Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A cellular IoT development board without the bloated back-end infrastructure. Complete with $40 in free data. Ready to be scaled.
A cellular IoT development board without the bloated back-end infrastructure. Complete with $40 in free data. Ready to be scaled.
Created by
62 backers pledged $7,624 to help bring this project to life.

About

Solinius Sparrow: Cellular IoT with Global Connectivity project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$7,624

62

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Ddeb6504ed1ff5ea29af4bfbfb2aaf43 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Sparrow comes ready with 256-bit TLS encryption, over-the-air updates, and all the ready-made commands you would need to incorporate 2G IoT into your product, work space, or hacked project. All of our code and documentation will be open-source, available on GitHub.

A quick reminder that T-Mobile has made a committment to keep 2G-M2M services running until at least 2020!

What's in the Box? (hint: everything you need to get building!)

  • Solinius Sparrow 2G (see tech specs below)
  • SIM800L 2G GSM Breakout
  • u.Fl Antenna
  • Breadboard
  • Hologram Global M2M SIM
  • Data – $40 of cellular data included
  • Access to our open source firmware including: over the air (OTA) update capabilities, 256-bit encryption, hundreds of abstracted SIM800L commands

Rewards

Now with $40 in data per Kit!
Now with $40 in data per Kit!

Why'd we build the Sparrow?

We were frustrated with all the 2G IoT dev boards out there. The other options are just:

  • Too expensive - or had recurring (non-data) charges
  • Built primarily for newbies
  • Require additional peripherals (like an Arduino or Beagleboard)
  • Tied to a bloated proprietary infrastructure or cloud network; hacking up tightly coupled code to make it work seamlessly for your specific deployment is time consuming and frustrating.

We wanted a cellular board that would easily scale. We couldn't find one, so we made one.

What makes the Sparrow fly? 

  • Build – Seamlessly build on top of our open-source, abstracted SIM800 functions. No need to mess around with the shoddily translated docs, use ours.
  • Deploy – Where? Anywhere.
  • Connect – Connect over the 2G network to gather your sensor data or perform over-the-air updates.
  • Secure – TLS 1.2 encrypted, keeping your personal data safe from prying eyes.

The programming interface: ISP pogo pads (or 2x3 header).

Lanugage: C/C++

Sparrow Pinout
Sparrow Pinout

Why a Sparrow?

Lightweight, global, quick, efficient. Need we say more?

Rufous-Tailed Weaver (Photo by Lee R. Berger)
Rufous-Tailed Weaver (Photo by Lee R. Berger)

Data?

Yeah, we got data. And so do you - each Sparrow ordered will come with $40 of data included. We’ve partnered with Hologram (of Kickstarter fame!), formerly Konekt, to bring global access to your fingertips. Each sparrow flies to your door step with a hologram SIM ready to go (but a reminder: any SIM with M2M/data connectivity will do with some easy APN setting changes). 

With over 350 carriers in 160+ countries, where ever you intend to deploy, Solinius and Hologram are here for you. Why Hologram? Because we use them too! Using Sparrow’s technology, Solinius operates our own IoT products in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. We challenge you to find harsher environments. T-Mobile has made a commitment to keep 2G services in the US running through 2020, so don’t fret if you’re developing for the United States; Good ‘ole Johnny Legere’s got your back. 

Hologram's Global Coverage Map
Hologram's Global Coverage Map

Use Hologram’s dashboard to activate, track, and manage your deployed IoT devices – a service Solinius uses and trusts on a daily basis. 

Hologram Dashboard
Hologram Dashboard

With each Sparrow, we’ll throw in $40 (!!) of totally free data. 

Enough to: 

  • Pop your toaster roughly 27,000 times. Give or take.
  • Check your pool's water temp 10000 times in a month
  • Gather intermittent solar panel voltage and current data for over a year

...just to name a few.

After you’ve spent your first $40 on our dime, it still won’t break the bank. Hologram just rolled out new pricing. Click here to read their blog post on it. The greatest thing? For our smallest users, the first MB of data per month is completely free. Just like us, they're looking to scaled deployments, making it easier and more affordable to deploy hundreds of devices globally.

Impact 

Solinius is a Public Benefit Corporation. Remember that Silicon Valley scene about “Making the World a Better Place”? Well we actually are. 

Solinius' deployed charge controller in DRC
Solinius' deployed charge controller in DRC

The money garnered from Sparrow goes directly to Solinius’ Ugandan projects, where we’re building the most advanced deployed network of financed solar kits. 

Mt. Elgon Self Help Community Project in Mbale, Uganda
Mt. Elgon Self Help Community Project in Mbale, Uganda

 Rules we live by:

  • Provide clean, reliable electricity 
  • Give back to the communities we operate in by providing jobs and sourcing local materials.

That's just one of the reasons why we’ve partnered with mid-western, Chicago based, Hologram.

Be local and make a global impact. Build on!    

Team

(L to R:) Nick, Jay, Ben
(L to R:) Nick, Jay, Ben

Jay Murray, CEO - Solinius' dry witted team builder, vision provider, and driver of growth. Previous work with SLA 3D printer and EV product development. Firm believer in using business to benefit others.

Nick Faughey, CTO - Code slinger, champion of network infrastructure, security, and code deployment.

Ben Stutz, Hardware Architect - Time and time again, designing robust and reliable circuitry. Previous work on supercapacitors and EV product development.

Specifications

General Specifications

  • 2G GSM
  • Over the air firmware updates with factory backup
  • 256-bit TLS 1.2 Encryption
  • Breadboard compatible
  • Support for vendor-agnostic cloud MQTT endpoints
  • TCP and HTTPS client libraries
  • Language: C/C++
  • ISP Programming Header

Technical Specifications

  • 8-bit ATmega1284 14.7456Mhz
  • 128KB of Flash Memory, 16KB of RAM
  • 10 bit A/D resolution
  • SimCom SIM800L GSM
  • 4KB EEPROM
  • 1MB of external flash memory
  • 5-15V DC supply voltage via 2.1mm barrel jack
  • 27 GPIO
  • 8 Analog to Digital I/O pins
  • UART, SPI, I2C
  • 2G Range: Global

Progress

The team has completed development of the physical board and we are currently in the process of completing our library. Commands used for our in-house IoT operations have been completed and we are well on our way to abstracting the remainder of usable codes. We will not be abstracting the commands pertaining to speaker/call operations, but we would be happy to have contributors submit those following our open-source release!

Share

Risks and challenges

Industry

The cellular industry is ever changing. 2G connectivity might lapse, or connectivity in a certain country might become unavailable for a myriad of reasons: political or economic. Make sure to check with your local provider on how long they will be supporting their 2G network. In the US, T-Mobile will operate the network until at least 2020.

Development

The development team is confident in our ability to deliver a working product, with completely sorted code. However, bugs happen, and we'll be sure to update the open-source code, should we find a major bug. We are highly proficient in working with cellular IoT technologies and look to release exactly what you came for on the first go-around.

Ongoing Support

Solinius will not promise to offer any ongoing tech support for the product or warranty.

Supply Chain

Our timelines are pretty conservative, but things happen. Whether one of our suppliers has an unannounced shutdown, or we have a shipping snafu, delays in shipment are possible.

Skill Level

As our video mentions, Sparrow was designed with the "hardcore" user in mind. Intermediate level programmers and experts will feel at home, however beginners might want to start elsewhere as they look to build their IoT knowledge base.

IDE

We are IDE agnostic. Backers should be comfortable using the command line.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Tier 0: T-Shirt

    Insanely comfy American Appearal 50/50 Made in USA - in small, medium, or large. Help us help the world.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    Early Bird: Sparrow Kit

    **EARLY BIRD** One 2G Sparrow Kit including the dev board, SIM card, and data.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 23 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Tier 1: Getting Started

    One 2G Sparrow Kit including the dev board, SIM card, and data.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    Sparrow + Solar Kit

    Ready to deploy remotely plus Sparrow Kit and $40 in cellular data. *6V battery not included*

    Includes:
    • Sparrow Kit
    • 3A Solar Charge Controller (6V)
    • 2W Solar Panel (6V, Polycrystalline)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Tier 2: Heating Up

    Two 2G Sparrow Kits. Start your world covering with two of our finest IoT boards

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Sparrow + Sensor Package

    A Sparrow Kit with $5 in data plus a handful of sensors - temperature, humidity, accelerometer, etc.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $190 or more About $190

    Tier 3: Scaling

    Gather data from five different areas with FIVE 2G Sparrow Kits. Set your idea a-flight.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    Tier 4: Diversified

    World domination? Nope, just data domination. TEN 2G Sparrow Kits.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $875 or more About $875

    Tier 5: Enterprise/Education

    Got a company? Got a class? TWENTY-FIVE 2G Sparrow kits at the ready. Free US shipping!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Tier 6: Come visit!

    We'll send you TEN 2G Sparrow kits and invite you for a day around Pittsburgh. Get a tour, talk IoT, and get some world-famous Pittsburgh cuisine! **Travel not included**

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)