Jared Bouck has created what he calls the sprout board. It’s is a high-quality main board that is designed to allow users to simply plug in an Arduino and create a wide variety of high-quality practical projects.
Jared's system is 100 percent open-source and totally customizable to the needs of each implementation. The applications based on the sprout board range from automated gardening control, home heat, and sprinkler systems to interactive art projects. Because this gadget is based on the flexible Arduino platform, anyone from a beginner to an expert -- with a little programming background -- can customize it.
Here is the finished sprout board. It allows the microcontroller and an accessory shield to dock with it
and utilize the on-board features with ease.
Here is the board with Arduino and Ethernet shield mounted.
The assembly of the sprout board is very simple and requires very little experience with soldering.
Seems like Jared has come up with a design that will give a lot of aspiring engineers and enthusiasts a solid foundation for creating whatever kind of innovation they can come up with. Yet another good example of how open source technologies can be a springboard for creativity.
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.