The November Kickstarter Hardware Roundup

November 19, 2016 by Chantelle Dubois

This month, we're highlighting three Kickstarters that may catch your eye: a power-efficient and precise soldering tool, an educational coding robot, and the "most powerful maker board out there".

This month, we're highlighting three Kickstarters that may catch your eye: a power-efficient and precise soldering tool, an educational coding robot, and the "most powerful maker board out there".

I-Extruder: All-in-One Soldering

In a bid to speed up efficiency and increase the economy of personal or professional PCB projects, the I-Extruder uses a stepper motor to precisely and quickly deliver solder, solder paste, grease, and adhesive. This removes the need for loud air-pump-based irons or expensive stencils.

This silent, airless device provides the user with 10 pre-loaded configurations and several parameters that can be adjusted:

  • Dispensing time
  • Dispensing mode
  • Pull back amount
  • Screen brightness
  • Language



The Kickstarter campaign boasts the device’s low energy needs of 1.6kWh/year (estimated at 2 hours of use per day over 366 days), and can be connected to any 5 V USB source for power with a minimum current rating of 0.5 A. This means the device can be plugged into your computer, laptop, or USB power bank.

The I-Extruder is precise enough to quickly solder SMT components up to 15x faster than traditional methods, making it a valuable tool.

Check out the I-Extruder Kickstarter page here.

Root: An Educational Tool to Teach Children to Code

Using an intuitive GUI, children can learn to code using command blocks to create programs and then observe the behaviour in a physical robotic device in real-time. The device is equipped with various sensors that can sense touch, detect magnets, detect light, play music, identify colours, draw, erase, and react to phone and tablet sensors.



Root will also adjust with the user’s coding skills, providing more challenge as competency increases. After a user has mastered a level, they can graduate from creating code using blocks to using flowcharts (with statements such as “repeat”, “if-then-else”), and then finally onto full text programming in Python, JavaScript, and Swift.

With its comprehensive set of sensors and functions, Root can also serve as an excellent tool for makers and hackers of any age.

Consider inspiring an engineer in your life and check out the Kickstarter campaign.

UP Squared: Intel Apollo Lake Maker Board

UP is a force to reckon with in the Kickstarter community. With a successful product already under their belt, the company continues to UP the ante with their latest maker board.




The UP Squared maker board, “the most powerful maker board out there”, features a wide range of features with high performance and low power consumption. What you will find on the UP Squared:

  • 40-pin GP-bus
  • Altera FPGA MAX 10 chip
  • Intel Celeron Dual Core N3350 2.4GHz processor
  • Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 2.5Ghz processor or the Intel Atom x5-E3940 1.8 Ghz processor
  • 8GB of LPDDR4 Dual Channel 64-bit RAM
  • 128 GB eMMC 5.0
  • A vast array of ports including: 3x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2 Gigabit LAN, 2x HDMI, eDP, and PCI-e/mini card SATA

The UP Squared is compatible with Windows 10, Windows IoT Core, Linux, and Android. UP also has an active maker community and a large library of accessories and peripherals.

With extremely competitive benchmarking, this versatile and compact maker board can provide an endless range of opportunities.

The Kickstarter campaign urges you to “hurry UP” and check out their project.


Did we miss a Kickstarter that deserves a spotlight this month? Let us know in the comments!

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    chrisbaron December 02, 2016

    In what way is that extruder thingy better than a cheap (or free) plastic stencil and a credit card for spreading solder paste?  Seems like a solution to an already solved problem.  I don’t need micro-liter accuracy to put grease on a gear or loctite on a bolt.

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