A unique feature rich multi control function unit
Ao-to One is the world's first control device that:
- implements the physical model of a car's drive train, accurately computing the engine rpm and vehicle speed based on the current gear and gas/brake inputs.
- comes equipped out of the box and integrates a Bluetooth add-on, for connectivity to smartphones or tablets. This enables the control of all it's features from the connected smartphone or tablet.
- uses a tilt sensor to determine the inclination of the car and control the expected natural vehicle movement (as per the status of the drive train): the car will start moving to the front when tilted forward or will reverse, when tilted backward.
- uses a light sensor to provide an automatic headlamps feature.
- implements an alarm system that turns off all lights when activated and initiates the follow me home function in low-light conditions.
- is software upgradeable "in the field".
About this campaign
A limited run of maximum 400 Ao-to One units, on a black PCB, are offered through this Kickstarter campaign: "Ao-to One Black Edition". The mass-market run will feature a regular green PCB.
In order to fully exploit the capabilities of the Ao-to One, we want to leverage the convenience and flexibility of modern smartphones. You can see in the videos posted so far a prototype of the application, but we are completely redesigning the UI for a modern and professional look and feel - the updated application will be made available when Ao-to One Black Edition ships. The UI is created with the help of a specialized design company and you can see a preview of the current version below - very close to what we will ship.
The final application capabilities and logic will be identical with what we have in the prototype application used to demonstrate Ao-to One in the published videos. Also, while we only show the Android version, the application will run on iOS as well.
- 14 output servo PWM channels, allowing the control of devices with one or multiple channel inputs such as ESCs, servos, sound boards, etc.
- 4 input PWM channels, enabling the board to connect with radio receivers with up to 4 channels. The current version of the Ao-to One firmware monitors and uses only the first 2 input channels, such that the entire functionality can be exercised using the most simple remote controls.
- 12 outputs for light control, with 10 of these being PWM enabled, allowing the intensity of the light to be configured from the controlling device. Each light output supports a current of up to 0.5A, thus it can drive up to 25 LEDs. The lights outputs are open collector and the LEDs must be connected between the 5V connector and each output via a limiting resistor. Further details for correctly driving the LEDs will be provided in the detailed user manual that will accompany the Ao-to One.
- onboard accelerometer, used by the tilt sensing functionality in the current firmware version.
- light sensor (connected through a wire to the Ao-to One), used by the automatic headlamps feature.
- USB, through a specific dongle attached to the Ao-to One on the 4 pin port market 'UART', currently used for firmware upgrades with the help of a PC.
- Bluetooth, through a specific dongle attached to the Ao-to One on the 4 pin port market 'Bluetooth', enabling the control of Ao-to One with a smartphone or a tablet.
- needs 5V at a typical current consumption of 55mA.
- as power sources we suggest the BEC of the ESC connected to one of the boards' output servo channels, in case your ESC is equipped with a BEC, or a 5V source otherwise.
Status and control:
- an LED flashing at various frequencies to show the status of the firmware running on the board.
- a Reset switch (intended use is during a firmware upgrade).
- weight: 30g
OK, so what's in the package?
Well, the Ao-to One Black Edition but a few other goodies too, as listed below and shown in the photo. The content of the package is tested before shipping, as a setup, with both versions of the control application - Android and iOS.
- the Ao-to One Black Edition
- one Adafruit Bluetooth Low Energy module
- one USB dongle used for firmware upgrades
- one cable for connecting the Ao-to One with the Adafruit BLE module or the USB dongle for firmware upgrades
- two servo cables for connecting the Ao-to One with the radio receiver
- one light sensor and it's cable
The control application will be available, free of charge, on the respective app markets.
Help us bring Ao-to One to life
A lot was done, starting from one's idea of significantly improving what was available to the RC community as multi function controllers, and as work progressed, we realized what true potential exists. We now have a very cool prototype, which we want to share with other passionate people like us: here is where we need your help. A successful Kickstarter campaign will allow us to mass produce Ao-to One, transform it into a self sustaining project and bring to life a platform rich in functionality that will continue to evolve.
Why only 400 boards ?
We want to offer those that will trust and back our idea something special: a limited edition of Ao-to One, in cool Black. And a limited edition cannot be offered in unlimited numbers, right? This argument, plus our estimation of what we need as decent financing to launch this project to the market brought us to the magical 400 number. By the way, we promise that it will be the only series of Ao-to One using a black PCB. We also secretly hope that it will become a collectible item.
How we got here
Kickstarter's kind advice is to share with our potential backers some details from the development of the project. Here it goes.
Early firmware development and testing were done using a standard development kit for the MCU that powers the Ao-to One. After quite a bit of what we wanted to achieve crystallized, a first revision of our PCB was designed and manufactured. A second revision of the PCB fixed all issues found on the first PCB revision and included final design additions. The very first prototype of Ao-to One Black needed no fixes and is production worthy.
Who are we?
A small but skilled and passionate team of embedded engineers (12+ years of experience each), based in EU. We have worked with quite a few of technologies that can be put to good use and we have plenty of ideas we would like to share with the RC community through a platform conceived to constantly evolve.
Risks and challenges
What makes the Ao-to One unique is the firmware and integrated capabilities: all of this is under our control and we hope that the videos presented convinced you of the product's value as well as it's advanced development stage. The PCB went through the necessary revisions and is ready for production, with components sourcing and manufacturing partner identified. We have experience getting consumer devices into production, we are highly confident that all our backers will have their Ao-to One Black Edition in March 2016.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)