only 4 wires to control: direction motor 1, direction motor 2, pwm motor 1, pwm motor 2)
    1 x MatchboxARM control board featuring SWD debug interface connector, SPI connector, USART connector, 2 x connectors for MPU-6050 gyro-accel boards connector, analog pins connector, BOOT button to access the serial embedded bootloader.
    1x MatchboxARM development board
    1x QRD1114 x6 sensors board + ball caster with 3/8" metal ball (LINE FOLOWER ROBOT)
    1x GY521 boards featuring the MPU-6050 Accelerometer and Gyroscope IC (BALANCING ROBOT)
    + stadoffs + nuts + screws

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £120 or more About $183

    You have lot's of friends. This is the pack for you. Ten MatchboxARM at great price. Use with caution, it creates addiction! You can now build a powerfull network in your entire house, with amazing processing power. You can automatizate the entire home. They are connected by I2C. Mesh network, parallel processing algorithms, you have it all. Also as a bonus you get the CD with examples.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $229

    Robotic platform kit for MatchboxARM FEATURING:
    1 x Motors driver board with L298, back EMF diodes, 5V/3.3V regulators, 2x micrometal 30:1 motors, 2x weels 32x7mm white.
    (only 4 wires to control: direction motor 1, direction motor 2, pwm motor 1, pwm motor 2)
    1 x MatchboxARM control board featuring SWD debug interface connector, SPI connector, USART connector, 2 x connectors for MPU-6050 gyro-accel boards connector, analog pins connector, BOOT button to access the serial embedded bootloader.
    1x MatchboxARM development board
    1x QRD1114 x6 sensors board + ball caster with 3/8" metal ball (LINE FOLOWER ROBOT)
    1x GY521 boards featuring the MPU-6050 Accelerometer and Gyroscope IC (BALANCING ROBOT)
    + stadoffs + nuts + screws

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £400 or more About $611

    We will design a customized project for you, using MatchboxARM as the main brain.
    Robotic platforms, Internet of Things platforms, using all the kind of sensors and drivers. Temperature, light, humidity sensors, radio modules, mosfet based drivers, displays, and much more.
    You will have Skype contact with our team so you can tell us what your project must do, and we will make it come true for you.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,528

    Join our future MatchboxARM company as a partner!

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Funding period

- (45 days)