About this project
Phoenard is an All-in-one Arduino-compatible prototyping Gadget powered by an 8-bit AVR ATMEGA2560, identical to the one you find in Arduino Mega. It is essentially a pocket-sized prototyping platform which you can use as the 'brain' in your projects, similar to using an Arduino. BUT, it has a lot more features built into a single case developed in such a way that you can use it as your day-to-day Gadget.
Being All-in-one, it has everything that every true maker has been dreaming of:
- Rich Features: Self-programmed, Full-color touchscreen display, on-board battery and much more are included
Portability: Being pocket-sized with dimension only 11.8 x 6.1 x 1.1 cm, making it comfortable to bring along with you
- 'Operating Environment': Not only introducing an ease to the user, but its OE making the Phoenard a one-of-a-kind product
- Multi-functionality: Stop putting away your development board when left unused; slide Phoenard into your pocket as your Gadget instead
On-Board Course: Perfect for starting prototypers. No need to have programming skills or have a computer with you, as the Phoenard itself can guide you
- 100% Arduino-Compatible: No need to worry about compatibility issues, as it is powered by the same Microcontroller and protocol as the Arduino Mega
- Extendability: Easy access to your project with Phoenard extensions, simply plug-and-play and run your sketches
Phoenard is essentially for everyone who is passionate about making and/or for those who is looking for a great tools to get started in electronics and programming.
- Educators and lab instructors will find Phoenard a useful tool to let students explore the world of electronics, the use of sketches making deliverables and preset software an ease
- Students can use Phoenard as a gadget to play with in their spare time and with friends
- Engineers can use Phoenard to test and debug their projects, making use of the many hardware features available
Parents looking for the latest learning tools for their kids may turn to Phoenard to let the on-board courses speak for themselves
- And of course last but not least, any maker, hobbyist, hacker, developer, midnight engineer should have noticed that Phoenard is for them even before reading this sentence.
If you really are asking to yourself the above question. Well, we have something for you.
We are very proud to announce that every single Phoenard shipped will be featured with the Phoenard on-board Course. It is a compilation of tutorials or curriculum of learning how to prototype and play around with electronics. However, it's nothing like any electronics tutorials you have ever seen anywhere else. Yes, on-board means the Phoenard itself will guide you through step-by-step, audio-visual tutorial. So the Phoenard will talk to you! So there is no need of computer to upload the program whatsoever and no need of knowledge in programming, you can just sit, listen, watch, follow and finally run it.
If Apple IOS has SIRI, Windows has Cortana, Phoenard has Ebi! Yep, Ebi herself will guide and explain you from the basic of electronics up to the source code behind each lesson. Watch how Ebi works below:
Phoenard 'Operating Environment'
To complement Phoenard's mobility, portability and self-sufficiency, we are also introducing the Phoenard Operating Environment. The operating environment allows the user to store thousands of Arduino sketches on-board, similar to developing apps for your smartphone, but instead based on Arduino. Its graphical user interface has been implemented to minimize the hassle of operating the Phoenard. Modifying, adding, giving a name, drawing an icon are all possible to do on the Phoenard directly; your SD card can remain in its socket.
See the Phoenard OE in action below!
To make it even more fun, we enable the possibility of transferring Arduino sketches between two Phoenards wirelessly through its bluetooth. Now you can show off and share your amazing sketches with your phoenard's friends instantly without any cables or a computer needed.
Moreover, the possibility of programming Phoenard from a computer wirelessly is currently under development and is expected to be ready very soon!
Well, and of course we are not just going to leave you with tutorials and a word 'good-luck'. We have compiled an extensive set of Phoenard libraries to help you get going and make awesome Sketches. And the libraries also include many widgets that we have made. But surely, we won't stop here, the libraries are still going to be extended and improved.
Phoenard Extensions Boards
Sure now you might be asking yourself, "How do I connect Phoenard to my Projects?". Well don't worry, we have thought about that as well. Phoenard comes with two kinds of extensions, the external extensions and the on-board extensions.
We named the Phoenard external extensions 'Phoenex'. It is a specially designed extension made specifically for Phoenard. It can easily be connected to your project as it is a breakout of usable GPIO pins. Up to now, we have been making three kinds of Phoenex.
- Phoenex Shield: For attaching Arduino shields to the Phoenard
- Phoenex Bread: For prototyping on a breadboard
- Phoenex Proto: For a rigid connection by soldering your projects on the board
"What if you want to add more advance features but you want to bring it along with you?" Well, We guess the Phoenon is for you! Phoenon is an on-board extension which can be embedded onto the back of the Phoenard. It allows you to add cool features that you can bring along with you anywhere. It is connected to the main board through the 12-pins FPC connector. It breakouts the common interface for you to play with such as the I2C, SPI, Pin interrupts and a couple of GPIO.
The image below shows just an example of what the Phoenon looks like. From adding an IR thermometer, capacitive touch, WIFI and even adding NFC on the back of the Phoenard...anything is possible!
An example of Phoenon Proto with Polar Heartrate wireless receiver on the back. It allows you to wear your Polar heartrate strap and monitor it on the Phoenard.
How many Arduinos or other development boards do you have laying around left unused? And how much money have you spent on those? Well, if your answers are 'a lot', then Phoenard might be a breakthrough as your next prototyping platform.
The Phoenard, while not being used as a prototyping platform, allows you to use it as your day-to-day Gadget! Regardless whether you are at home, on the road or even at work, the Phoenard will find its function that fits your needs. Sure, you can use our default gadget sketches such as Phone, Mp3 Player, Game controller, Midi player or several others, but what is more exciting is to see what gadget sketches you will create!
Plug and Play
Switching between projects is as easy as plugging/docking it into extensions Phoenex or Phoenon and selecting the appropriate sketch. Each extension board can be dedicated for a specific project, so there is no need to struggle around the next time you want to run that project.
Well, asking what can you do with Phoenard is more-less the same as asking what can you do with computer or smartphone. The functionality of the devices are defined by the software running on top of it.
In Phoenard's case, changing the sketch/program means changing its functionality and purpose. And in theory, since you can make infinity amount of Sketches, you can also define Phoenard to have infinite amount of functionality. Not to mention the extendability of Phoenard which multiplies the the infinity factor by infinity.
Below are just some of our favorites projects that we have made with Phoenard:
And remember, the possibilities don't stop there! There are many more interesting projects that can be done with Phoenard, such as:
- Flight Controller: Using its 10 Degrees-of-freedom sensors and plenty of PWM breakout, Phoenard is surely capable of being your next drones controller. Not to mention its Full-color LCD which can be used for your Drones UI.
- Wearables: Although Phoenard by itself is not really something that you can wear, its portability might be handy for you to control your wearable projects.
- 3D Printing: What if you can store your 3D files locally and only by plugging and selecting the files it starts printing without the need of computer? Well, with Phoenard that is something that you can do.
- And Many more!
Sure, definitely. We actually did compose a list of shields and modules which are available for purchase to recreate the same functionality as Phoenard (with similar modules and parts). And the list shows:
- 1 Arduino Mega
- 5 Arduino Shields
- 3 Modules
But don't be surprised if the size will be at least 5 times the Phoenard and it will cost you more than double the price!
NOTE: The Arduino Tower on the image above are only ILLUSTRATION for how it will look like. It DOES NOT REFLECT as 1:1 hardware feature comparison with Phoenard.
With all the embedded features and all the basic design profiles such as:
- Only 2 layer PCB
- 0603 smallest passive components footprint
- No BGA parts (all components can be soldered by hand)
- Battery included inside
- Acrylic slice-case
We still managed to make the dimensions of Phoenard to be as small as 118.27 x 61.79 x 11.83 mm
In case you are wondering how the size of the Phoenard compares to current smartphones.
The Shape and the Dimensions
We understand the shape and the look of DIY kits are the first thing that attract your attention. So Instead of being the standard rectangular shape, We designed an unique and one-of-a-kind shape, made to sit comfortably in your hands. Whether you operate it with two hands, or one, Phoenard is still ergonomic.
Oh yes! Not only our Operating Environment, library and widgets will be open source. As soon as the Kickstarter campaign ends, we will also be releasing all the design files including the BOM and everything so you can make your own Phoenard if you wish!
We have finished the research and development phase of the core Phoenard, but before we can put it on the market we have initial startup costs. To produce the Phoenard cost-effectively, we need to produce an initial batch first, and for that we need to have an initial group of people interested in it. As well, we need to invest money in future development costs ranging from covering our future product development cost to maintaining websites and customer support (including Phoenard Curriculum)
If enough people support the Phoenard we can continue developing and maturing the product. For all of this, we need your support!
Well, the term 'App-store' is not really what we are aiming for. As an open source contributor, our goal is to enable people to share their code/sketch easily and freely. So we need an online repository where people all around the globe can contribute to the contents while others can simply download it.
To make it a reality, we are teaming up with Codebender as an online Arduino IDE where people can share their sketch as well as access other people sketches easily. Not to mention that Codebender is also an online IDE where you can compile and run a sketch in a click of a button from your browser!
We have many kinds of Phoenard accessories and extensions that we want to share with you. However, with our current goals we are trying not to over-complicate our production flow with too many different extensions and accessories. So you have a better chance to get the Phoenard faster, perhaps, even faster than our promised delivery date. Having said that, the possibilities of expansion are still sky-high.
Below are the hardware specifications of the Phoenard:
Li-Ion battery supplying 3.7V, regulated at 3.3V main board voltage
MCP73831: The controller for charging the lithium battery off 5V USB voltage
Atmel AVR Atmega2560: As the brain of everything. Running on 16 Mhz
TFT 2.8 Inch LCD: Full color LCD with ILI9325 driver with an 8-bit data interface
- SIM908: GSM, GPRS and GPS in one module, accessible through serial commands
VS1053b: Audio decoding chip including the MIDI controller and MP3 player
- FT232RL: USB-2-serial bridge for programming from PC
- HM-10: Bluetooth 4.0 module for short distance wireless communication
- 23K256: 256 kBits SPI external RAM
- Simcard Holder: It uses the standard size Sim-card
- Micro-SD: Fat-16 and Fat-32 accepted. max 8GB storage
- MPU6050: Accelerometer and Gyro sensor in one package
- HMC5883l: Magnetometer sensor
- BMP085: The pressure sensor including temperature
Good question. In the past eight months, we have been making contact with many PCB manufacturers and assembly lines, both locally here in the Netherlands as well as several facilities located in China. Out of many possible manufacturing partners, nothing has really convinced us apart from one, which is SeeedStudio.
Needless to say, the manufacturing cost was not really our main priority, we were looking for one-stop manufacturing company which can help us from PCB manufacture up to making a case for Phoenard. So the manufacturing flow can easily be monitored. Moreover, the fact that Seeed Studio is located in Shenzen, China, where most of Phoenard's components are manufactured, really helps to reduce the complexity in our supply chain design.
Above that, Seeed Studio has been involved and contributed to the maker movements and its community for a while. We feel Seeed Studio as a company shares the same passion in 'the-world-of-making' as we have, giving us a confidence in partnering with them. In addition they are also experienced open hardware facilitators and have successfully fulfilled many crowdfunding projects. Check out their awesome website: www.seeedstudio.com
The Phoenard pledged from kickstarter will be directly shipped with SINGAPORE-POST from Seeed Studio manufacturing facility in Shenzen. Considering our lack-of-experience in handling logistics and shipping, we believe that drop-shipping the Phoenard from an experienced hand is better. Not to mention about affordable shipping cost that you have to pay.
Moreover, currently we are still working on the possibility to tunnel the shipping through the Netherlands for our European backer. We will give you an update about that.
Last but not least we have a good news for you!
We can assure you that we are going to work very hard to make sure that you can get the Phoenard in your hand as quick as possible; of course with quality and standard that we expected to be. In addition to that, We are also limiting our initial batch of production to 1000 Units.
We are three passionate students who has been involved making DiY Projects together for more than three years and we call ourselves "Phoenard Guard". We are all born in exact same year (1993) and currently pursuing Bachelor degree in engineering. Although our focus study is in Sensor Technology, that does not resist us to go beyond and explore many possibilities.
Making a DiY Projects has already been a part of our daily basis ever since we entered the course. The Phoenard itself is one of the biggest project that we have been working-on for more than 10 months. The specialty that each member of Phoenard-guard has, has keep us together and back-up each other weaknesses.
And of course, apart from the Phoenard Guard, there were plenty of people who contributed and helps bringing the Phoenard into Kickstarter. From those who contributed as the 'actor' in our movie up to our lecturer who gave us mentor-ship and guidance.
- Florian Bakker
- Martine van R
- Nikita Paskhov
- Olivier Bakker
- Ramon Hartman
- Moritz Wenzel
- Johannes Bruinsma
- Fenna Feenstra
- Bryan William
Just in case you are interested in our Journey so far. keep scrolling down.
Risks and challenges
Manufacturing and Quality control ---------
The process of manufacturing the Phoenard main board (PCB, assembly line) is not really something that is going to be a big challenge especially when we are teaming up with experienced Hardware facilitator, like Seeedstudio. The quality-control and the implementation of the test-plan is really hardware specific, which might give us a bit of a hassle. Especially due to the fact that there are many separate components and modules that has to be tested; not to mentioned about the firmwares which has to be flashed before shipping each package.
Having said that, before handing in the final design files to the manufacturer, we are going to consult with experienced manufacturing engineer which might give us better idea how to make the manufacturing process easier and how to minimize the potential problems. In addition to that, if we get enough funds, we ourselves will travel and set the standard to the Seeedstudio manufacturing facility in Shenzen, China. So that we can make sure that everything is done the way it should be.
Supply Chain and lead time ----------
Since the beginning, we are always attempting to use the components which is widely-known and easy to get. Not only it will give benefits to the future user of the Phoenard as it is using common components/modules, but it will avoid us from lead-time in manufacturing the Phoenard as well. However, that doesn't mean that we are lead-time free, the horror of manufacturing lead-time will still haunting us. Supply chain design can get messy as well, the complexity surely will introduce another additional unnecessary lead-time.
To solve that, we are already did a small risk assessment of the potential parts/components which is vulnerable to unavailability. So from now on we already have a potential replacement for each vulnerable components. In case of very lengthy lead-time, up to some extend we are very open to modify the design and use alternative parts instead. However, we will make sure that the replacement does exactly the same thing. Moreover, the fact that Seeedstudio is located in Shenzen (where most of Phoenard's parts are manufacture), give us benefit to de-complex the supply chain design.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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