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The HIDIOT is the easy to solder credit-card sized project for busy people. Learn electronics and programming in byte-sized chunks.
The HIDIOT is the easy to solder credit-card sized project for busy people. Learn electronics and programming in byte-sized chunks.
The HIDIOT is the easy to solder credit-card sized project for busy people. Learn electronics and programming in byte-sized chunks.
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278 backers pledged £7,920 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The HIDIOT: Card-sized Electronics Learning For Everyone!

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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.

3750a74aa01f8ec2a011fdc2f5380793 original

Prototype Gallery

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

Fully Backed And Shipping In June!

Thanks to all our backers for their support. We're on track to start shipping kits in June!

What's the HIDIOT?

The Human Interface Device Input/Output Toolkit (HIDIOT) is the remarkable credit card sized computer that you can build from scratch, even if you've never soldered before

With the HIDIOT, you and and your child (or your inner child if you don't have one to hand) will learn practical skills in the following:

  • Electronics
  • Circuit Design
  • Soldering
  • Programming
  • IoT

The HIDIOT comes with 10 tutorials, each an hour long and broken into 15 minute sections with 5 minute breaks. Parents can split tutorials over several days, which is ideal for children with special education needs or who sometimes struggle to focus.

Providing at least one of you is 11 years of age or older, you'll have hours of fun with our projects!

What can I do on launch day?

The 10 tutorials teach the basics of electronics, circuit design, soldering and programming. Over time, we plan to add more project-driven tutorials. From day one, our projects include:

  • Teach yourself Morse Code
  • Make a Programmer Passport
  • Make a USB volume controller
  • Build your own photo booth
  • Build a Super Shutdown Key for your Raspberry Pi
  • Build the ultimate night light to keep monsters at bay
  • Take the HIDIOT mobile and build your own stopwatch

Keep up with the tutorials as they evolve at our tutorial site. Don't forget to come back after our artists have added their illustrations.

As well as being able to act like a programmable keyboard, joystick or mouse, the HIDIOT also comes with 10 beginner tutorials to teach you hardware and software programming from the ground up. Each tutorial is designed to be an hour long if followed by a parent and child, and we have both parent and child and regular online workshops for you to get the most out of your HIDIOT.

We'll have new projects and tutorials coming out roughly each month for those of you who get ahead, with another 10 projects planned over the 12 months following launch.

What can I do with the HIDIOT after launch day?

The HIDIOT simulates any slow speed USB serial device. This means that you can simulate:

  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Joysticks/Gamepads
  • Any other USB HID device (such as copyright protection dongles, Uninterrupted power supplies, medical devices and so on).

We really want to see what people will come up with, but some ideas to start with include:

  • Minecraft command buttons
  • Computer generated art in Paintbrush
  • Play along to your favourite speedrun
  • Computer-controlled RGB LED indicators
  • Midi Synthesizer
  • Music player

The HIDIOT and your computer can talk to each other, enabling you and your child to build and modify all kinds of interactive electronic devices.

I've bought other kits before, can I use their parts in the HIDIOT?

Absolutely yes! The HIDIOT will work with most sensors, displays and components. Just make sure they're good to run at 5 volts and you'll be fine. If they're not rated for 5 volts, you'll need to put some extra circuitry in for them to work, but we have two beautiful prototyping areas on the board designed to help you with your own projects.

Temperature Sensor - see the breadboard version in the gallery
Temperature Sensor - see the breadboard version in the gallery

Our prototyping areas are especially designed to get you off breadboard and into building functional prototypes, as with the OLED screen in the picture (not included in the kickstarter). If successful, we want to also teach you how to go from HIDIOT prototype to actual production device.

What's Hacker Highschool?

Hacker Highschool
Hacker Highschool

Hacker Highschool provides real-world cybersecurity skills for young adults aged 12-20. Their 3 volume series of workbooks covers everything a young hacker needs to learn from Network Security and Hacking essentials to Security Analysis. If you or your teen are interested in a career in Cybersecurity, the Hacker Highschool bundle will give them a head start not only in microelectronics and coding, but a wide range of real-world security skills in demand from future employers.

Why should you back the HIDIOT?

It's educational

The HIDIOT was specifically designed to take the fear out of building your own electronics hardware. As well as the online workshops, we have example projects and tutorials for everyone to try.

In a world where computers are closed magical boxes, you'll have built your own general purpose computation device capable of running anything you can put on it, and most importantly of all, you will understand what every single component does and why it's there.

It's easy to build

It's so easy to build a HIDIOT, you don't even need to solder all the parts to make it work. You can build a HIDIOT even if you've never soldered before by following our step-by-step tutorials, and even beginners should be up and running in under an hour.

Last year we shipped and built over a hundred prototype boards at UK security conference, 44CON. Many of the attendees soldering their badges had never soldered before. Of over 100 built then and since, we've had only 5 recorded build failures. Here's a video of 44CON attendee Akos Rajtmar building one of our prototype badges.

We deliberately designed the HIDIOT to use thicker than normal Printed Circuit Boards and components are specially spaced apart in order to make soldering easier, whether you're left or right handed. Our instructions take you step by step through the process of building your HIDIOT, and anyone can do it! 

For an experienced person, it takes about 20-30 minutes to build a HIDIOT. For the absolute beginner, you need no more than an hour including warming up time for your soldering iron.

It's easy to use

Programming the HIDIOT is easy!
Programming the HIDIOT is easy!

Programming the HIDIOT is easy too, we use the easy to use Arduino IDE, and have step by step tutorials to get you going way beyond blinking lights in no time at all. If you already use the Arduino IDE, you'll be able to program both an Arduino and HIDIOT from your existing setup.

The HIDIOT is fun!

If you can dream it, you can do it with a HIDIOT. If we can dream it, we'll put up a tutorial on our docs site.

You can 3D Print your own project case, or use the HIDIOT's holes with a lanyard and USB charger to make your projects mobile! Show us what you've made by posting your projects on our Hackster channel, or on our community Reddit.

Why choose HIDIOT over Arduino? Pi? Micro:Bit?

The Raspberry Pi is an incredible computer and educational tool, but there's no way you're ever going to be able to build one from scratch. The same goes for the Micro:Bit, and unless you're already handy with surface mount soldering techniques, most Arduino models.

All our components are through hole with a circuit board specifically designed for people soldering for the first-time. Instead of scouring the web for projects and parts, our tutorials guide you through concepts, code and creations to get you to a working project, then point you in the right direction to go even further.

And did we forget to mention that all this is can be exclusively yours for as low as £15 including international shipping?

Who Are We?

We're Steve, Aidan and Marizel, and together we're Raw Hex, a UK-based company dedicated to teaching technical skills in a positive environment.

Steve
Steve

Steve designed the HIDIOT originally as a cybersecurity tool to teach hardware hacking, but realised that none of the popular electronics kits on the market taught how to build the actual widget being used. Steve can be found making HIDIOT tutorials and running online workshops after we launch.

Aidan
Aidan

 

Aidan is also working on the HIDIOT with Steve, and handles all things hidiot.com. You'll also find Aidan running online workshops after we launch and working on cool projects and tutorials.

Marizel
Marizel

Marizel handles community relations, fulfillment and operations. Despite not being technical, she solders a few HIDIOTs now and again and makes sure guides are written with 11 year olds in mind. Before joining us, Marizel used to be a departmental lead at one of England's leading primary schools and has 10 years of teaching experience. 

How We Will Use Your Investment

We already managed to get the HIDIOT to 0.7 in time for 44CON, and there's over 100 HIDIOT prototypes running around, but to get to 1.0 we need your help. All of your funding will go towards final production and developing tutorials and documentation. We're almost there already, your help will get us over the top.

We're finalizing version 0.9, and have successfully tested 0.8. While there's no doubt we'll have 1.0 ready to ship in June, we still have work to do on:

  • Project documentation
  • Examples and walkthroughs
  • Packaging

If we exceed our goals, we plan to start working on outreach to communities around the world to get tutorials translated into other languages. We want children and teenagers to be able to understand that electronics isn't a magical black box to shut them out, and that building and modifying hardware is as easy as coding and modifying software (and that coding and modifying software is easy too!).

Our plan is to make the entire product Open Source and release our code, schematics and board designs on Github once we reach 1.0. We intend to carry on developing support for the HIDIOT after shipping, giving you even more value over the years to come.

We aim to start shipping in June and complete shipping in July. Our HIDIOT PCBs will be manufactured at Newbury Electronics in England. Each HIDIOT version comes in different colours, the kickstarter edition comes in it's own unique colour that you can show off to your friends.

After all Kickstarter rewards are shipped, the HIDIOT will be available directly through our online store. You'll also be able to pick up a HIDIOT at conferences worldwide, just keep an eye out for us!

We know you're going to enjoy the HIDIOT, and hope you'll back us to help make it happen.

Risks and challenges

We have fully functioning HIDIOT prototypes, and have manufactured almost 700 prototype boards, with over 150 assembled and only 5 recorded failures. We managed to deliver 550 prototype badges at 44CON, from initial design to production in under 3 months. Since then we've refined and developed the board, and we're almost ready to deliver. None of your investment will be used to improve the product, it's only to help us get over that last hump with packaging, shipping and documentation.

However, our experience tells us that sometimes things can happen that can result in delays delivering the rewards. What we want you to know is this: Whatever happens, we'll be open, transparent and up front about any problems that arise and we'll keep you in the loop every step of the way.

You're investing in taking something that already exists to the point where it's a polished kit, that's easy to assemble. We already met the 44CON deadline, we're also doing badges for Hack In The Box Amsterdam on the 13th of April based on our design, so we're confident we'll be able to ship the finished product on time and on schedule.

In the extremely unlikely event that we're totally unable to ship the board, all of the PCB designs, tutorials and documentation developed up to that point will be open sourced and you'll still be able to build your own prototype.

We're working based on a worst case scenario with reasonable error margin. The most likely risk is that not all tutorials will be ready in time. In that event we'll still ship the HIDIOT, and keep working on the tutorials full time.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.25

    Supporter Status

    We'll keep in touch as the HIDIOT progresses and keep you up to date with all the latest news.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $19

    HIDIOT Kickstarter Edition Kit

    A complete HIDIOT kit for you to solder, with all the electronic components and a pre-flashed chip. You should be up and running within an hour, even if you've never soldered before.
    All you need to get is your own soldering iron and solder, and some common household tools. Includes free worldwide shipping.

    Includes:
    • HIDIOT Kickstarter Edition Kit
    • Hardware Hacker Sticker
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £32 or more About $40

    Two and spares!

    Worried you might goof up a board? Perhaps you want some spares for your own prototyping. This bundle is ideal for someone who isn't quite confident, or wants spare parts handy just in case something goes wrong. You'll receive two kits plus a spare part pack with enough parts to build a third HIDIOT (excluding board).

    Includes:
    • HIDIOT Kickstarter Edition Kit
    • Hardware Hacker Sticker
    • Spare part bundle
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $94

    The Time-Poor HIDIOT Kit

    This is the perfect package for people who want to get into hardware hacking but just can't get the time due to other commitments.
    As well as two full HIDIOT kits (and spare parts in case things go wrong), you'll get a full one hour online workshop with slots bookable throughout June and July*.

    We'll go through soldering the HIDIOT together, installing the programming software, flashing your first program and we'll try a couple of projects if time allows.

    Workshops are limited to 10 in a class, online-based, run for 1-2 hours in English on specific weekday and weekend evenings and mornings (on UK time) throughout June and July 2017. If you are unable to make your allocated slot we will do our best to accommodate your preferences, but cannot guarantee a particular time or date. If you miss your allocated slot, your session is void, so contact us if you need to reschedule.
    Includes free worldwide shipping.

    *Subject to availability. If you can't make your allocated slot you'll need to reschedule in advance. If you miss your slot without rescheduling, it's voided.

    Includes:
    • HIDIOT Kickstarter Edition Kit
    • Assembly Workshop
    • Hardware Hacker Sticker
    • Spare part bundle
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £128 or more About $160

    HIDIOT Beta Backer Bundle

    Become a beta backer and get this exclusive Kickstarter bundle. As well as shipping the final 1.0 kit to ship in June, we'll send you a 0.9 beta board and put you at the front of the workshop queue.

    Includes:
    • HIDIOT 0.9 Prototype
    • HIDIOT Kickstarter Edition Kit
    • Assembly Workshop
    • Hardware Hacker Sticker
    • Spare part bundle
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £192 or more About $240

    Hacker Highschool Ultimate Bundle!

    Become a Hacker Highschool Bundle backer and get educated! In hacking that is. We teamed up with Hacker Highschool to provide you with the perfect compliment to the HIDIOT, the hands-on 3 volume set of Hacker Highschool workbooks:

    1. Network Security Essentials
    2. Security Analysis Essentials
    3. Hacking Essentials

    The books are written for young adults ages 12-20 and designed for accelerated self-learning like how hackers teach themselves.

    Together with the HIDIOT, this bundle is perfect for classrooms and homeschoolers wanting to up the cybersecurity education in their classroom in a fun way. Expand technical skills while learning cybersecurity and cybersafety.

    More details on Hacker Highschool and the books here:

    http://www.hackerhighschool.org/books

    Includes:
    • HIDIOT 0.9 Prototype
    • HIDIOT Kickstarter Edition Kit
    • Assembly Workshop
    • Hardware Hacker Sticker
    • Spare part bundle
    • Hacker Highschool 3 book bundle!
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Funding period

- (31 days)