About this project
BoardX is a collection of electronic circuit boards that stack on top of one another to share resources, communicate, and extend the functionality of one another. This system is built on the motherboard that acts as both an electrical and structural foundation.
Unlike similar products (but much like a familiar PC system), the motherboard does not come with a processor pre-installed. Processors come as simple, low cost add-on boards, which allows any processor - or multiple processors - to be used with the system.
Don't forget to check the FAQs at the bottom if you're looking for info!
- Processor-independent hardware – the hardware is compatible with any processor, and even multiple processors (since they come as add-ons)
- Program wirelessly using the XBee Radio Add-on
- Choice of full size add-ons, or cheaper, miniature add-ons
- Multiple, independent add-on sockets to reduce vertical growth to 1/3 that of Arduino
- BoardX automatically routes Power, USB, SPI, UART, I2C and GPIO to the other add-ons so you don't have to wire anything by hand
- A Breadboard is included on the motherboard for quick prototyping
- High current allowance permits direct powering of motors, servos and other power hungry applications
- An upgradable power supply feature allows the use of any conceivable power source and regulation method. It also plugs in, just like a normal add-on.
- A unique shape and color, which resembles its name - BoardX. The rounded edges and isolated mounting holes make handling BoardX more comfortable and easier to install in robot chassis.
- BoardX works transparently with Arduino SDK! That means it works out of the box - if you plug in an AVR-X Add-on, it can be programmed over USB using Arduino's programming language and development software.
- PIC, ARM, AVR, it doesn't matter - although we only have an AVR processor built at the moment, ARM boards are in development and you can always develop your own processor add-on using our free templates.
Check out how easy it is to use with Arduino:
How I Started
Let me take you back to a time when I was just an undergraduate engineering student, trying to make ends meet as the captain of one of Virginia Tech's lesser-known student design teams.
Working late into the night on robots at the competition:
My team and I were designing a solar-powered robot that would use a compass and accelerometer to navigate its environment. We didn't have much design experience back then, but we needed an easy way to combine several different circuit boards into one for our robot. We also needed to make sure that we could swap them out in case one was destroyed or burnt out, which was known to happen from time to time.
Rather than design our own circuit board with all the parts permanently attached, I designed a very small motherboard for all the various third party sensors to plug in to. This was a huge hit with the team and also a time saver, since we could now build our system piece by piece and choose which parts we wanted to design and which we would buy.
Pictured below, an early prototype:
Expanding on that idea, I added a breadboard, standardized the size of the ports, and stylized the design so it would look as good as the rest of my projects. After researching existing products like Arduino or Beagle, I made it a point to fix certain weaknesses that I felt were holding those platforms back such as weak current allowances, fixed processors, and large add-ons.
Why I Need Funding
I need funding because I want to price these boards as low as I can so that everybody can afford one. Unfortunately, it just isn't possible unless I buy a lot of these boards and have them assembled in a factory. I've assembled countless prototypes by hand but I'd rather spend my time designing new products than assembling things by hand.
All of the primary design work is complete, and the boards have already been tested. Now it's time to order them in bulk and get them in the hands of students, hobbyists and engineers around the world - and for me to get back to designing the next set of add-ons.
For the moment, I assemble them by hand, which begins when I receive a panel of boards like this:
Assembly and testing takes hours and drives cost up! I want to have them mass produced so I can get back to designing more add-ons.
Help me get back to doing what I do best, designing add-ons like this motor controller (seen in green being developed on a PROTO-X):
Rewards are made up of various items that I am or will be selling, as well as some collector's items.
AVR-X Add-on (the Arduino compatible processor!):
XBee-X Radio Add-on (A serial mesh networking radio! Works with PRO too):
ADC-X Add-on (an 8-channel analog to digital converter on I2C):
A shot of the underside of BoardX Motherboard:
Support this project
- (21 days)