Do you want to build connected hardware the easy way? Are you tired of messing with tooling and languages from the 80s? Are you looking for a modern, plug and play platform where you can focus on the experience, and not write low-level plumbing code?
Meadow is something completely different. Designed from the ground up by some of the same folks that created Xamarin, Meadow is the world's first, modern, secure, professional IoT platform.
It combines the best of all worlds; it has the power of RaspberryPi, the computing factor of an Arduino, and the manageability of a mobile app. And best part? It runs full .NET Standard on real IoT hardware.
It comes with a driver and hardware API library that makes hardware development truly plug and play; simply grab components, plug them in, and start writing applications.
With Meadow, you don't have to spend your time fighting with hardware, you can focus on building innovative, professional, IoT solutions. And the best part is that you can leverage your existing C# and .NET skills to build solutions that are impractical on any other platform.
Meadow is a full-stack IoT platform. Out of the box, it gives you everything you need to build sophisticated IoT solutions with very little effort. From sensors to displays, it has you covered with curated drivers that are designed out of the gate to work with each other. And forget about having to fight with low-level hardware code; if you need to create a new driver, Meadow comes with protocol abstractions and a driver framework that make adding new peripherals a breeze.
Truly Plug and Play
Plug a peripheral in, as illustrated in our fantastic driver documentation:
Then install the Nuget package for the peripheral:
And start coding:
No more fighting with protocols and driver plumbing. Modern constructs like eventing are built into the driver framework!
Awesome UI and Graphics Library
Meadow.Foundation includes a broad selection of display drivers, including; text displays, OLED displays, monochrome LEDs, and full color TFT LED displays as well as drivers for a wide variety of high visibility multi-color eInk/ePaper displays!
Having drivers in Meadow.Foundation means you can add display hardware and send values to the display data in just a few lines of code:
The Graphics.Library included provides a powerful, high-level API for displaying images, drawing shapes, and even text. And the library will automatically adjust the render to the capabilities of the screen, so you don't have to worry about things like color depth, communication protocol, or refresh rate; you can just focus on your app:
You can even build out powerful, interactive menus from JSON with the TextMenu framework and have it work on any display with just a few lines of code:
Industrial Control Frameworks
Meadow also has first-class support for industrial control. Out of the box, it has multiple Proportional, Integral, Derivative (PID) controllers built in, as well as a framework for creating your own PID variants.
It also has a robust library for servo control, motors, and stepper motor drivers so motion control is a breeze.
Taking pictures is useful in a wide range of applications, everything from taking security photos to capturing visual data to use to recognize images, detect motion, or even read the expression on someone's face.
Meadow.Foundation provides drivers a wide range of cameras that conform to a clean and standardized API. That means you can connect your camera hardware, and you'll be taking pictures in just a few lines of code. Images can be shown on a display, saved to local storage, or sent to your favorite cloud service.
Meadow makes it easy to add artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive services; supporting .NET Standard gives you access to thousands of nuget packages and plugins, which includes plugins to connect to cloud services and leverage machine learning, image processing, video processing, or the hundred of other AI services being brought online by major cloud providers such as Microsoft and Amazon.
This means you'll be able to capture pictures or videos and perform sentiment analysis, or run machine learning algorithms on the data you collect to make highly accurate predictions about when and how to best serve your users.
By leveraging Meadow's 32-bit microcontroller, you'll be able to run some AI algorithms directly on Meadow without connecting to an external service.
Access the Entire .NET Standard Catalog
Use industry standard APIs like JSON.NET, add cryptography libraries, or integrate with social networks in seconds using thousands of publicly-available Nuget packages.
Use your Favorite Cloud
Connect to your favorite cloud provider including Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, and more. Your cloud, your choice.
Use your Favorite Web Framework
Love NancyFx or ASP.NET Web API? Add the Nuget package and be on your way to serving web requests from your Meadow device. Also, check out our lightweight web server with built in UDP broadcasts, Maple Server, made for Meadow and Netduino.
Develop with Windows or Mac
You can develop Meadow apps in Visual Studio or VS Code for Mac or Windows. Meadow is a modern development platform. Real time, step by step debugging, code completion, CI integration, etc. Meadow is the only IoT platform that gives you full access to the modern tooling you expect.
To get your started building with Meadow, we've created the Meadow F7 Micro board. Meadow has been designed to run on a variety of microcontrollers, and our first board is based on STMicroelectronics' flagship STM32F7 MCU.
The Meadow F7 Micro board is an embeddable module that's based on Adafruit Feather form factor.
It has integrated WiFi and Bluetooth, a ton of IO including digital, analog, I2C, SPI, Serial, and even CAN, so you can even connect it to your car!
It's ultra low-energy, so it can run indefinitely on small solar cells, or for years on a battery. In fact, it even has an integrated LiPo/LiIon charging circuit!
Yes, it's powerful enough to fly a drone. We've paired the STM32F7 with 32MB of flash storage and 16MB of RAM, so you can run pretty much anything you can think of building.
Meadow is Unbeatable
Meadow is the only hardware platform that brings modern development to microcontrollers; a class of computing whose development experience hasn’t really changed since the 80s. Forget writing C/C++ code and fighting with hardware. Meadow is built for developers, by developers.
All rewards ship as United States Postal Service First Class mail. For orders that wish to upgrade to Priority Mail®, we’ll reach out to provide you an opportunity to pay for the additional shipping costs when they are ready to ship.
Wilderness Labs SWAG Pack
The Wilderness Labs SWAG pack comes with assorted stickers and a Wilderness Labs pin!
Limited edition enamel coated camp mug, emblazoned with the super rad Meadow logo. Great for sipping hot chocolate while thinking of all the awesome IoT you’re going to build under the stars.
Meadow F7 Board
Our inaugural Meadow board! STM32F7 microcontroller, WiFi, BLE, integrated battery charger, and a whole lot of awesome. Comes with a breadboard, so you can begin building out of the box.
Our hack kits give you everything you need to get up and building cool connected things. They includes high quality components that we have personally chosen based on our own IoT projects.
Hack Kit Lite
- (1) Kit Box
- (1) Laser-etched Wooden baseboard
- (2) Breadboard
- (1) 10cm (4") Jumper Set (M/M, M/F, F/F)
- (1) 20cm (8") Jumper Set (M/M, M/F, F/F)
- (2) Single-row Breakaway Headers
- (1) Rotary Encoder
- (1) Rotary Knob
- (1) Micro Servo
- (5) RGB LED
- (15) Single Color LED
- (1) Piezo Speaker
- (20) Push Button
- (1) Photoresistor
- (1) LM35DZ Analog Temp. Sensor
- (1) Rainbow LED Battery Bargraph
- (1) 4x20 LCD Character Display
- (1) 300 Piece Resistor Kit
- (1) Resistor Network Kit
- (4) 1N4004 Diode
- (4) 1N914 Diode
- (1) Capacitor Kit
Hack Kit Pro
This is the ultimate hack kit. It’s stocked with all of our favorite goodies, as well as the necessary basics to get you building really interesting IoT projects.
- (1) Hack Kit Box
- (1) Laser-etched Wooden Baseboard
- (2) Breadboards
- (1) 10cm (4") Jumper Set (M/M, M/F, F/F)
- (1) 20cm
- (8") Jumper Set (M/M, M/F, F/F)
- (4) Single-row Breakaway Headers
- (2) Rotary Encoder w/Knobs
- (2) Micro Servos
- (1) 2 Channel Relay Board
- (10) RGB LEDs
- (25) Single Color LED
- (1) Piezo Speaker
- (1) Distance Sensor
- (40) Push Buttons
- (2) Photoresistor
- (2) Analog Temp. Sensors
- (1) Moisture Sensor
- (2) 74595 Shift Registers
- (2) MCP23008 IO Expander
- (2) H-Bridge Motor Controller Chip
- (1) Rainbow LED Bargraph
- (1) Rainbow LED Battery Bargraph
- (1) 4x20 LCD Character Display
- (1) Full Color OLED Display
- (1) 300 Piece Resistor Kit
- (1) Resistor Network Kit
- (8) 1N4004 Diode
- (8) 1N914 Diode
- (1) Capacitor Kit
- (1) N-Channel MOSFET
- (2) TIP120 Power Transistor
- (4) 2N3904 Transistor
- (4) 2N3906 Transistor
* Note, the contents of the hack kits are subject to slight modifications as we tweak them to create the very best experience.
Sample Tutorials Using our Hack Kits
- LGB LED. Learn to control a RGB LED with Meadow.Foundation to make different effects and animations with couple lines of code.
- WiFi Controlled RGB LED. With Meadow's WiFi network capabilities, you can control a simple RGB LED through your network or over the internet.
- WiFi-Controlled Flag. with Meadow's WiFi network capabilities, you can control a servo motor through your network or over the internet to wave a small flag with a mobile app.
- IO Expansion with MCP 23008**. When running out of pins on your Meadow board, you can expand these using an IO Expander such as a MCP23008, to extend the board.
Sample Projects Using our Hack Kits
- Smart Piano**. Use multiple piezos and push buttons to make simple chords and melodies.
- Simon Says-Inspired Game. Build a compact-size Simon Says-inspired game on half a breadboard with LEDs, push buttons, and a piezo speaker.
- Plant Monitor**. Make your own soil humidity plant monitor that checks the soil moisture.
- Soccer**. Build a soccer game with servos and push buttons.
- Auto-Dimming Night Light. Use a proximity sensor to brighten a RGB LED to light your way in the dark without needing to turn the lights on.
- Memory Game**. Build a memory game with an OLED display and a 4x4 push button keypad.
- Tetris**. Using an OLED display and push buttons, learn how to build a tetris game using DisplayGraphics.
- Proximity Sensor**. Simple example project to learn how to use the proximity sensor to detect objects.
- Traffic Light Controller. Write a simple traffic light model using simple, colored LEDs.
- Alarm Intruder Alert**. With a motion sensor, you can detect movement on an empty room to trigger an alarm with a Piezo speaker.
- Weather Monitor. Query a weather web service to display the weather and temperature on an LCD screen.
- Wireless Appliance Controller**. Control your coffee maker remotely! Create a connected coffee maker using household electricity with .NET, Meadow, and Xamarin.
- Pong**. Using an OLED display and push buttons, build the classic pong game using DisplayGraphics.
- Breakout**. Using an OLED display and rotary encoders, build a breakout game using DisplayGraphics.
- Water Level Alert System**. With ultrasonic sensor on the Hack Kit Pro, track water levels on a tank and trigger an alarm when reaching critical values.
Beta Partner (Limited)
Hardware Hacker's Workbench
This is a fantastic starter kit for people that really want to get their hands dirty. You get a set of hand-picked, professional quality tools and instruments that I have personally vetted and used during the creation of Meadow, including:
- BK Instruments Digital Multimeter
- Professional Oscilloscope
- Hakko Soldering Station
- Solder Mill
- Solder Flux
- Desoldering Wick
- Tip Tinner + Cleaner
- Solder Fan
- Helping Hands
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Wire Cutter + Stripper
- Micro Cutters
- Precision Screwdriver Set
- Alligator Clip
- Test Leads
- Heat Shrink Tubing Kit
- Heat Gun
- Double Sided Tape
- 22 Gauge Multi-color Jumper Wire Roll Set
- 18 Gauge Wire
- Lamp Wire
- USB Power Adapter
- Micro USB Cables
Wilderness Labs started just about two years with a mission to bring the hardware revolution into reality, and to truly make hardware development as fast and easy as modern software development.
From the very inception, we had a vision to fix a lot of the issues with hardware, starting by getting Mono (the open-source runtime that powers Xamarin) running on a microcontroller in order to bring a modern runtime to the class of computing that powers real IoT.
We also knew that hardware needed to be plug and play; pick up a peripheral, plug it in, and start being able to use it. Developers shouldn’t be wasting their time tracking down random open source peripheral drivers, hoping they work, fighting with them in C++ when they don’t work well, and then by the time they get to the actual application, find themselves frustrated and out of motivation.
But as we started to build, we knew that there was opportunity to do even more. Our story story started by us acquiring Netduino in December of 2016. The company that built Netduino was going out of business, and it presented an opportunity; Netduino was an interesting legacy hardware platform product that never really got a chance to shine. Plus, it would provide a forcing function for us to create a hardware platform company for Meadow to land in. Along the way, we built exactly that; a reliable supply chain, international distribution, and a developer community, and along the way we gave Netduino new life with Netduino.Foundation.
But the whole time, we were working on getting full .NET standard into a microcontroller form factor, churning out custom hardware.
Our first milestone was to get our OS up on the board. Then we had to get the flash and the RAM working. We went through prototype after prototype of revisions and changes to get things just right.
Then it was on to Mono, and about three months ago, after a year and a half of hacking, we finally did it; we got Mono, running a custom .NET app running on our little prototype.
Since then, we’ve been working on crafting a developer story and marching towards shipping.
Now it’s up to you.
We’re a small startup facing an army of giants and this is just the beginning. We have a pile of things we want to bring you. But it all starts here.
We’re running this Kickstarter to raise enough capital to run a production quantity of boards and get them into your hands. Back us today and be a part of the hardware revolution!
- Wilderness Labs Newsletter: https://www.wildernesslabs.co/newsletter
- Twitter: twitter.com/wildernesslabs
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildernesslabs
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wilderness-labs/
- Slack: http://slackinvite.wildernesslabs.co/
Risks and challenges
Meadow is an ambitious project. It’s got both a hardware and a software component to it, both of which have had, and will continue to have significant, and difficult technical and logistical challenges. This is exemplified by the fact that it’s taken us nearly two years of constant work to get it nearly ready to launch. In that time, we’ve faced down and solved some incredible challenges.
At the very beginning of Wilderness Labs, we acquired the Netduino brand and used it as a forcing function to build the company that we needed to support an endeavor like Meadow. We had to learn hardware production, create a supply chain from scratch, setup distribution, cultivate and support a developer community, and above all, utilize Netduino to learn and build as much as we could.
Time and time again we have had to change tack and navigate around obstacles. And while we’re now just about ready to get Meadow into your hands, there are still risks and challenges that we will face. Roughly, they fall into three categories:
- Supply Chain
- Hardware Validation
- Meadow Validation
The last year and a half has seen historic shortages of certain types of components, especially discretes such as capacitors. In some cases, the factory turnaround time on high-demand components now currently runs over a year.
This is a risk that we’ve been especially vigilant in both understanding and mitigating. We’ve largely been able to mitigate this by specifically choosing components (especially sizes of components) that have good availability, supplier, and alternative options. We’ve also pre-ordered nearly all of the small, commodity components necessary to do a production run of F7 boards, so that at least for the foreseeable future, we’re covered.
There is still additional risk however, in procurement of some of the higher value components, especially around our flash and RAM chips, since we don’t have the capital to procure them until the project is funded, but we do have some flexibility there; we’ve tested a number of different chip and supplier options, and have abstracted our drivers to work with a variety of chips.
We’ve also kept tariffs in mind in terms of our assembly locations, as well as accounting for the increase in BOM price for components that come from China.
The Meadow F7 board is an incredible piece of engineering. There’s a lot of forward-looking planning and magic going on with it. For example; we’ve engineered it specifically so that we can upgrade the firmware on the ESP32 chip (which provides the WiFi and BLE capabilities) from the main STM32 chip. Also, we can read the voltage output of the battery input so that you can access the current battery charge percentage from Meadow APIs. There are a myriad of cool capabilities and features like that, which went into the board design with care.
Along the way, we created prototype after prototype, sometimes with small changes, sometimes with major changes, driven partly in response to issues discovered in earlier versions, and partly in our quest to make a beautiful, compact, feature-rich board.
While we believe that we’ve arrived at the final revision of the board, and have validated nearly all major aspects, there are still small unknowns and pieces that haven’t been fully vetted. These items could represent issues that require additional changes to the board to work to spec. If any of these issues arise, we don’t expect them to be showstoppers in any way, but could delay the ship date of the hardware. At this point, we think this poses only a small delay risk, because of two reasons; first, our hardware designs are ahead of some of the software pieces (we have considerable work left to do around the developer experience; first run experience, build and deploy, etc), and second, we have some wiggle room built into the shipping schedule for additional hardware changes.
However, depending on what we find in the dark corners of the hardware, this still poses delay risks.
Meadow is really something else. We’ve got full .NET running on a microcontroller via Mono, and it’s been an incredible feat of engineering. We’re doing some real magic there around execute in place (XIP), double banking for over the air updates, linking for executable size, and more. And it really is a full-stack IoT platform. We have a large surface area of APIs and frameworks from top to bottom of hardware development.
While we’ve validated many of our drivers and APIs by first creating them as part of Netduino.Foundation, there is quite a bit of new surface area and also many of the APIs have had massive upgrades because we’re able to use full .NET, generics, async patterns, and more. We recognize that we won’t have all of these right out of the gate. As such, we’re specifically going to launch Meadow as a public beta, which will provide the flexibility to listen to our users and improve and change our APIs in response to feedback.
While in total, we have a number of interesting risks, we feel confident that we can deliver an awesome experience with Meadow, and the most likely risks we face are simply delays in delivery. At this point, we’ve eliminated the major blockers from shipping.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)