Another player in the magnetically modular make-it-child-makeable electronics building kit launches on Kickstarter. Although more compelling in its open sourcey-ness than littleBits, Microduino’s mCookie design — from the magnetic joints to the color scheming — shouts lawsuit from the littleBits IP attorneys. Hard to say if they’ll survive into a version 2 release even though I want one for my toddler.
Geez, guys, couldn’t you be a little less blatant in that color palette?
If there’s one trend that is continuing to evolve throughout the Maker Movement, it’s modularity. DIYers are constantly seeking expedited and efficient ways to piece together their projects, all while bringing their ideas to life without the hassles of soldering and wiring messes.
With the T-bone, a custom “cape” (daughterboard) for the Beaglebone Black, running your 3D printers, laser cutters or milling machines will be considerably easier. The cape comes preprogrammed for the Reprap Mendel 3D Printer, along with low level drivers, the printer application and a high level Web Interface for control.
As wonderful a platform as the Beaglebone Black is, the board is a piker compared to the add-ons available for the Arduino. The Bone’s universe of capes is limited and pretty pricey.
A current device from an engineering team in Germany, though, caught our eye and opened our wallet on Indiegogo: a low-cost daughterboard that makes it possible to use nearly any Arduino shield on the Beaglebone Black. They promise shipping by May, so it should arrive in time to write about it in my upcoming book, A Beaglebone Black Cookbook: Seventy-Five Recipes for Making Things with a Microcomputer (Packt Publishing, pub. date Fall 2014).
If you’re frustrated with all the shields (like WiFi) you have to stack onto Arduino or struggling with Raspberry Pi’s lack of horsepower, Udoo’s the answer. Combining the best of both platforms, it’s currently “80 percent complete,” according to the developers’ Kickstarter video.