$9,431
pledged of 20.000 $pledged of 20.000 $ goal
179
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, April 30 2015 11:38 AM UTC +00:00
$9,431
pledged of 20.000 $pledged of 20.000 $ goal
179
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, April 30 2015 11:38 AM UTC +00:00

About

 

The Arachnio is the first Arduino Micro variant with onboard WiFi, via an integrated ESP8266. Arachnio hardware and software is fully Arduino-compatible and open source, which makes it easy to get up and running. Easy-to-use libraries make joining an existing WiFi access point or creating your own local access point quick and simple.

Arachnio
Arachnio

 All of the design files will be published as soon as we start shipping. Here's what makes the Arachnio a better choice:

  • Integrated WiFi -- No extra parts to buy or integrate -- just load an easy-to-use library and connect to the Internet! The ESP8266EX WiFi chip on the Arachnio works beautifully with the Arduino core. 
  • Small and light -- The Arachnio is only 50 mm long, 18 mm wide, and weighs less than 10 grams with headers installed.
  • Rugged -- Due to its small size, light weight, and the robustness of the Atmega32u4 processor, it's hard to kill. 
  • Low power draw -- In deep sleep with the power LED removed, current consumption is below 50 microamps on a single Li-Po cell. 
  • Arduino Micro pinout -- The Arachnio uses the same pinout as the Arduino Micro and is only very slightly larger in order to accommodate the integrated antenna.
  • More GPIO -- The Arachnio has more than twice as many GPIO pins available as any ESP8266 module.  
  • More analog input -- The Arachnio has twelve usable analog to digital channels versus a single channel for an ESP8266.  
  • Hardware PWM -- Seven hardware PWM channels are perfect for motor and LED control
  • Dedicated hardware I2C and SPI interfaces -- Connecting peripheral chips for special functions is easy. 
  • Full Arduino library compatibility -- Since the Arachnio uses an AVR processor, all Arduino libraries will work out of the box without porting.  
  • Native USB -- The Arachnio's ATmega32u4 provides a full speed hardware USB interface. The Arduino environment provides libraries that make the USB function as a serial port, a mouse, or a USB keyboard.
  • Breadboard compatible -- Standard 0.1" headers enable you to plug directly into a breadboard for easy prototyping.
  • Fully open source -- everything including the board layout and the network stack is open source.  

In order to make it even easier to get up and running, we're coming out with two expansion boards immediately -- the ArachnoProto and the Arachnode. 

The ArachnoProto is a prototyping expansion board for the Arachnio. It has two buttons, two LEDs, and a programming header for the Atmega32u4.

ArachnoProto assembled, with Arachnio and standoffs
ArachnoProto assembled, with Arachnio and standoffs

The Arachnode is perfect for building remote sensor and network nodes. It integrates a solar Li-Po battery charger, a real time clock, a micro SD card, and an optional Atmel cryptography module in order to provide a platform for building lightweight and inexpensive webs of Arachnios for remote sensing and other purposes.

Arachnode assembled with Arachnio
Arachnode assembled with Arachnio

 Technical Specs

All of the details specs for the Arachnio as well as for the Arachnode and the ArachnoProto can be found on our Arachnio page.

Suggested Applications

The Arachnio is an incredibly versatile board, suitable for all types of Internet of Things applications. Here are a few that we've thought about:

  • Deployable sensors (as seen in our video) -- monitor a room, your garden, or anything else. 
  • Mobile robotics -- use it as a remote control or as the brains of any robot. 
  • Distributed LED lighting -- perfect for controlling mood lighting or light shows. 
  • Home automation -- wire it up to power control hardware to control your lights, climate control, or appliances. 

Hardware & Software Progress

Arachnio family portrait
Arachnio family portrait
  • Hardware tested & working
  • Bootloader tested & working
  • All I/O pins (digital and analog) tested & working
  • UART, SPI, and I2C tested & working
  • Arachnode solar battery charger & micro SD card tested & working
  • ESP8266 library forked from ITEAD library; working on making it work like the standard WiFi library. 
  • OTA bootloader in progress
  • aREST port in progress
  • TouchOSC integration in progress

What do I get with the different reward levels?

  • Stickers: Awesome stickers!
  • T-shirt: An awesome t-shirt and some stickers! Black with the Logos Electromechanical logo in yellow on the back and logo text on the front. Please specify size and men's or women's. 
  • Arachnio Early Bird: One Arachnio with a USB cable, delivered from the first batch in June. 
  • Arachnio: One Arachnio with a USB cable, shipped in August. 
  • Arachnio Node Pack: One Arachnio, one Arachnode, and one ArachnoProto. Includes both stacking and low profile headers. Perfect for building remote sensing and networking applications. Ships in August.
  • Arachnio Remote Pack: Two Arachnios and two ArachnoProtos with both stacking and low profile headers. Perfect for robot building. 
  • Arachnio Sensor Pack: Contains everything in the Node pack along with a PIR sensor, a 1200 mAh battery and a 2.5W solar panel. It's everything you need to recreate our video. Only a hundred of these packages are available, and they cannot be shipped internationally due to lithium battery restrictions. 
  • Arachnio Network Pack:  Five Arachnios and five ArachnoProtos with both stacking and low-profile headers. Perfect for small sensors networks, home automation projects, or your next robot swarm.
  • Arachnio Network Pack with consulting: Everything in the Arachnio network pack plus three hours of consulting with the designer of the Arachnio, Pierce Nichols. This can be in person for those in the Seattle area or over Google Hangouts anywhere else in the world.
  • Arachnio Class: Pierce will come to your location and teach a three hour class on using the Arachnio to up to fifteen people, all materials included. The shipping on this reward is to deliver Pierce to your location, and he's quite expensive to ship. It is up to the recipient of this reward to organize a location for the class. Note that this can only be given within three hours' ground travel of a major international airport.

Manufacturing

All Arachnios and accessories will be manufactured by one of our experienced manufacturing partners in the Pacific Northwest. Sourcing will be done primarily in the US, except for certain items (such as the ESP8266EX and most connectors) which will be sourced from reliable Chinese suppliers. 

Shipping

All rewards, both domestic and international, will be shipped from Seattle WA via USPS Priority Mail and are tracked from shipment until delivery. US shipping is generally $5 and international shipping is $25. All import duties and customs fees are the responsibility of the purchaser.  

Li-Po batteries are included only in the Sensor Pack, due to shipping restrictions. 

Note that due to legal restrictions and previous shipping problems, we cannot ship to Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Brazil, and Russia. 

What are we doing with the money?

  • Build an initial production run large enough to fill all the orders and provide us with a healthy stock of Arachnios to sell in the future.
  • Marketing expenses
  • Video production
  • Final prototype refinements
  • Test equipment
  • Driver signing expenses
  • Support development of APIs to increase the flexibility of the Arachnio.
  • Support creation of online tutorials and improved documentation for the ESP8266EX.

Timeline

  • April 2015 -- Finalize production design files of the Arachnio. Finalize the design of the Arachnode and ArachnoProto. Order PCBs and parts for initial production run. Finish core library. 
  • May 2015 -- Finalize production firmware and test program. Confirm production orders with assembly house.
  • June 2015 -- Receive and test first articles to validate production process. Produce and ship first batch of Arachnios. Complete aRest port and TouchOSC library. 
  • July 2015 -- Full production of reward Arachnios and accessories. Complete FTP server port. 
  • August 2015 -- Packaging and shipping of rewards to backers. 

Stretch Goals

Once we pass our fundraising goal, we will add some new expansion boards to the project beyond the Arachnode and the ArachnoProto as stretch goals. We're considering motor driver and IMU boards along with other possibilities... once we pass funding, we will open a poll for possibilities. 

Risks and challenges

The biggest barrier to timely delivery is component shortages. While, at the time of this writing, there are no current shortages of any major component, that can change between now and the beginning of production. None of them are in any danger of going out of production, so the result will be a delay of a few months rather than failure.

A related issue is the possibility of counterfeit parts. I will mitigate this risk by purchasing only from reputable vendors, largely in the US. The ESP8266 chip will be coming from China, but there does not appear to have been much trouble with counterfeiting of that part reported to date. I am currently building relationships with partners in Shenzhen to source the parts as close to the point of production as possible to avoid any potential issues.

The second major potential issue is having to fill several times as many rewards as anticipated. This is a wonderful problem to have, but I have seen a number of other campaigns suffer serious delays because of it.

I have several years of experience with building small scale electronics for the maker market, and I have an excellent contract manufacturer lined up to build the Arachnio. My target production quantity for the Arachnio is approximately 1000, in order to ensure a steady supply of boards after the rewards ship. I have previously built and shipped boards in quantities up to a few hundred, so 1000 is a manageable step up.

My contract manufacturer has assured me that making larger runs will not be a problem, just a longer lead time. The bottleneck will be testing and packing; if I have enough backers to require building many more Arachnios, I will take on additional people to help make it happen.

Also note that the ArachnoProto and the Arachnode hardware, while it is fundamentally working, may be subject to design tweaks to improve form, fit, and function between now and delivery. All design updates will be announced here.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Stickers -- We'll send you a few Logos Electromechanical stickers and a special Arachnio sticker as a thanks for supporting the launch.

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    T-shirt -- One Logos Electromechanical logo t-shirt and some stickers. Black only, please specify size. Women's sizes available as well. Add $15 to any other pledge to get a t-shirt.

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    Arachnio early-bird -- Get one Arachnio from the first batch. Comes with a USB cable.

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    Arachnio -- One Arachnio with a USB cable.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Arachnio node pack -- Contains one Arachnio, one Arachnode, and one ArachnoProto board.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Arachnio remote pack -- Contains two (2) Arachnios and (2) ArachnoProto boards. Perfect for using the Arachnio in your robots!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Arachnio sensor pack -- Contains everything in the node pack along with a PIR sensor, a 1200 mAh battery, and a 2.5W solar panel. Everything you need to recreate the opening of our video except the sneakers. Due to LiPo battery shipping restrictions, this cannot be shipped internationally.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Arachnio network pack -- Contains five (5) Arachnios and five (5) ArachnoProtos. Perfect for small sensor networks and your next robot swarm.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Arachnio network pack with consulting -- An Arachnio network pack and three hours of consulting and assistance on your project from the designer of the Arachnio, Pierce Nichols. If you are in the Seattle area, this can be in person, or it can be on Google Hangouts anywhere in the world.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Arachnio class -- Pierce Nichols, the designer of the Arachnio, will come to your location and teach a three hour class on using the Arachnio for up to fifteen people, all materials included! Note that this reward can only be given within a three hour drive of a major international airport.

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Funding period

- (30 days)