About this project
We built a next generation, Arduino-compatible board that can record data and trigger actions in any environment.
We believe you can save yourself a lot of time by being notified of important information. The information you want and need should come to you, magically. Having to go to your favorite surf spot to see how strong the wind is, or physically measuring how much water there still is in the well nearby your village, is a thing of the past.
The Autonomo is a matchbox sized powerhouse which uses the new Atmel Cortex M0+ 32bit microcontroller. We designed it to be autonomous (self-sufficient) by enabling it to be powered by a smartphone sized solar panel. It will enable you to create devices that will notify you about anything.
The new M0+ processor packs computing power which is comparable to the first Mac. It will make you wonder why you ever used anything else. We also have created a Grove shield for you to use with all of your favorite Grove modules (sensors and actuators).
Our goal was to create a device which would be able to run indefinitely using solar generated power. Leveraging our years of experience in creating low powered devices, the Autonomo has been created to run efficiently and with extremely low power consumption.
Communication is key. The Autonomo is designed with a modular approach, allowing you to choose the communication module which meets the needs of your project. We have added a Bee slot so you can choose from a range of options, including: Wifi, GPRS/2G, 3G, LoRa, SigFox and Bluetooth. Let us know what you need to enable you to get your Autonomo connected and transmitting your data.
We have created a number of libraries and example sketches for you to use. You can find them on GitHub. We believe in providing our software as open source, to both help you get started quickly and also to give something back to the community. For all of the Future Internet (FIWARE) developers out there, we have made a library to allow you to upload your data to an Orion context broker.
Tons of partners have helped us to bring the Autonomo to where it is now. We have put in months of development, and together with our community we have made our product customer-centric and fit for everyone.
FIRST STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED:
Initially we used the same SAMD21G18 for the Autonomo, just like the Arduino Zero. This is a 48 pin case, which gives us 22 GPIO lines for our headers. The SAMD21 however, also comes in a 64 pin package (the SAMD21J18). We will now incorporate the 64 pin version in our design. This allows us to add another ten I/O lines to our headers, which makes a total of 32 GPIO (18 Digital and 14 Analog lines).
SECOND STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED:
Many of you have spoken, and we are listening! To make your Autonomo completely ready for the outdoor environment we are working with a design firm to make a set of 3D printed designs that include an Autonomo hardware casing!
THIRD STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED: We are really grateful to all our backers, and because of this we will give every single reward backer an additional “surprise” PCB for free.
This last stretch goal was be reached when we raised €25.252 together.
NEWS: A new reward added!
Get the Rainstation Kit and build your own autonomous rain station through Instructables. For every weather station pledge, SODAQ donates one connectivity kit to an unconnected weather station on the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Andreas Hemp stated that he would be very grateful for the donated connectivity kits and explained the current project status:
The interdisciplinary research unit KiLi (Kilimanjaro under global change, funded by the German research foundation) investigates global change impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and responding ecosystem goods and services. Seven subprojects dealing with climate, ecophysiology, plant and animal biodiversity and interactions work on 65 study plots representing the major vegetation and land use types on Kilimanjaro. These plots are located between about 800 and 4600m a.s.l. On all plots climatic paramaters such as temperature, relative humidity and rainfall are measured, and every two weeks these data have to be collected. This means a major effort, since it takes two days of walking to reach the highest plots.
As you may know, this is not our first Kickstarter campaign. We shipped our SODAQ Mojas on time, and since then we have built a community of backers and partners from over 30 countries.
Our company's name SODAQ stands for SOlar powered Data AcQuisition. Solving the problem of efficiently connecting things while off-grid has always been at the heart of what we do. Additionally, we will always strive to build high quality libraries to support the development of applications for our boards.
We have also been working on other amazing projects which will benefit from the development of the Autonomo. These projects include: low-cost weather stations, a smart road monitoring system and a wildlife tracker. This is just the beginning, the first few synaptic connections in the developing nervous system of intelligent devices. If you won't take our word for it, Cisco estimates that there will be 50 billion connected devices in 5 years from now!
To hint at the Autonomo's endless possibilities, we wanted to give credit to some of the projects that our community has come up with based on our technology below.
If you are an inexperienced maker, you may wonder whether you are also able to make solar powered devices that can make your lives easier. You definitely can! Because we have a strong community, which is steadily growing, the more experienced makers as well as the SODAQ team will provide you with tutorials so that making devices is as easy as setting up an Ikea shelf, a Wordpress website, or ordering online. Even if you are still uncertain, you can easily reach out to us and we will gladly assist you.
"Then, out of the blue, the awesome people at SODAQ sent me an email and offered to mail me one of their new products to test. Best of all, it had everything I was looking for already built into a small compact package." – Nick Raymond, University of California, Davis
"SODAQ's combination of solar power, Arduino microprocessor and GPRS communication, make it an outstanding technology. I had live temperature, pressure and humidity graphs on my website the same day I started with it. I'm really excited with our hive research projects that SODAQ enabled." – Andrew Wootton, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
"The SODAQ technology has provided us with the ability to monitor a river basin in Africa from thousands of miles away using inexpensive open source technology" – Christopher Dutton, Yale PhD Student
We believe that this revolution will take place in two separate camps: Indoor and outdoor. How should we as makers lead this revolution? Let us first look at the existing options.
Raspberry Pi: We know it, you know it. Raspberry Pi boards are great. They build powerful, integrated systems that are able to host a ton of applications. The question remains, what can you do without a wall plug? No power socket, no Raspberry Pi.
Arduino: We love Arduino and have worked with it for years. It is an extremely easy to use, developer friendly, open source system. What is still missing? Serious applications.
Our board is the first derivative of the newly launched Arduino Zero and we have redesigned it with the additional features that we felt were missing. Features which will allow you to connect your devices reliably, to scale your projects from indoor to outdoor and then to implement them around the world!
To manage this development we grew from a humble team of 4 to a sizeable team of 12 people. Here are some pictures of our team and the work going on behind the scenes.
Risks and challenges
During our last campaign we promised to ship on time, and managed to do so. We are planning to keep our promise this time around, too. We have existing production and delivery agreements in place with our selected component suppliers and manufacturers. From small numbers to larger volumes, our relationship with these same suppliers has given us confidence in their ability to deliver what we will need in the future. The prototypes of the board have been produced on time and in high quality.
However, past performance is not always a guarantee for the future. In the overall scheme of things, SODAQ will probably remain a small production item for these suppliers. As much as possible, we will use our relationship with them to ensure that production of the SODAQ board remains on track.
If on the other hand we have a much larger number of orders to fulfil, we will be facing additional challenges in supplying and packaging the kit. We don't want to slip on the timeline, so if it looks like numbers might grow sufficiently during the campaign, we will be putting in place contingency arrangements with our primary PCB, assembly and packaging providers.
Handling communication with you, our wonderful backers, might prove to be another challenge while we're all busy producing, sorting, packing and sending out the kits. Our team has some experience in large scale communication as well as with dealing with responses on an individual level. The whole team will be available in both the Kickstarter Q&A forum, and by email, to address any requests for information or limitations you might encounter when using the board and kits.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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