About this project
WE DID IT. LEGO® STRETCH GOAL REACHED! THANK YOU EVERYONE!
KEEP AN EYE ON HTTP://FLOTIL.LA FOR UPDATES :D
Flotilla is a range of smart, friendly, and affordable modules which you connect together to create amazing projects which sense and react to the world around them.
- Powered by your Raspberry Pi
- The first true plug and play hardware project kit
- Go from absolute beginner to ninja-Maker
- Made, with love, in the UK
We've blended smart widgets and even smarter software to make Flotilla friendly for everyone; from complete beginners to savvy Makers.
Flotilla helps you make reactive and interactive projects - a robot, digital pet, weather station, anything you can think of!
The Flotilla Dock plugs into your Raspberry Pi with a standard USB cable and provides eight plug and play ports for connecting your Flotilla modules. If your project is more complex you can plug up to four Flotilla Docks into a single Raspberry Pi B+ allowing you to use up to thirty-two modules at once!
We're launching Flotilla with a range of twelve core modules. Using these we've created a bunch of great projects for you to get started with!
- Motion - Movement in three dimensions - just like the accelerometer in your mobile phone!
- Light - How bright is it? Tell if it's night or day, or if something is blocking the sensor.
- Colour - Hold near an object and it will tell you what colour it is. M&M sorter here I come!
- Barometer - Temperature and pressure. Know your altitude or whether to take a brolly!
- Dial - Turn the volume up to eleven or use as a steering wheel.
- Joystick - Perfect for controlling games or robots. It even has a switch!
- Touch - Tap out a tune on these four capacitive touch pads. Bleep bloop bloop!
- Slider - A mainstay of audio mixing desks, the slider is great for precisely tweaking values.
- Motor - Can drive many things: fans, propellers, winches. It's not just for wheels!
- Number - From calculators to time machines, ideal for countdowns and keeping score.
- Matrix - A simple display that can show icons, graphs, and games. Much pixels, so visual!
- Rainbow - Add a bit of bling to your project with five controllable full-colour LEDs. Zing!
But it doesn't end there! We'll also be asking our supporters to vote on what modules they want adding to Flotilla in future.
So that's the hardware, what about the software?
Flotilla is designed to progress with you as your skills develop. You don't need any coding skills or electronics knowledge to get started, you can simply plug and play!
On your journey you'll learn more at each step so that you can work through the stages of Flotilla to become a Making zen-master.
I'm totally new all to this - is Flotilla for me?
Sure it is! For beginners Flotilla has Cookbook and Rockpool, two web-based apps which you can access from your computer or tablet. They let you experiment, learn, and build without writing a single line of code.
In Cookbook you select from recipe cards. Simply plug in the matching Flotilla modules and away you go!
Some of the great projects included in Cookbook are:
- Defender style game
- Virtual pet
- Line following robot
- Weather station
- ...and many more!
Cookbook lets you easily experiment with sensors, motors, and other devices. We'll be adding new recipes to the Cookbook over time so there will always be something to do!
In Rockpool you can create a set of rules that link Flotilla modules together. This allows you to define your own systems without any programming knowledge - you can't go wrong.
It's the natural progression from Cookbook and lets you take control of your own ideas.
Both Cookbook and Rockpool are web-apps which you can access from your computer or tablet
I've done some programming but want to get into hardware - is Flotilla for me?
If you've ever scraped around the internet looking for code examples or datasheets to get something working then you'll know how frustrating it can be. Put that behind you with Flotilla.
Flotilla can be a great prototyping or training tool, saving you tons of time. It has plug and play simplicity, code libraries, example projects, and full documentation.
Build Flotilla into your projects and take the world by storm!
Flotilla Hack Day
We invited a bunch of our friends from the Maker and Raspberry Pi community to come and try out our early prototypes of Flotilla. Among the crowd were Raspberry Pi regulars as well as parents, children, and teachers - most of whom had never experimented with electronics or coding before.
Seeing such a range of people using the system helped us identify things that needed improving - we took away a lot of great feedback from the day. We spent the next three months tweaking, implementing, and testing those changes - Flotilla really morphed into what it is today.
We can't thank the people that attended enough, they were amazing!
We've put together four great kits to choose from. All of the kits will let you get started with Flotilla and start experimenting with electronics!
- Add £40 to your pledge to include a Raspberry Pi 2 and Pibow Coupé Flotilla case.
- You can change your pledge at any time until the campaign ends.
Early Bird Reward: Mini Starter Kit
A great way to dip your toes into Flotilla. Includes two Flotilla modules for you to experiment with!
There are 100 Mini Starter Kits available at this special early-bird price!
Reward: Medium Starter Kit
Get a lovely little Digi-Hedgehog paper-craft pet kit to make. Includes four Flotilla modules for you to experiment with!
Reward: Large Starter Kit
Get two complete projects: a lovely little Digi-Hedgehog paper-craft pet kit and our audibly offensive instrument kit: the Noisemaker. Includes eight Flotilla modules for you to experiment with!
Reward: Mega Treasure Chest Starter Kit
This is the big one, the bees knees, the bling king (or queen), the ultimate Flotilla kit.
Get three complete projects including a lovely little Digi-Hedgehog paper-craft pet kit, our audibly offensive instrument kit: the Noisemaker, and a cute robot which has a few tricks up its sleeves! Includes fourteen Flotilla modules for you to experiment with!
Where We're At
We've been working on Flotilla for the past year; prototyping and testing modules, writing examples, crafting and honing the experience, and implementing Cookbook, Rockpool, and the Python libraries.
We have a fully functioning prototype of the final product and are preparing orders with suppliers - key parts have been ordered in advance to ensure we have them on hand.
We're currently designing the packaging and finalising the kits and projects that will launch with Flotilla.
Made in the UK
We will manufacture Flotilla in the UK.
The assembly and test will be done, by us, in our workshop in Sheffield. The PCBs will be made in Portsmouth by Ragworm. Our packaging will be produced by Zenpak in Wales. Where possible we are making every effort to source processes and parts close to home - supporting local industry and simplifying the logistics of production.
Our software has been developed in-house with generous support from Gordon Henderson (@drogon) the author of WiringPi.
Risks and challenges
The last two and a half years at Pimoroni have been spent learning about the realities of manufacturing products. We've grown our team to cover all roles including hardware design, software development, testing, production, packaging, and shipping. Our team have everything in place to manufacture Flotilla.
The primary risks centre around supply chain - we've done what we can to ensure the parts we've designed with are widely available and have placed preliminary orders for parts that have longer lead times.
We'll keep in touch with our backers throughout the campaign and do whatever we can to ensure everything happens on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Kickstarter only allow you to back one tier once. But if you double your pledge amount on the 'choose your pledge' page, we'll sort you out with another kit so your kids can have one too.
All of them! It will run on an A, A+, B and B+, and the new shiny Pi 2 quite happily!
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