About this project
Want to get your Raspberry Pi out of the drawer and back into your life? Tingbot’s for you!
Tingbot lives in your home or on your desk; an internet-connected product. Our custom hardware and software transforms your Raspberry Pi into a platform for creative applications.
Whether you’re new to code or an experienced developer, Tingbot has something to offer everyone.
What can Tingbot do?
We want to open Tingbot up to anyone who wants to experience the fun and joy of being creative with technology. You can design graphics, draw, connect to simple data feeds and make fun interactive apps. Use the touchscreen to make a doodle pad or make the programmable buttons control a robot. You’re free to make anything.
Because it’s always on, Tingbot offers a different experience to other app platforms out there. The first app we built for Tingbot was Ting.it, a new way to make personal, playful animated expressions and share them with others. The best way to experience Ting.it is through Tingbot. Give it a try yourself!
As well as Ting.it we are creating a bunch of other sample projects for you to try out or build upon. These will serve as starting points for your own creations.
Need inspiration? Here are some ideas for apps that would be great on Tingbot:
We like the idea of glanceable experiences, in finding calmer ways to bring meaningful information into our lives. We believe Tingbot is the perfect platform for this new kind of experience.
We’re also developing an operating system so as you make and download more apps, you can upload them straight to your Tingbot to use whenever you like.
We’re building a community so people can share their apps with the world. It’s called The Tingbot Ocean, and it’ll grow over time as more of you make cool apps for Tingbot.
Make things for Tingbot with Tide
Tide is your gateway to making apps for Tingbot. We took inspiration from other open-source projects such as Arduino and Processing to make a programming environment that’s as easy as possible to get started.
Tingbot apps are written in Python, which is widely accepted as one of the best programming languages for beginners, and allows you to take advantage of the huge wealth of Python advice and sample code from the community.
Our clever libraries make writing apps for Tingbot really simple. Tide is designed to grow with you, so you won’t feel out of your depth. Check out our getting started tutorial to learn more.
Write your program and test it in the built-in simulator. Once you’re happy with your program, select your Tingbot from the drop-down menu, and it’ll be on there in seconds.
If you’re already comfortable in Python, you’ll feel right at home with Tide - we’re going the extra mile with tools, documentation and example code to make the development experience fluid and creative. And because it’s Raspbian Linux underneath, you can unlock the whole power of the Raspberry Pi - the file system, GPIOs, omxplayer, USB devices - it’s all there!
We’re releasing a beta version of Tide for Mac now! So download it and start making apps for your Tingbot today. The sky’s the limit!
Tide for Windows is in the works. If you’re a Windows whiz-kid, and fancy getting involved with a fun open source project, get in touch!
What's in Tingbot?
As makers we appreciate that satisfying moment when you’ve assembled your IKEA Expedit. So rather than rob you of that privilege, Tingbot comes as a kit :)
Let’s have a closer look...
1. Tingbot module, Our own custom module featuring 320x240px 3.2 inch LCD touch screen. Pushes onto the GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi, with GPIO passthrough that you can access. 25 fps and 16-bit colour.
2. Button board, 4 programmable push buttons, and also holds the power connector
3. Case caps, 2 injection-moulded caps to hold the screen and Pi securely in place
4. Case wrap, Foldable polypropylene case in a variety of colours
5. Tingbot OS, Tingbot’s own operating system, based on Raspbian. Comes with all the drivers and software to get started without any fuss.
Choose your style
Express yourself! Choose a Tingbot colour-combo that matches your personality from the six styles below.
Or mix things up and customise your own by combining any coloured wrap with a bunch of colourful buttons.
We’ve built a whole range of exciting rewards packages for you to choose from - check them out below!
See what others are saying
We’ll be sharing more people's experiences with Tingbot throughout the campaign.
What happens when?
We’re currently fine-tuning some of the hardware and software design features, user testing and working with our manufacturers. Here's how we've planned the next few months:
Tingbot is a project by NORD collective, a team of designers and developers with a passion for making things together.
Initially, we created Tingbot as a fun way to experience Ting.it but it didn't take us long to realise the platform we were building could be used for all sorts of exciting projects.
We wanted to make something that made our Pi’s easy to use and fun to tinker with, whilst looking cool enough to sit pride and place on our desks or in our homes.
Tingbot began in Glasgow as a fun design project between friends at The Glasgow School of Art. We felt it had legs so continued to work on it in our evenings and weekends. We invited others with complementary skills in hardware and software to get involved and join the team and develop Tingbot into what you see today.
One thing about Tingbot we’re really chuffed with is the consideration that’s gone into the design. We’ve reduced the complexity with every prototype, using as few parts as possible. The hardware and case have been developed in tandem to ensure there is no compromise on aesthetics; we’ve centered the screen, got the perfect viewing angle, re-routed the power and kept our style clean so that the end result is as satisfying to the eye as it is to use.
It’s been a long, fun process turning our ideas into something we’re really proud of. With your help, we can finally make Tingbot a reality!
Tingbot would not exist if it weren’t for the following people who have helped shape and support the project, to help get it over the line and finally be in a position to launch this campaign.
Ashley Johnston, Ben Greencock, George Anthony 'Kav' Kavanagh, The Future Customer, Ian Dera, Dean Pauley, Elephant & Castle Mini-Maker Faire and Maker Faire UK, Hugh, Claire, Colin and everyone at Surrey Docks Farm, Zoë Prosser, Alice Gunn, Pimoroni, David Wall and Damien Gahan, Conor & David, Chris Cookson, Jack Hudspith, Emma Moffat, Billie, Carol, Ellis, Pauline, Rosie and last but not least everyone who joined our mailing list and got behind Tingbot!
Risks and challenges
There’s always a degree of risk in making products, but we’d like to think we’ve done everything in our power to mitigate most of them.
Since we’ve extensively prototyped our PCB and casing, we’re confident there is very little risk associated with the design. We've also got some trusted manufacturers lined up to produce the Tingbot hardware and the software is already well on it’s way.
Like many hardware products, the main risk is the supply chain; we've made every effort to ensure the parts and components we're using are widely available.
We'll make sure we keep our backers fully informed throughout the campaign and do everything we can to ensure Tingbot happens on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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