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Easily control and interact with your Arduino projects from your phone, tablet, or computer using BLE (Bluetooth 4.0).

So What's the Deal?

Ember and Torch are Bluetooth Low Energy Arduino compatible boards that talk directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Ember fits perfectly into a breadboard or perfboard for prototyping and permanent installation.

Torch is fully comptaible with all your existing Arduino shields and projects.

Okay, tell me more

First off, Ember and Torch are fully compatible with existing Arduino code. We designed Torch to be similar to the Arduino Leonardo and Ember to be similar to the Arduino Micro. Both are enabled with Bluetooth Low Energy for out of the box connectivity with phones, tablets, and computers. We've written a software library (called "Bonfire") that runs on Arduino, iOS, Android, and OS X. Bonfire acts as the bridge between your app and hardware project and allows information to be sent back and forth with ease.

No base station or antennas required. With Torch and Ember you've got a connection directly between your hardware project and app with a max range of 100 feet!

Being 100% Arduino compatible means there is no additional software needed to load your code. Drop the ember or torch folder into your Arduino sketchbook folder and you're good to go.

So which one to pick? Torch is perfect for proving out your projects. Arduino shields stack right on top and work just as you'd expect. When you're ready to shrink your project down, grab an Ember and load the same exact code onto it.

We love and embrace open source, which is why everything you see (the schematics, board files, and software) for Torch and Ember will be completely free and open. All of the example apps listed below will be available for you to use and modify for your projects.

Why?

More often than not, while building Arduino projects, it seems like we never have enough LCDs, Buttons, Knobs, etc.. What if building apps for hardware was just as easy as wiring up these components? If you’re anything like us, you already carry a device with an incredible screen and touch interface: your smartphone. We created Torch and Ember to help you turn it into the remote control to your world.

In addition to controlling your Arduino projects, the Bonfire software library (see below) allows you to transmit live data back to your app. This is great for things like temperature monitoring, alerts, and any other feedback you want an instant view of.

Software Library (aka "Bonfire")

Being developers ourselves, we know how important the software is that powers a particular piece of hardware. We've been working hard to build a simple Arduino + App framework that makes it really easy to send data from app to Arduino and vice versa. We called the software stack "Bonfire". Let's take a look at a simple example...

Arduino

Objective-C

Android Support

As of right now, Android still doesn't have official support for Bluetooth low energy. Motorola, Samsung, and HTC have released their own SDKs to get around this. For the time being, we currently have our Outlet demo working with the Motorola Droid RAZR.

We are also currently working to support newer HTC and Samsung phones. Google has announced that the next version of Android (most likely 4.3) will include Bluetooth low energy support. Android support is one of our top priorities and as soon as the official SDK is released, we will update Bonfire to use Google's Bluetooth low energy stack. Any devices that have hardware support and are compatible with this new version of Android will work with Ember and Torch.

iOS/OS X Support

Bonfire currently works out of the box with:

  • iPhone 4S+
  • iPad 3+
  • iPad Mini
  • iPod 5th Gen
  • MacBook Air Mid 2011+
  • Mac Mini Mid 2011+
  • MacBook Pro Early 2012+
  • iMac Late 2012+

Sample Apps

  • Joystick (used for the R/C car)
  • Color (RGB Light Strip Controller)
  • Outlet
  • LED Blink (blinks the LED on Ember or Torch)

Manufacturing

We wanted to make sure that our manufacturing/assembly partner was within close proximity to quickly take care of any issues that may arise. We've partnered up with Amtech Electrocircuits (less than an hour's drive) to build all of the Embers and Torches for this Kickstarter. We'll be on-site to ensure assembly goes off without a hitch and test the freshly minted boards. We've already toured Amtech's 15,000 square foot assembly space and verified that they're ready to start cranking out boards once the Kickstarter campaign completes.

Example Projects

Where We're At

Right now this is where we stand:

  • Ember design finalized
  • 15+ functional Embers
  • Torch design finalized
  • 8+ functional Torches
  • Bonfire software stack running on Arduino and iOS
  • Ember Demonstration working with Motorola Droid RAZR

Why We Need Your Help

And this is the part of the story where you come in! Although we have built several boards by hand (we're getting damn good with tweezers), it's not scalable for a full run of boards. Your backing will help pay for the following:

  • PCB Manufacturing
  • Electrical Components
  • Pick and Place Assembly (At Amtech Electrocircuits)
  • Packaging
  • Shipping
  • Marketing

Tech Specs

Torch

  • Atmel Atmega32u4 @ 16MHz
  • Nordic nRF8001 (Bluetooth Low Energy IC)
  • Max Range: 100ft
  • 5V Operating Voltage
  • 32 KB Flash Memory
  • 13 Digital I/O (Includes 5 which can be used as Analogs)
  • 6 Dedicated Analog Ins
  • SPI, I2C
  • 7 Digital I/O pins also support PWM
  • Input voltage 6-12V
  • Max Current 500mA
  • Typical Operating Current < 100mA
  • LED on Digital Pin 4

Ember

  • Atmel Atmega32u4 @ 8MHz
  • Nordic nRF8001 (Bluetooth Low Energy IC)
  • Max Range: 100ft
  • 3.3V Operating Voltage
  • 32 KB Flash Memory
  • 13 Digital I/O (Includes 5 which can be used as Analogs)
  • 6 Dedicated Analog Ins
  • SPI, I2C
  • 7 Digital I/O pins also support PWM
  • Input voltage 3.6-12V
  • Max Current 500mA
  • Typical Current < 100mA
  • LED on Digital Pin 12

Team

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Electronic hardware projects always carry some risk when it comes to part acquisition and assembly, but we feel we’ve done our best to tackle these challenges. Having our manufacturing partner so close allows us to check up on Torch and Ember assembly and quickly take care of any issues. We’ve been careful to select common electronic components that are easy to acquire and can be sourced from multiple vendors if need be. Of course this doesn’t rule out unforeseen circumstances (a company buying up all available stock of a certain component), but we are committed to keeping our backers informed if anything unexpected occurs.

We’ve produced several iterations of both Ember and Torch to ensure that we have built reliable, high quality products. We’ve been using the boards in our own projects (as seen above) to ensure that they do operate as expected.

FAQ

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    SUPPORTER: Not ready for an ember or torch yet? You can still help us make this a reality! Thank you!

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    SWAG BAG: Lava t-shirt and stickers...sweet! Thanks for supporting us!

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    EARLY BIRD EMBER: Quick! Before they’re gone...get a breadboard compatible ember on the cheap.

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    ONE EMBER: Dude, you're getting an ember!

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    EARLY BIRD TORCH: Score an Arduino sized torch for this special introductory price.

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    ONE TORCH: One glorious torch will soon be yours!

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    PRETTY LIGHTS PACK: Get an ember, 1 meter RGB light strip, power adapter, and barrel jack connector. Flashed with code and ready to control with the iOS Color app. Perfect for building your own lamp like the one from the video!

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    BUDDY PACK: One Ember and One Torch. They're like PB&J!

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    3 backers

    EMBER INVENT KIT: One ember, breadboard, jumper wires, micro USB cable, 5V USB power adapter, lithium ion battery, lithium ion charger, mini servo, and everything from the PRETTY LIGHTS PACK! Get up and building fast!

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    TORCH INVENT KIT: One torch, Arduino ProtoShield, breadboard, jumper wires, micro USB cable, 5V USB power adapter, lithium ion battery, lithium ion charger, mini servo, and everything from the PRETTY LIGHTS PACK! Get up and building fast!

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    BUDDY INVENT KIT: One torch, one ember, Arduino ProtoShield, breadboard, jumper wires, micro USB cable, 5V USB power adapter, lithium ion battery, lithium ion charger, mini servo, and everything from the PRETTY LIGHTS PACK! Get up and building fast!

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    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY (TORCH): Get one of our beta torches sooner than everyone else. Yes, these were painstakingly assembled by hand and extensively tested!

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    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY (EMBER): Get one of our beta embers sooner than everyone else. Yes, these were painstakingly assembled by hand and extensively tested!

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    LAVA WORKSHOP: We'll drive to spend a day with you, your friends, or team at your location of choice building cool projects with ember and torch. Includes up to 10 embers, torches, or any combination of the two. Note: Only available to those within a 5 hour drive of Detroit, MI. Please contact us if you'd like to propose other arrangements!

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    WEEK OF AWESOME: 5 days, anywhere in the continental United States. We'll fly to your location (if needed) bringing 10 embers and 10 torches (or a different combination of the two). We'll spend 5 days with you, your friends, or team to show you the ropes with ember and torch. We'll help you build your hardware project and the app(s) to control them.

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Funding period

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