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.
Tom, I think you need to calm down a bit. There are lots of ways to solve any problem. As for the Arduino, I am not so impressed. I have found vendor evaluation and startup boards that are less costly and are stull "open" enough to be set up in lots of different ways. They generally come with complete drawings and software. They are meant to be modified and adapted to an application. While I see the Arduino used in some Univeristy programs, I have been advocating that they use boards from the commercial vendors. There are two reasons for this. One, in the real world, they will need to be familiar with the vendors' products. Part of an engineer's job is doing a make/buy trade study. They need to determine if there is an existing part that will meet the need (perhaps with some modification). Second, I have found that a lot of the vendor boards are less expensive. Software is generally free with a restriction on the size of the application.
This is a nice project but it's not earth shattering news. Parallax has had the Basic Stamp for over 20 years!
The Parallax development board is more compact.
Also the Pic microcontroler has been around just as long, and I am sure there are priject boards out there for them too.
As far getting them into schools, I know Parallax has a forum dedicated to teachers, and they offer discounts to schools on their project boards. The even kit the microprocessor with components to create a fully functional and programmable robot.
Things are getting quite lively here with the generational bickering. Interestingly, the kids' skills with gaming software and familiarity with electronic communications and social networking will come in handy with future technology, even present-day technology. One of the trends mentioned in Beth's piece, The Top 6 Design Hardware and Software Trends of 2011 mentions design tools that use social networking.
and not intended for mobile or industrial use. No provisions have been made for surviving EMC compliance tests, so better be careful if using this board for home automation, except if you are at home...
Nevertheless, this is another helpful contribution, now based on the Arduino form factor. Give it to kids which are otherwise destroying the universe several times a day with their game computers, and they will show you whether they are able to do something useful or not. Let' see!
" I am so tired of these 50 year old has been old school myopic elitist ass hole engineers"
Whoa ! I am a 64 year old with wide angle ( somewhat fading ) vision .
I had been designing and building equipment with CMOS logic since the 60s, always saying I will get into micros one day, but never had the time to learn.
The Arduino concept ( warts and all ) was my stepping stone that allowed me to quickly absorb the programming concepts, and within a year I am using ATmega 328s on nearly all my projects.
I am sure if I had time to get into Z80 or whatever 30 years ago, I would still rave about the Arduino concept now, not because of its name, shape , or its offset socket mistake :-), but because its ability to allow beginners and old-farts alike, to jump straight into the hands-on side of microprocessors.
Those with the inclination can then move on to "real" micro projects should they wish.
Your attitude is a "what have you done for me lately?" sort of thing. If I'm such a geezer, then you don't need me.
Seriously, I do help out. I have the Arduino, some MSP-430 stuff, protoboards, radios, ocilloscopes, DVMs, and a really messy shop where I can show my kids and their friends what real electronics and ham radio are like.
I teach these kids programming at assembly, low level, and high level languages, soldering, receiver design, modulation theory, and many more things.
You want people to contribute? Don't insult them. And don't make assumptions about their character.
May your new year be less elitist and more hands-on than this one.
First off, nice work, Jared! Probably a lot nicer than a software monkey like myself will ever understand. Good luck with 'the market'!
I tend to agree about renaming stuff - ditto the shields 'wt...' - but the question is not so much what bugs us, but what works. Arduino has succeeded nicely in a world overfilled with iPods and PSPs. Jared's rack-mount form factor may be short-sighted -- or it may be way ahead of its time. We'll know in a few years!
IMHO, the coolest innovation is seeing open source invade the hardware world. Sure, it makes a lot of people uneasy - just like it did with software. But proprietary SW didn't die, which bodes well for the future of HW. Meanwhile. open source continues to 'democratize magic.' Freak on!
('Bodes well'? I'm dating myself!) The more I think about Jared's design, the more I like it. Know what's missing? An ugly jumble of wires. Fantastic!
Because it fulfills a need. It provides open source server room / general environmental monitoring platform that is fully open source. This is not a catch all product. It is for specific industries. And costs about 10% of a comparable comical product with no residual licensing costs. For companies, data centers, even green houses this is a critical savings and will drive prices down to a reasonable level.
This is only true in part overall. It looks like more thought has gone into this than you give credit. They also have a wall mount version that allows the placement of an lcd screen in the board cutout. Seems to me while yes still ridged, it provides a great amount of further flexibility.
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