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$4,795
pledged of $812 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Ashish Gulhati
$4,795
pledged of $812 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Wouldn't it be awesome to have a full Raspberry Pi based computer in your pocket?

The Raspberry Pi has revolutionized the maker community and the world of DIY computing. But once you add on all the other pieces needed to turn it into a usable computer, you usually end up with either a bunch of separate components connected with cables and wires, or a rather big and clunky box (for most integrated solutions).

What's been missing is a compact, integrated Raspberry Pi based handheld computer, comparable to a modern mobile phone.

Until now.

I've been thinking about such a device for a while, and started working on one last year. After many designs, redesigns and prototypes, the Noodle Pi is finally ready to bring computing freedom to your pocket!

Say Hello to Noodle Pi

Noodle Pi integrates a Raspberry Pi Zero, a high-resolution multi-touch screen, a battery, a power management system, and a camera, all in a super compact device that's good to go anywhere. 

(Note: Depending on the reward, some or all electronic components need to be purchased separately from the vendors listed in the "Some Assembly Required" section below).

Six components, plus connecting wires, perfectly integrated! Note that some or all electronic components need to be purchased separately, varying by reward level.
Six components, plus connecting wires, perfectly integrated! Note that some or all electronic components need to be purchased separately, varying by reward level.

Noodle Pi uses the recently released Pimoroni HyperPixel 3.5" display. This is a high speed, high resolution (800x480 pixels at ~270 PPI) touchscreen display with 18-bit color (262,144 colors) and a 60 FPS frame rate.

Noodle Pi also integrates the Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2, for up to 8MP still photos, and 1080p30 / 720p60 / VGA90 video.

Noodle Pi is powered by an internal 500mAh battery. It can be charged via a regular micro-USB charging socket, and there's a red LED to provide a low battery warning.

Strong, Slim Unibody Design

Noodle Pi's unibody shell is strong and light, with an innovative design that leverages the unique capabilities of 3D printing.

This enables Noodle Pi to pack six separate components, plus connecting wires, into a tiny 94mm x 60mm x 10mm/19mm package. Yes, part of it is only 10mm thick! (The iPhone SE, in comparison, is 7.6mm; the official Pi Zero case is 13mm).

Side view - 10mm - 19mm thin!
Side view - 10mm - 19mm thin!

Noodle Pi puts those extra few millimeters to good use. It provides full access to the Pi Zero's USB-OTG and Mini-HDMI ports, so it can be used both as a pocket computer and as a desktop computer. As well as in other configurations. The possibilities are endless!

Despite its super compact size, Noodle Pi is surprisingly strong and sturdy. It feels like a solid, integrated device when you hold it in your hand, not very different from a CA$ 1000 iPhone. 

And: It's available in Jet Black! ;-)

Escape The Walled Garden

Unlike iOS and Android devices, which force you to develop apps in only specific programming languages in a restrictive environment, a Noodle Pi is a full GNU/Linux computer. So you can write apps for it in any language you like.

https://xkcd.com/224/
https://xkcd.com/224/

And once you've written an app for Noodle Pi, you can just release it to the world right away. No need to wait weeks or months for approval to be listed in an app store.

Noodle Pi offers a long overdue escape from the walled gardens mobile computing has been stuck in. It's the mobile device built on free software, reusable components and open platforms. The way computing was meant to be!

One More Thing: It's Unsnoopable!

Noodle Pi can be built in two configurations - either using a Pi Zero W, in which case it's a fully connected computer with WiFi and Bluetooth, or using a plain old Pi Zero (without the "W" - which indicates wireless networking capability).

When built using a non-W Pi Zero, it's a Noodle Unsnoopable, because whatever you store or do on it is effectively immune to snooping or attack over the Internet, as the device doesn't (and cannot, without external hardware) connect to any networks.

In these days of pervasive surveillance and malware, an indispensable piece of kit everyone needs is an air-gapped computer that is never connected to any networks. Noodle Unsnoopable is that computer.

An air gap provides excellent security and privacy!
An air gap provides excellent security and privacy!

A Noodle Unsnoopable enables easy and cost-effective air-gapped security for password storage, crypto-currency cold-storage, secure backups, private notes and photos, and so on. Just be sure never to connect it to any networks, and to keep your MicroSD card physically secure at all times.

In fact, because the Noodle Pi runs entirely off the MicroSD card, a single Noodle Pi or Noodle Unsnoopable can easily be shared by multiple people. Each person can keep their own private system on their own MicroSD card. This enables libraries, schools, etc. to provide shared access to devices that many people can use without compromising privacy or security.

Funding Goals

I've set a pretty low funding goal for this project, because most of the work is already done, although the development process did have high costs, in time, parts, equipment, etc. 

The main tasks now are to order and print the parts, and pack and ship the kits out. I will probably also make many refinements to the design in the coming days.

However, I do hope this Kickstarter generates a lot more than the minimum funding goal. I have a bunch of other great projects in the works, and hitting a good level of funding on this one will not only help recover the investments already made into this project, it will also speed up the process of bringing more of them to life.

Noodle Pi has come a long way from the first prototype (left) made July 2016. Official Pi Zero case in front.
Noodle Pi has come a long way from the first prototype (left) made July 2016. Official Pi Zero case in front.

Your pledge will also help with the purchase of additional 3D printing capacity to help with higher production volumes for Noodle Pi and future products, as well as to potentially print parts using materials other than PLA plastic, which is what Noodle Pi's 3D printed parts are currently printed with.

PLA is sensitive to heat. So you'd want to avoid exposing the Noodle Pi to very high temperature situations, such as leaving it close to a a fire, or even for a long time in direct sunlight under a car windshield on a hot day. I've read that can make PLA parts warp, though I haven't had any trouble at all with heat with PLA prototypes in use for over a year (and I do leave them in direct sunlight just to see if they warp). 

Noodle Pi does have vent holes on the back and they seem to do a good job to help keep things cool. I've only ever felt it become slightly warm from the heat generated by the Pi Zero.

Stretch Goals

Here are the stretch goals. Would be great to hit some of them!

Stretch Goal 1: CA$ 2048 - ACHIEVED - Splash-Resistant Case for Noodle Pi

Stretch Goal 2: CA$ 4096 - ACHIEVED - Belt Holster for Noodle Pi 

(I'm not sure about the pricing for the above accessories yet. Will post updates on that soon as possible).

Stretch Goal 3: CA$ 8192 - Noodle Key Micro - Micro Keyboard+Touchpad Dock for Noodle Pi! 

Enables docking the Noodle Pi with a tiny RF keyboard and touchpad. The Noodle Key Micro dock (but NOT the keyboard) will be INCLUDED FREE with all Noodle Pi kits if this Goal is reached!

I made sure to select a backlit mini-keyboard for the Noodle Key Micro, so you can keep working in low light conditions. The keyboard is readily available on Amazon, and will be available as an add-on to Noodle Pi kit rewards as well.

Noodle Pi with Noodle Key Micro dock and (backlit!) keyboard+touchpad.
Noodle Pi with Noodle Key Micro dock and (backlit!) keyboard+touchpad.

The Noodle Key Micro docked with a micro-keyboard+touchpad makes all the difference when you don't want to waste precious screen space on an on-screen keyboard, and want to work fast. Perfect for writing code or articles on your Noodle Pi, or administering servers using ssh.

At the beach with Noodle Pi and Noodle Key Micro. It's a hard life! ;-) The screen was quite readable, but it didn't photograph well.
At the beach with Noodle Pi and Noodle Key Micro. It's a hard life! ;-) The screen was quite readable, but it didn't photograph well.

Noodle Key Micro holds the Noodle Pi secure while docked, and easily disconnects from the Noodle Pi and the keyboard when not needed. It's tiny, light, and easy to carry around in a pocket, just like the Noodle Pi and the mini keyboard.

Stretch Goal 4: CA$ 16384 - Colors! (White, Grey, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow)

You know you want a full Raspberry Pi mobile computer in your pocket! Back this project now and you should have one pretty soon!

Also remember to order the electronics needed for the build, listed below. Adafruit and Pimoroni run of stock on some of these sometimes, so order them asap and you should be all ready to go when your Noodle Pi kit arrives!

NOTE: USA SHIPPING PRICE REDUCED! - I've been able to work out a way to ship Noodle Pi kits to US backers for CA$15 rather than the CA$30 listed in some of the rewards, but unfortunately I'm unable to update the shipping price in the rewards. So after the Kickstarter ends, I will refund CA$15 to US backers who paid CA$30 for shipping.

Some Assembly Required

Noodle Pi is a DIY computer. You have to put it together yourself. This is  easy and fun to do, and takes about 10-15 minutes. No soldering required. You don't even need a screwdriver.

You can also take Noodle Pi apart just as easily, which means you can swap in replacement parts or upgraded components at any time. So when the next version of the Pi Zero is released you will just be able to swap in the new Pi Zero (as long as its shape / size is the same, which is most likely), and upgrade your Noodle Pi in a few minutes!

The Noodle Pi kit includes all the parts you need to put the computer together, except the electronic components and battery. You will need to purchase these components from the sources listed below. The Noodle Pi w/Electronics and the Noodle Unsnoopable w/Electronics kits contain some of the electronics as well, but some will still need to be purchased directly.

These are the parts you'll need to buy:

(For the Noodle Pi w/Electronics Kit, you only need to buy a Pi Zero and a HyperPixel display yourself. Everything else is included in the kit. For the Noodle Unsnoopable w/Electronics Kit, you only need to buy the HyperPixel display separately).

1. Raspberry Pi Zero and Pi Camera Module v2. These are available from many sources. A full list of distributors can be found at https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/. Both Pimoroni and Adafruit (who manufacture some of the other components needed) also stock the Pi Zero and the Camera Module. 

Adafruit: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3414 (Pi Zero + camera bundles)

Pimoroni: https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero (Pi Zero) or https://shop.pimoroni.com/collections/raspberry-pi-zero/products/raspberry-pi-zero-w (Pi Zero W) and https://shop.pimoroni.com/collections/raspberry-pi/products/raspberry-pi-camera-module-v2-1-with-mount (Camera)

2. Pi Zero Camera Cable - https://www.adafruit.com/product/3157

3. Pimoroni HyperPixel Screen - https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/hyperpixel

4. 500mA LiPo Battery from Adafruit - https://www.adafruit.com/product/1578

5. Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C - https://www.adafruit.com/product/2465

6. Pimoroni Hammer Header (Male) with Installation Jig. Both Pimoroni (https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/gpio-hammer-header) and Adafruit (https://www.adafruit.com/product/3413) carry this.

You'll also need a hammer to install the hammer header onto the Pi Zero. And a flush wire cutter (a nail clipper will also work) to clip the header pins on the underside of the Pi Zero so they don't stick out from the board too much.

If you're happy to solder on a regular header you could do that instead, or course. The hammer header is just a lot easier and faster to install.

Pi Supply now also sells Pi Zero Ws with pre-soldered-on headers. If you get one of these you don't need the hammer header, or the hammer. The link for these is: https://www.pi-supply.com/product/raspberry-pi-zero-w-soldered-header/

Everything else you need to put the Noodle Pi together will be in the kit. That will include: the shell, a mini on/off switch with pre-soldered-on wires, a few more small but important parts, a template to help with folding the camera cable, and details on how to put everything together (probably as a link to a video). 

The Noodle Pi w/Electronics Kit will also contain, in addition to the basic kit: a Camera Module v2, a Pi Zero camera cable, a male hammer header with installation jig, an Adafruit PowerBoost 1000c, and a 500mAh battery.

Liberate Your Friends And Family

A Noodle Pi is a great gift to help liberate your friends and family from the clutches of the ("Don't Be") Evil Empire or the Serpent's Fruity Temptation. Or even just to help them keep passwords and private data secure offline. 

Get a dual, quad or octa pack and build some Noodles for your friends!

Risks and challenges

Although I've backed many projects on Kickstarter, this is the first I'm creating. I have a good appreciation of backers' concerns and values, and I'm confident I can deliver the rewards for this project on time.

The Noodle Pi kit has been carefully designed and well tested to be easy to put together. The design is mostly finalized. I'll probably make some refinements over the next few days.

I don't see any major risks, other than 3D printer breakdown. I do have multiple 3D printers to minimize the impact of this, and will get more if needed to complete production on schedule.

Of course there may be things I'm overlooking. The reward timeline doesn't include any slack for unexpected issues that might crop up. If any do arise I will do everything possible to resolve them and get rewards shipped out, while always keeping backers updated.

There's also a risk that one of the suppliers of the electronic components might permanently discontinue one of the parts, or be out of stock for an extended period of time. I don't think this is very likely in the case of the Pi Zero, the camera module, the PowerBoost 1000C, or the battery.

The one component that is currently not easy to get hold of is the Pimoroni HyperPixel display, which was recently introduced, and keeps going out of stock pretty fast. Hopefully they will have them in stock in larger quantities soon and all will be well on that front.

It would be best to order the electronics as soon as possible, so you already have them ready by the time your Noodle Pi kit ships. If you don't have them by the time the Kickstarter ends, and you're not confident about being able to get them soon, you could cancel your pledge before the Kickstarter ends. Noodle Pi kits will be available from the Noodle Pi website after the Kickstarter ends (but not at the Kickstarter special price, and only after all Kickstarter rewards have been delivered).

For the Noodle Pi/Unsnoopable w/Electronics kits, there is a small risk that some of the electronic components may not be available when it's time to ship the reward. In that case the reward will be shipped when the components are available.

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