New [electronic brick] idea survived some intense brainstorming!

For a long time, we are not comfortable with current electronic bricks,

  • It shall Not need 5 different types of cables
  • It shall Not have such a huge connector
  • It shall have unified form factor
  • It shall be able combining with other not only by cables
  • It shall be well designed in customers’ view
  • It demands rich documentation and tutorial

Now, it is time to change.

Thank you guys for the inputs on new connector, we finally abandoned 3.5mm Audio Jack way, they could only be found in the coming beta OLED modules. And, here is the new idea:

The new system is consisted of stem and twig. Stems are interface board/shields to enable different platform (starting from Arduino of course) to be able to use different modules. Twigs are the modules (previously bricks) illustrated above. You may find unified naming like these:
  • Stem – Basic Shield v0.9b
  • Stem – Mega Shield v0.9b
  • Stem – Frame Extension v0.9b
  • Stem – BEE Wing v0.9b
  • Twig – 16*2 Uart LCD v0.9b
  • Twig – Gas Sensing v0.9b
  • Twig – Accelerometer v0.9b
  • Twig – I2C 3-axis Gyro v0.9b
  • Twig – Photo Sensing v0.9b

The new design is under validation, and you will see the starter’s bundle probably within this month.

HELP NEEDED:

Suggestions

Complaints

make a WISH for your most wanted twig or stem…

A LOGO? Also some illustration arts later…

Thanks! ;-)

13 thoughts on “New [electronic brick] idea survived some intense brainstorming!

  1. How about some thermistors and variable length wire bundles (Branches) to attach stems to branches to twigs?
    Also: would it be possible to provide bundled wire lines to connect to stems and remote locations of twigs?

  2. I like the idea of twigs (and bricks) and all, but there is as of yet no middle ground between quick prototyping and longer-term permanent mounting.

    Would it be possible to make twigs more breadboard friendly?

  3. I’d prefer the twigs to have the connector on the underside, so that the wires don’t get in the way and when you put together more twigs you get a cleaner look and feel.
    Also, i’m catching up late with this, but I think a 2.54mm connector is easier to use. There must be less bulky connectors out there that arent a pain to crimp.

    Just my two cents.

  4. Oh, I would also like to have a voltage sensor that fits in between a lipo pack and JST connector on-board a Fio or Seeeduino. This way I can (hopefully) tell whether the battery is running low or not and alert accordingly.

  5. While the idea of electronic bricks are good, I would much rather that you find a way to make this work with Arduino Fio. This way we get the best of both worlds: easy construction and ability to use them in real world distributed data gathering project.

    I would, as a matter of fact, love to use this new brick + fio in smart home project :-)

  6. @rich: Thanks again (after again) for the inputs!
    We will have a to-do list in adding more twigs, just name them. ;)

    It was confusing for naming D1 and D2, actually I mean any IO or else… We were still lost between simplicity and efficiency for the pin arrangement. On the stems, there should be some overlapping among IOs, let’s present that later.


    rich:

    Needs an light intensity chip, scaled to human perception please. Temperature. rfbee module Okay, but seems the connectors with overshadow the boards.

    I was thinking of a twig rfchip.

    Also need button and touch sensor.

    This is very close to the JetLabs stuff.

    If possible need to have way of knowing signals. I2c, Analog, digital. All have a place, but annoying when you can’t tell.

    Also given the form factor need an micro sd twig, and film frame connector twig/stem (It could do either or both.)
    btw prefer i2c accelerometer.

    I guess I am a bit unclear. D1 D2 no analog unless it is i2c? or would analog have a differing shape?

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  7. Also OLED twig, number pad. IR transciever twig/both digital comm or distance sensor. This maybe replacing many sensors on my mobile bot.

  8. Needs an light intensity chip, scaled to human perception please. Temperature. rfbee module Okay, but seems the connectors with overshadow the boards.

    I was thinking of a twig rfchip.

    Also need button and touch sensor.

    This is very close to the JetLabs stuff.

    If possible need to have way of knowing signals. I2c, Analog, digital. All have a place, but annoying when you can’t tell.

    Also given the form factor need an micro sd twig, and film frame connector twig/stem (It could do either or both.)
    btw prefer i2c accelerometer.

    I guess I am a bit unclear. D1 D2 no analog unless it is i2c? or would analog have a differing shape?

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