HotPi is a peripheral for your Raspberry Pi, it's not for experimentation, it's not for learning to code, it's plain and simple a device for making a RaspberryPi a slightly more useful computer by adding some cool functionality.
The HotPi has the following features;
- Infra-Red Remote Control Transmitter and Receiver which works as an LIRC device, and has reasonable range.
- A Full Colour Range RGB LED with some handy scripts to create fades and flashes for various notifications (e.g. software update available, system offline).
- A Battery Backed Real Time Clock to keep the time accurate when the Pi is turned off, or disconnected from a network.
- A Speed Controlled Fan Connector and Software which can respond to temperature rises in the SoC core of the Raspberry Pi.
With the HotPi board each group of parts can be omitted as necessary. For instance maybe the IR Transmitter is more than your requirements, maybe you don't want a Real Time Clock.
The HotPi can be a mini-project to assemble, or just a simple way to improve your Raspberry Pi's capabilities. We hope to build both the hardware and a community of users and to support those users by maintaining the software in the years to come. We'd like to drive our kernel configuration changes (ds1307 RTC and LIRC) upstream into Rasbian, and help get the lirc-rpi driver upstream into LIRC and hopefully the linux kernel. Which would enable a more "out-of-the-box" feel for the product.
The idea with the HotPi is to expand that little RaspberryPi just a little, just enough.
Risks and challenges
The main risks we face are being able to secure all of the components at the volumes we want, at the price we want, and in the time frame we need. The problem here is purely one of scale, if we get 100 boards made at once it costs us a certain amount but 1000 will obviously cost a lot less. The components are all reasonably common ones.
At this stage the product is basically complete, fully tested on a bread board with the first prototype PCB on the way. Software has been written to use the fans, LED colour, remote and clock, but is still in the testing phase. So the risks of the hardware working have already been worked out. The design is fully functional, as demonstrated in the video.
The remaining stages of development offer us some challenges with ensuring the PCB quality meets our requirements, sourcing the components, and getting the PCBs manufactured by someone who can accept the volumes pledged, all while staying within our costs, and developing our software and support community for our users. We have identified several potential manufacturers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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