About this project
Tomorrow, 50 billion connected objects will fill our everyday lives. Today, Internet-of-Things pioneers need easy-to-use and versatile, yet powerful tools to help them shape the future.
The AirBoard is an Open-Source, compact, wireless and ultra power efficient development platform designed to learn, sketch and deploy your prototype out in the field.
There are a number of educational tools on the market to facilitate transient prototyping. They are great for learning electronics but may be difficult to deploy out in the field. The challenge today is to accelerate the deployment of smart Things, with a seamless experience from novice to expert.
The AirBoard offers the same type of solderless connector as the Arduino UNO which makes connection ultra-simple for beginners and encourages direct experimentation.
We focused on the most versatile I/O pins, in order to lower the cognitive effort required in learning electronics and rapidly switching between different projects.
This open connector is also the fastest and cheapest way to connect your sensors.
Build upon your regular sketches with the standard Arduino IDE
When prototyping hardware, it's pretty fast to set up a sketch but when it comes to moving it around, carrying to a friend's place, embedding it in a harsh environment or deploying a network of smart devices, wiring makes it so frustrating.
The AirBoard is wireless friendly. It is compatible with all certified wireless shields and open to future wireless radios, for versatile applications in smart cities of tomorrow:
- control your power appliances wirelessly from everyday Things
- interact with robotics or wearables from your smartphone
- connect miniature smart devices to the internet
Deeply embedded Things may be hard to reach for various reasons (connected to a system, sealed, in a remote location). The AirBoard offers automatic Over-The-Air Programming (OTAP) over Bluetooth, Wifi or XBee. No reset button, download your code remotely in just 5 seconds!
Forget about your sensors with the built-in Power Management System. The AirBoard is designed for ultra low-power applications, yet capable to drive long range wireless shields. It offers an ultra-low power sleep mode with switchable radio for best communication strategy. The built-in Battery charger and Management System also improves safety with Over Current, Over Charge and Over Discharge protections.
Free worldwide shipping for all rewards tiers!
Our mission is to provide tools and processes to accelerate the prototyping and deployment of your next billion dollar idea. Gather up to 10 teammates and let's setup a one-day hacking workshop at your location facilitated by creative thinking professionals!
Olivier Ménard from Grenoble, France is an electrical engineering guru and an interaction designer who has been developing microchips and computers for space satellites and is leading an Open Innovation lab for major industrial companies.
Loic Bouyssié from Boston, USA is a software engineer with a marketing background and is involved in new technologies, from electronics integration to web design.
Size and Weight
- 40x25x9mm (1.6x1.0x0.4'')
- 14mm (0.6'') width with Bluetooth shield
- Board: 5.7g (0.20oz)
- Battery: 4.0g (0.14oz)
- ATmega328P processor @ 8MHz
- Pre-loaded standard Arduino Fio bootloader, no custom firmware needed
- 100% Arduino compatible
- Arduino IDE support (any IDE version on OSX/Windows/Linux)
Peripherals and I/Os
- 16-million colors user-defined RGB LED, 2240mcd max, 120° viewing angle
- 7x GPIO, 3x PWM, 2x 10-bit ADC, I2C, SPI solderless proto connector
- Up to 18x GPIOs, 6x 10-bit analog inputs or 6x PWMs
- 5-second automatic Over-The-Air Programming
- Supported wireless shields: Bluetooth 2.1 (RN42XVP, RN41XVC), Bluetooth BLE 4.0 (BLE-LINK), WiFi (RN-XV-W), XBee (XB24-API, XBP24-API), SIGFOX (TD1208), GPRS (GPRSbee SIM800H)
Power Management System
- Autonomy in communication: 6 months @ 1 data/minute
- Autonomy in sleep mode: up to 3 years
- Charge time: 40-60 minutes
- 150mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Built-in lithium-ion battery charger
- Charging via micro USB from computer system or power adapter
- Battery protection circuitry (Over Current, Over Charge, Over Discharge)
- USB voltage, charge status and battery level indicators
- 5VUSB/500mA and 3.3V/200mA regulated power outputs for prototyping board
- 3.3V/1A switchable regulated power output for wireless shield
The project started with a simple idea. Here are a few early shots to show how it all started.
Today, we are honored to have the opportunity to share The AirBoard with makers around the world. It's not just about funding a product. It's about engaging in a journey to shape the future together.
Now that the pre-production prototypes have passed two successful runs, only a small investment is required to divide the unit price by a factor of 10 making it now accessible to everyone: makers, inventors, students, artists, educators, designers, engineers, researchers...
The production line is local, in the heart of the French Alps between Italy and Switzerland, for seamless transition between R&D and ramp up production.
- The AirBoard is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Open-Source Hardware License.
- ARDUINO, BLUETOOTH, E-BONUS, LITTLEBITS, PHILIPS, SIGFOX, The AirBoard, Wi-Fi and XBEE are registered trademarks.
- The above trademarks and all other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
- Video: Cyril Morat
- Voice-over: Hillary Gerardi
- Photos: Focale Emotions
- Workshop facilitation: Katsi
- Co-working space: Cowork in Grenoble
- 3D enclosure: 3D Printer Avenue
- Logo: Fernando Factor
- Community management: Jean Poma
- SIGFOX prototype: e-bonus
- Pictograms: Kenton Quatman, John Caserta, Agarunov Oktay-Abraham, P.J. Onori, Ola Möller, Scott Lewis, Cris Dobbins, Andrew Richardson, Dave Tappy, Mateo Zlatar from the Noun Project
- Special thanks to: Anicée, Bernadette, Charlotte, Christophe, Emmanuel, Eric, Erika, Florence, Guillaume, Jean, Magali, Matthew, Maud, Mélissa, Olga, Pierre, Simon and Steeve.
Risks and challenges
Our 20+ years of electronics expertise in top space, nuclear and semiconductor industries exposed us to quality, hi-reliability, worst-case analysis and risk management.
We didn't rush into crowdfunding a partially designed (not to mention tested) product. 100 units of the initial design were produced back in 2011 and then extensively tested for over 2 years. We then went back to the drawing board to design a brand new, tremendously improved product in terms of performance and safety.
We secured the production process with two runs of pre-production prototypes and partnered with one of the major European PCB manufacturers operating a local factory, for seamless transition between R&D and ramp up production.
The production schedule incorporates long lead time mass production components in order to secure the delivery target.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I'm a total beginner, do I need any electronics and programming experience before I can use the AirBoard?
The AirBoard is 100% compatible Arduino i.e. the user experience will be very similar, but natively wireless. You can use the same IDE development interface, same programming language (C) and tons of great tutorials and libraries for Arduino. If you have prior Arduino experience, it does help, although you can start straight with the AirBoard. Once the standard Arduino IDE is up and running, it should not take more than seconds to have your first LED blinking. And the good thing about The AirBoard is that it is designed to offer a consistent user experience from total beginners to advanced pro-makers.
We included worldwide shipping cost into all Rewards Tiers. As with any Kickstarter project, this price does not include customs fees, duties and taxes you might incur when importing products into your country.
Unfortunately operating on a 3.7V Lithium battery does not allow safe operation at 16MHz (see ATmega328P datasheet chart, page 321). This is why Fio boards also work at 8MHz.
On the other hand, operating at 8MHz authorizes to make the most out of the battery since the board will operate down to 3.0V and even below.
Depending on the volume of your data, between 8 and 14 euros per year. SIGFOX will soon have a store on their website for individuals to buy subscription directly, with payment by credit card. More information on the SIGFOX web site: http://www.sigfox.com/fr/
Just one ligne of Arduino code. Check it out on github: https://github.com/theairboard/TheAirBoard
Yes, in its current version, RemoteXY works only with Bluetooth 2. So any reward with a Bluetooth 2 shield will come with the RemoteXY PRO version.
Yes, a battery is mounted on all AirBoards.
Absolutely! You can for instance run the Arduino IDE on Raspberry Pi and wirelessly program a swarm of AirBoards. Because The AirBoard is wireless, you can experiment with hardware at no risk for your computer board.
Yes. Configure one shield as CENTRAL and the other as PERIPHERAL as indicated here: http://www.dfrobot.com/wiki/index.php/Bluno_SKU:DFR0267#Bluno_Basic_Demo
OSH Park offers unpopulated breakout boards only. Part numbers for suggested breakout boards are contained in the github schematics: https://github.com/theairboard/TheAirBoard
- (33 days)