About this project
As Seen on Hack a Day:
"...the Galago might just be the perfect ARM board for tinkerers weaning themselves off the Arduino."
Galago fits a powerful 32-bit ARM chip, an on-board debugger and other incredible features in a tiny format to instantly improve your electronic projects. It's open hardware and you develop software for it with open, cross-platform and easy-to-use tools. Everything about Galago is optimized to help you make things better.
What is Galago?
Galago is a tiny revolution in rapid electronics prototyping. It combines a powerful ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller with a hardware debugger on a tiny circuit board, allowing hobbyists and professionals alike to turn project ideas into reality faster and better than other microcontroller platforms. Galago's debugger is the difference between starting a project ... and finishing it.
How can you use it?
Plug Galago into a standard breadboard for quick prototyping, pop it into an app board to build an application or integrate it directly into your commercial product. Galago is inexpensive enough that you can leave it built into a project and is the first prototyping platform specifically designed to be cost-competitive with custom PCB engineering for small production runs, at under $10 in 1000-unit quantities. This means you can prototype a product with Galago, put it on Kickstarter and afford to produce the first batch using the same hardware you prototyped with. Incredible!
How Galago compares
Perhaps the best feature of Arduino, and the reason people choose it over other prototyping boards, is the consistent, easy-to-use development software. There are faster, smaller, better and less expensive prototyping boards everywhere, but none have the complete start-to-finish usability of Arduino. That is, until Galago came along. Because Galago is built on the principle of putting development experience first (instead of just selling products) you can expect a friendlier, more usable board than any other, including Arduino. Moreover, Outbreak is committed to your experience and we'll continue to improve the development tools, libraries and community integration features as we develop new app boards.
Developing with Galago
Galago plugs into a standard solderless breadboard or an app board and connects to your computer with USB. The USB connection permits downloading and debugging firmware, plus it will power Galago if it's not connected to another power source.
Write C, C++ or Wiring code with Galago's simple but powerful development enviroment and deploy it to the hardware with a single click. Galago's community features make sharing code and working on it with others extremely simple.
Use the integrated debugger to pause code execution, inspect variables and continue running - this helps you quickly find software problems as they arise to fix them faster with less head-scratching.
App boards get you to your goal faster. Simply connect Galago to a suitable app board to cut time off your development schedule or accelerate your weekend project.
Because Outbreak's app boards are Open Hardware, they can be extended, adapted and remixed to suit any project, commercial, educational or artistic.
Galago can detect the app board it's connected to so that the correct libraries can be downloaded by the development environment. Like Arduino® shields App boards could be stacked, but because it's very difficult to ensure mechanical and electrical compatibility between boards we encourage fusing multiple designs into a new app board. This approach also reduces cost and physical size.
With the right skills, app boards are so easy to make that you could design one for each project that you'd like to build more than, say, five copies of. Publishing this design on our site means that others can use your board as a basis for their projects, which benefits everyone!
What makes Galago different
Vision. Both in the sense that the debugger offers you vision into how your software is running on the device and in the overall vision of the project. Galago is the only platform expressly designed to be both extremely easy to prototype on and economically viable to build straight into medium-run commercial products. By allowing you to accelerate to shipping real products faster, you can try more adventurous ideas with lower risk than ever before. Galago also enables smaller teams, less-experienced designers and lower budgets. All of these advantages help you make things better.
App Board Rewards
Several contribution levels reward you with your choice of app board. When the campaign completes, you'll be asked which one you'd like. Following are the app boards we've committed to build: If you have a great idea for one not on the list, suggest it and if there's enough demand we'll design it and make the board available during the campaign too!
- Ethernet: This is the one shown in the video. Features a single 10Mbit Ethernet port, a micro-SD slot and an on-board power supply with barrel jack for plugged-in power.
- Audio: Features an efficient class-D audio amplifier intended to drive an external 8-ohm speaker and a micro-SD slot. Can be powered by batteries or external supply.
- LEDs: Designed to drive 16 channels of PWM-controlled LEDs or similar using the TLC5940 chip. Can be daisy-chained to more '5940s to power large-format video displays. Comes with 64 high-brightness 5mm LEDs - 16 each red, green, blue and white.
The Starter Kit is a reward unique to our Kickstarter campaign that consists of the following:
- One solderless breadboard
- One audio amplifier break-out board with headphone jack
- A serial-in, parallel-out shift register (74HC595)
- Light sensor
- Temperature sensor
- Two buttons
- A dozen jumper wires
- 8 LEDs, 10 resistors and 10 capacitors
A note about pins:
Galago comes with separate header pins, which can be optionally soldered to the board at the factory. Pins are not soldered by default because while it's easy to solder pins to a board, removing them is much more difficult.
Where we are
Design Galago board ... DONE
Develop Galago debugger technology ... DONE
Build Galago prototypes ... DONE
Exhaustively test Galago prototypes over the span of two months ... DONE
Complete development environment ... Almost!
Manufacture first large batch of Galagos and app boards ... This is where we need your help!
Prototypes of Galago, some with over 18 months of testing, demonstrate the ruggedness and reliability of the platform. Galago has been subjected to mechanical torture testing, continuous power supply short circuits and thermal stress. We're very confident in the product and we think you'll be very happy with it too. Now we're getting ready to manufacture a large batch, and that's where this campaign comes in.
Electronics are expensive to manufacture unless you build a lot at once. Galago is on Kickstarter so we can raise funds to manufacture a large quantity of Galagos and app boards and get them to you at a great price. We have quotes from both domestic and offshore circuit board manufacturers and assemblers who are just waiting for us to place our orders. This is where you come in - your contributions fund the start of the next great Open Hardware electronics prototyping platform. We hope you'll join us in this vision!
Shipping for all reward levels in the United States is free! For international orders, please add USD $7 to any reward level.
- 72 MHz 32-bit ARM CPU with 32KB of flash ROM and 8KB of RAM
- Integrated hardware debugger
- One high-speed SPI port, up to 36 Mbps
- One high-speed I2C port, up to 1.5 Mbps
- One UART/USART with hardware flow-control capability, up to 256 kbps
- 10 high-speed PWM pins, 6 driven by 32-bit (high-resolution) timers
- 6 ADC (analog) input pins with 10-bit resolution at over 400 KSa/sec
- 25 GPIO (digital) input/output pins
Libraries and Software
Because Galago uses a popular ARM chip, lots of existing code and libraries can be brought to the platform with ease. Galago's debugger provides an advantage here too because new code is always easier to get working when you have this level of insight.
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