The new hobbyist modular boards created by Pixar developer Erin Tomson. Hey, Modulo...I still prefer "back in the day." (via Modulo)
Pixar Developer, Erin Tomson left her position to found Modulo Labs, a company that is dedicated to taking the guesswork out of tinkering. She has debuted her project on Kickstarter and has already raised double the amount of her pledge for Modulo. But there are still good deals left on Modulo kits if you want to take advantage of the offers on Kickstarter before anyone else.
All of the modular boards essentially negate the need for you to connect wires to I/O pins and map your circuits. They also negate the need for you to worry about power and data transfer. It’s basically a one-stop shop that allows you to mix and match modules and connect them to an Arduino or Rasberry Pi to start programming and get your project off the ground faster.
Each modulo base board can handle up to four mini-modules. You can also connect modulo base boards together using a daisy chain. Each of the modules has its own power and data transfer connection that can be hooked into the Modulo base. The board comes with its own processor that enables easy control of the modules and easy integration with Arduino and Rasberry Pi microcontrollers. The partnership of the modulo processor with your own microcontroller also makes coding easier since you only need to use high level concept programming to get your project moving. Hence, you can do away with checking I/O pins, wiring, etc, and get down to programming using ‘Get’ and ‘Set’ commands, for instance.
The Modulo is also compatible with the Spark Core, which you can buy as part of a kit on Kickstarter starting at $79. The ‘sparkBase’ will be like the regular Modulo base, except it will have a sparkCore and a photon or electron.
The currently offered modules for the first launch include a temperature probe, a controller, an OLED color display, a motor driver, a joystick, and a push button illuminated knob. The available kits offered on Kickstarter allow you to choose from a mix of module offerings that offer at least the Modulo base and controller with your choice of modules for a variety of prices. The kits range from $69 to $139 for the basic kits that may include the Spark Core. If you want at least one (or more) of each module on offer it will cost you between $249 to $999. The price is actually very good for what you are getting and only a couple of the early bird specials have sold out so there is still time to grab a deal, if you’d like.
Erin gives some examples of projects that you can take on with your Modulo kits that include creating a sprinkler system that is controlled by a Rasberry Pi and Modulo temperature probe that turns on the sprinklers depending on the weather forecast. Another suggestion is a fish feeder robot. Finally, and I think the most unnecessary of all is a contraption that will steep tea for you. I’m sure you can think up some more interesting things to do with this new tech.
Personally, I like how how easy and painless it makes hardware and programming any project. While this may not be ideal for learning, which unfortunately means doing things the hard way, I think it’s great for anyone who has some background knowledge and doesn’t have time to do things the hard way. I particularly like how easy it is to take things apart and mix and match, which would cut down the time it takes to create new things out of the same hardware. For the functionality and the price, you can’t go wrong.
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