The Tough Pi was designed by myself due to needing a portable all in one solution for my Raspberry Pi. The case was designed around what I though a good all in one solution was. It needed to be rugged, it needed to house a display, all Raspbery Pi connections needed to be accessible, it needed to be able to be powered from a battery and from mains power and most of all it needed to be small.
The solution was to use a safe case measuring 185(W) x 120(D) x 75(H)mm and utilise 3D printed ABS parts with the combination of laser cut acrylic. Then the Tough Pi was born, the Tough Pi allows access to all 4 Usb ports, analog audio out, micro SD, ethernet and the GPIO all from the case top. The case top also houses a mini wireless keyboard or it could be removed to allow a bread board to be fitted for prototyping. There is a mains power input located on the case top with a 3 position rocker switch to allow you to choose between battery or mains power.
The Tough Pi's power requirements are 5-24V with a minimum of 3A. This will allow you to run the Tough Pi at optimal performance. There is a battery compartment housed under the case top which is capable of housing a variety of batteries for when you want to use your Tough Pi in the field. The battery connector is a dean's type connector.The display utilised in the Tough Pi is a 7 inch 60Hz TFT with a 1280 X 800 resolution.
One other design consideration was that when it came to fitment of the Pi it needed to be user friendly. All you need to do is lift the case top, remove the battery compartment divider, install all extensions, power and HDMI, reinstall the divider and case top and your ready to go.
Some applications I've already utilised my Tough Pi for include a webcam rover, telepresence robot, creating python GUIs using TKinter, a gaming console, media player the applications are endless. The beauty of this project is its portability, if your not getting strong wi-fi strength simply pick up and move, or better yet plug directly in to your router through the ethernet port. In the field whilst testing your latest Arduino project take the Tough Pi running Arduino IDE to allow for serial debugging and fine tuning.
I'm excited about this project, but more excited by what other uses makers, coders, gamers, innovators and students will be able to achieve with this project.
Any additional funding from the campaign will go into better tooling and research and development for the Tough Pi 2. I'm already thinking about the next step, a touch screen, HDMI output and built in speakers. Maybe also scrapping the battery compartment in place of a hard drive. Hopefully if the campaign is successful we will have a big enough community to provide input and shape the next Tough Pi.
I already have all the tooling required for this project and a functioning prototype. On successful completion of this campaign I will order the required components and begin to print and cut all the brackets and acrylic.
Once the components arrive I will then begin to assemble the Tough Pi's and start shipment. Reward 1 will be capable of shipping by December due to it needing minimal components. All other rewards will ship June 2017.
Delivery of Rewards 2, 3 and 4 are planned for shipment June 2017 in order to ensure quality of the product and also arrival of components. I'll keep the page updated on my progress and information on any early releases.
The funding goal is based on the cost of production of 8 units of rewards 1, 3 and 4, 16 units of reward 2. This drives the cost of components down allowing for a total production of 40 units of varying rewards.
*All images not specified are of reward 3, excluding keyboard, battery and Raspberry Pi.
*Raspberry pi is not inuded in any reward tier.
Risks and challenges
A big challenge for this project is receiving components in time to ensure shipment of Reward 1 by December. I will overcome this by liasing directly with my distributors and see that they utilise reputable shipping companies.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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