Kickstarter is a hotbed of creativity. Unfortunately, it can sometimes also be a hot mess. We've sifted through the open projects to bring you the top five projects that deserve to be fully funded:
This 100% open source IoT device has all the core features of BeagleBone, but much, much smaller. It's ideal for the oncoming IoT deluge and is totally compatible with BeagleBone Black. Plus, it comes with BeagleSuite for an additional $6, which allows you to attach any sensor to the BeagleCore, then control it through your web browser running BeagleSuite. This open source gem will make product development a breeze.
- size: ca. 32 mm × 49 mm
- processor: Texas Instruments AM335x Cortex-A8 “Sitara”
- clock rate: 1.0GHz
- memory: 512 MB DDR3
- flash: 4 GB 8-bit eMMC
This Arduino-compatible microcontroller has built-in WiFi and is connectible to almost any electronic device. Plus, it starts at 10€, which is roughly $11. A 10€ investment gets you a Wino board, but additional 5€ investments get you starter kits, wireless starter kits, or even an extended starter kit with a USB upgrade. Features out-of-the-box internet capability, stackable header, low power consumption, and Arduino compatibility.
- size: 18.5mm x 26.5 mm
- microcontroller: Atmel ATSAMD21
- RAM: 16kB
- flash: 128 kB
- digital i/o pins: 15
The Pozyx is a great idea with a crazy name. This hardware solution allows for indoor position with accuracy of mere centimeters. It relies on ultra-wideband to provide positioning and motion information for Arduino and is infinitely better than current WiFi, bluetooth, RFID, or GPS signals. The signals can penetrate walls and the entire thing is small and easy to use.
- size: 71.75mm x 58mm
- microcontroller: STM32F401
- pressure sensor: freescale MPL3115A2
- ultra-wideband transceiver: decawave DWM1000
Ok, ok...you're probably tired of Arduino stuff by now. But you shouldn't be: Arduino isn't just for hobbyists, and the Autonomo is more evidence of that. This powerful, tiny microcontroller board uses solar power to keep it running indefinitely and autonomously. It comes with a Bee slot for everything from WiFi to SigFox and the basic 58€ pledge gets you a solar panel, grove shield, and battery.
- size: 58.5mm x 33.5mm
- flash: 256 kB
- digital I/O pins: 16
- SRAM: 32 kB
- microcontroller: ATSAMD21G18
5. The Hedgehog
The ingenious robotics controller is simple, flexible, and allows the user to open the box to augment the insides. It has a closely integrated debugging functionality that allows (through the Hedgehog app) the user to manually pause the execution of a program, set breakpoints, and look at current variable values. It can be highly individualized and used with any mobile device. Plus, the software controller can be switched to whatever you choose.
- microcontroller: STM32F3Discovery
- WiFi board: WizFi 210
- charging: power jack input, 15V
- software: Raspberry PI
There you have it: 5 of the most compelling hardware Kickstarters just ready for your pledges!