|The RFduino is a tiny open source Arduino compatible development board, but with a few twists. Designed by electrical engineer Armen Kazanchianhe, RFduino uses a 32-bit Arm processor and has built in support for Bluetooth 4.0.|
The RFduino took in over $350,0000 in funding for a $5000 target on the crowd-funding platform. The shipping product will be sold for around $19.00.
Based on a Nordic Semiconductor 32-bit ARM system-on-chip that has built-in support for Bluetooth 4.0, the RFduino runs the same code as Arduino UNO and DUE boards, and it works with any type of sensor, servo, or other device that can communicate with an Arduino microcontroller.
Bluetooth 4.0's Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) feature allows the microcontroller to run on power sources as small as a button-cell battery for some applications—and the team has developed a "shield" for the CR2032 battery, as well as single- and dual-AAA battery configurations.
As a result, the RFduino could be used for a whole host of devices that interact with mobile devices, including remote controls, proximity-switch devices such as alarms, and home automation applications that control LED lighting. It could also allow devices programmed with Arduino Sketchesto interact with each other over Bluetooth 4.0—potentially allowing for the development of swarms of smart devices that can talk both to smartphones and notebook computers and their environments.
Here are some things the RFduino can do:
A number of open-source iOS applications have already been developed for the iPhone to interact with the RFduino, according to Armen Kazanchian, the man behind the company RF Digital, which developed the controller and a collection of accessory electronics to support it.
Kazanchian, an electrical engineer with experience in the cellular, consumer electronics, aerospace, and industrial systems industries, founded RF Digital as a wireless electronic component design firm in 1999. He said that in addition to the Kickstarter backers who have donated money to the project and the support from the Arduino "maker" community, there's already commercial interest in using the component. "We have quite a bit of interest from OEMs with mass-production volume uses and requirements for the RFduino and derivative implementations," he said.
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