Whiskers by TinyCircuits - Compatible. Simple. Teeny Tiny.
Whiskers are the newest, tiniest family of boards to come from TinyCircuits. These tiny boards will add new capabilities to your projects in a big way! From sensors and displays, to sound, and inputs like switches and joysticks, Whiskers plug into your projects easily with a 5-pin cable which means absolutely no soldering or bread-boarding. Whiskers are tiny, low-cost, and to top it all off - they are compatible with TinyCircuits boards, standard Arduino boards, and Raspberry Pi boards. Over 30 Whisker boards have been developed with many more planned in the future!
- Accelerometer- Features the high performance and low power Bosch BMA250 3-axis accelerometer. The BMA250 allows measurement of accelerations in three perpendicular axes and thus senses tilt, motion, shock, and vibration in your projects.
- 9-Axis- Measures 9 degrees of freedom (9DOF) and features the ST LSM9DS1 - a system-in-package featuring a 3D digital linear acceleration sensor, a 3D digital angular rate sensor, and a 3D digital magnetic sensor.
- Cap Touch Slider - Detects the presence and location of a user's finger. Includes a built-in microcontroller to perform the capacitance measurements.
- Color Sensor - Measures the color and temperature of ambient or reflected light and also features a low power mode. Output resolution is 16-bit per each channel (Red, Green, and Blue). Includes bright white LEDs to aid sensing applications that can be toggled on or off.
- VOC Sensor - Features an ultra-low power digital gas sensor able to detect Metal Oxide (MOX) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The CCS811 features 4 modes and an idle low power mode. Keep track of your air quality with this Whisker!
- Hall Effect Switch (Digital) - A TCS40DLR hall effect switch with digital output and a switching point near 3.5mT (35 Gauss) and 1.4mT (14 Gauss) of hysteresis built in.
- Hall Effect Sensor (Analog) - Features the Allegro A1454 linear hall effect sensor with 12-bit output and built in temperature compensation.
- IR Receiver - Features the Vishay TSOP57438 IR receiver optimized for infrared signals near 38kHz. (Pairs well with our IR Emitter Whisker.)
- I/O Expansion - An onboard microcontroller and allows additional I/O to be used via I2C commands.
- Joystick - This Whisker lets you use a joystick for inputs to your project.
- Light Sensor - The AMS TSL2572 allows you to add ambient light sensing and ambient infrared light sensing to your project.
- LRA (Vibration motor) - Features the TI DRV2605 Haptic Linear Resonant Actuator driver (also known as a fancy vibration motor), including built in TouchSense2200 software comprising over 100 pre-created effects.
- 0.96" Screen - 128x64 White Monochrome OLED which can display text and graphics.
- 0.69" Screen - 96x16 pixel White Monochrome OLED which can display text and graphics.
- 0.49" Screen - 64x32 pixel White Monochrome OLED which can display text and graphics.
- 0.42" Screen - This Whisker screen is the smallest our line has to offer, still packing an impressive 72x40 pixel White Monochrome OLED in a 0.42" which can display text and graphics.
- Momentary Button - A tiny tactile switch used for sending digital signals.
- RGB LED - Features the SK6812 Serial RGB LED to add a variety of bright colors to any project. Includes an additional connector for the option of connecting more RGB LED Whiskers.
- Rotary Switch - Includes a 10-position Rotary Switch.
- Temperature Sensor - Features the PCT2075 Temperature Sensor with 11-bit output.
- Time-of-Flight Sensor - Features the ST VL53L0X IR Time-of-Flight sensor capable of measuring absolute range up to 2m and is most responsive to reflective materials.
- Pressure / Humidity Sensor - Features the Bosch BME280 Humidity, Pressure and Temperature Sensor all in one package! It measures between -40 and +85C, 0%-100% relative humidity, and from 300-1100hPa.
- IR Emitter - 950nm IR LED and can be used with our 38kHz IR Receiver Whisker or other IR receivers (like television sets).
- Large Button - A big button.
- Slide Switch - A tiny on/off slide switch.
- MEMS Microphone - A miniature, high performance, low power, top port silicon microphone, the SPW2430HR5H-B, that consists of an acoustic sensor, a low noise input buffer, and an output amplifier. Ideal for portable sound recording of short samples.
- Audio Amplifier - Turn it up with this Whisker featuring a Class-D audio amplifier and speaker connections to boost an audio signal to a speaker.
- NFC Reader - Near Field Communication (NFC) is popularly used in smart phones in order to make contactless transactions. Use it to read or write RFID cards.
- Buzzer - A simple buzzer to give your project a variety of tones.
- Temperature/Pressure/Humidity/VOC - For all your environmental sensing needs, this Whisker features the BME680 Sensor that is a 4-in-1 sensor including the ability to measure temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and gas.
- Soil Moisture Sensor - Detect moisture in the soil of your house plants using this Whisker.
- Pulse Oximeter - This whisker features the MAX30101, an integrated pulse oximetry and heart-rate monitor module.
- Big Red Button - It's exactly what you would expect!
- Whisker Breakout Board - Includes 0.1" connections for GND, 3V3, SCL, SDA, and INT so that you can connect any I2C device, button, or other device into a Whisker project.
How do Whiskers work?
Whiskers use a 5 Pin Cable that does all of the connecting you need in order to get programming and building fast without soldering or messy breadboards.
- Power: Two wires are used for power (3V3) and ground (GND) in order to power the connected Whisker (of course!)
- Communication: Many Whiskers use I²C, a serial communication protocol that uses two other wires for SDA and SCL to collect complex data like temperature readings.
- Analog Pin: The fifth wire is connected to an Analog pin for Whiskers that just need an I/O pin to function, like the Momentary Button, and the RGB LEDs.
Anyone and everyone on any platform should have access to easy-to-use sensors/inputs/displays to make projects without being an expert at soldering or bread-boarding. With this in mind, we made sure you can use Whiskers with our TinyDuino Platform, Arduino's Standard Platform, and Raspberry Pi's!
Standard Arduino Whisker Shield
This Whisker Arduino Shield allows users to add Whiskers to their standard Arduino projects. Featuring a 4-channel Multiplexer, Real Time Clock (RTC), on-board voltage regulation and level shifting, this board allows you to add up to 4 Whisker Boards to your project with ease!
Whisker Pi Hat
The Whisker Pi Hat allows users to add Whiskers to their Raspberry Pi projects. Featuring a 4-channel Multiplexer, Real Time Clock (RTC), on-board voltage regulation and level shifting, this board allows you to add up to 4 Whisker Boards to your project with ease!
The WhiskerZero is one of TinyCircuits' second generation processor boards, specifically designed for low-cost Whisker projects. WhiskerZero is based on the Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ processor (the same one used in the Arduino Zero) and provides a USB connectivity port, power management and battery charger in a single 15x32mm board.
The Whisker Adapter TinyShield
Using the classic form factor of TinyCircuits' line of boards, the Whisker Adapter TinyShield uses the TI PCA9544A Low Voltage 4-Channel I2C Multiplexer to fits perfectly with the TinyScreen+, TinyZero, TinyDuino, and theRobotZero board featured in this Kickstarter so that you can add even more Whiskers!
RobotZero is one of TinyCircuits' second-generation processor boards, adding performance upgrades and additional features to the TinyZero including (4) Whisker connectors, (2) motor ports, (4) servo ports, and a built-in 9-Axis sensor. RobotZero is based on the Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ processor (the same one used in the Arduino Zero) and provides a USB connectivity port, power management and battery charger in a single 30x30mm board.
- Atmel 32-bit ATSAMD21G18A ARM Microcontroller
- TI DRV8837 H-bridge Motor Driver
- TI PCA9544A Low Voltage 4-Channel I²C Multiplexer
- ST LSM9DS1 9-Axis 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope, 3D magnetometer with an embedded temperature sensor.
What can you do with Whiskers?
With over 30 Whiskers, you can build whatever you want. All you have to do is plug them in and get programming.
Build a very low power IoT weather station that measures wind speed, luminosity, temperature, pressure, humidity, air quality, soil moisture, and rain level.
Jazz up your mode of transportation with LEDs that respond to how fast you are moving using the RGB LED Whiskers, and a Hall Sensor to measure RPM.
Reward yourself with a treat dispenser using the Time of Flight Distance Whisker.
Who uses Whiskers?
MIT has been developing a small Robotics platform called Firefly bots- which are investigating the role of small deployable robots that can assist in detecting biochemical substances in remote areas and responding to them. The platform uses Whisker sensors to find color cues in matter and respond with on board activators that can neutralize a pathogen. They are in the process of being deployed around the world in the Canary Islands, Chile, and Costa Rica.
MIT is also using Whiskers for diagnostic blocks called Ampli: A construction set for paper fluidics and diagnostics with Whiskers. The goal - to create a plug and play set of blocks that could form, stop and modify reactions in real-time. With Ampli, no machining, special instruments or even hand dexterity is required to create a paper fluidic circuit. Biochemistry doesn’t have a breadboard- so they had to create one and that's where TinyCircuits came in, and now Whiskers are going to SPACE to measure the Ampli reaction on the International Space Station!
The Ohio State University's 4-H Science group has recently developed the PhysBot Biowearable Learning Kit. This first-of-its-kind educational kit provides 5th–12th graders everything they need to learn how tracking physical activity and fitness improves overall health.
Oklahoma University's Meelyn Pandit, a 3rd year Ph.D student who studies avian responses to climate change has been using Whiskers to construct a bird house to monitor activity for research.
The latest version of the Smart Nest that Meelyn developed during his summer internship here at TinyCircuits allows for live streaming and environmental data collection using YouTube and Cayenne. He has added multiple Whisker sensors for temperature, humidity, pressure, and altitude using the Raspberry Pi Whisker Adapter.
- The Basic Kit comes with the choice of which platform you want to use Whiskers with and a bunch of great starter Whiskers!
- Find your happy medium here with a bunch of amazing Whiskers and tons of project possibilities!
- Keep tabs on all your plants using Whiskers!
- With the IoT/Weather Kit you can make an Internet of Things (IoT) project using Whiskers.
- Give me a bunch Whiskers you said! And we answered.
- This kit includes acrylic to build a Car Platform for all your robot-y needs.
- Put together a project that can monitor your health during the day and your quality of sleep at night using the Whiskers in this kit!
- Okay you clearly love Whiskers, and this is the perfect kit for you to do a CRAZY amount of things with!
- This Premium Kit includes all the Motors and Servos and Whiskers you need to make full use out of the crazy amount of capability on the RobotZero!
- Love Whiskers but don't have a classroom? That's okay, you can order this Kit just for you. We won't judge.
- With the Whiskers Robot Fleet you can command a whole fleet of robots! What could possibly go wrong?
Whiskers are an evolution of the TinyDuino Platform and evolved from awesome customer feedback, requesting easier more flexible ways to connect sensors and peripherals to projects. Taking bioinspiration from cats whiskers, we designed our electronic Whiskers to sense the environment around them by creating a platform that is easy to use, tiny, compatible with different platforms and low cost!
Spread the word:
Thank you for your support! We hope you love Whiskers as much as we do! We would be forever in your debt if you would share Whiskers with your audience to help this project come to life!
We are TinyCircuits, and we strive to make cool sh*t. We specialize in making small electronics for makers and hobbyists. In 2012 we launched the TinyDuino project on Kickstarter which greatly exceeded our expectations (and raised about 1100% of it's goal). This let us set up our own manufacturing operation in Akron, OH, where we are able to assemble, test, and ship all of our products. We produced over 15,000 different board assemblies as part of this and shipped to over 1100 different backers.
In 2014 we launched the TinyScreen on Kickstarter, which raised over $128,000 and were shipped out completely in under 6 months. In 2015 we launched the Tiny Arcade on Kickstarter, which raised over $75,000 and were shipped out completely in under 6 months.
Outside of the Kickstarter campaigns, we've released over 60 new products (mostly add on for the TinyDuino platform), and have learned a tremendous amount about manufacturing quality and reliable products, and have fined tuned our production process. Thanks to this amazing Maker community we've manufactured and shipped out over 150,000 boards since starting operations in 2012, to over thousands of customers in over 60 countries.
TinyCircuits is a supporter of open source hardware and software and believes this leads to faster innovation in a collaborative environment. Our TinyDuino, TinyLily and soon to be Whiskers products are all open source and released under the Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 License. We are a proud supporter of the Open Source Hardware Association and have helped sponsor the Open Hardware Summit since 2013.
By backing this campaign you give proof that you support open source hardware and software. We've done most of the hard work - hardware and software designs are complete. All that's left to do is final production, and your funding helps us with this process. Our goal is to raise $10,000 so that we can purchase components in bulk to keep the cost down and offer Whiskers at a nice low price. As a thank you, we send you the rewards that you want as soon as they are finished.
With your support we'll be able to ramp up to production and get Whiskers out to Makers worldwide. Your contribution will help to fund:
- Production tooling & test fixtures.
- Large production component ordering.
- Production of the boards.
- Help fund the next round of Whiskers development, new boards and peripherals.
Not only for Makers and Hobbyists, Whiskers will be available at a discount for volume orders for commercial customers so you can feel comfortable designing Whiskers into your products. Makers and hobbyists benefit when Whiskers are used by commercial makers and businesses as this will help to decrease the overall price of the boards in the long term, keeping Whiskers extremely affordable for makers of all types.
Risks and challenges
We're proud to have successfully funded and completed three other Kickstarter projects, all which raised well over their goal. We're working hard to bring Whiskers to life but bringing any product to market can present challenges and delays. One of the biggest challenges we see from this project is the procurement of the various electronic components needed to assemble the boards. However we have tried to mitigate this as much as possible by choosing components that can be sourced from several different US based distributors.
Here at TinyCircuits, we are confident that this will go smoothly based upon our experience of working with these distributors. We give you our promise to do our best to make sure that the production and shipping processes are done effectively and efficiently. We have built a strong team to tackle these challenges over the past years and are confident that Whiskers will be brought to life.
Environmental commitmentsVisit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.
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