Crowdfunding Roundup #1

This is a new series of posts, called Crowdfunding Roundup where I list interesting projects I found on crowdfunding platforms (Kickstarter, Indiegogo…). These will be mainly code & electronics projects.

Here’s the first roundup:

The AirBoard

The AirBoard is a thumb-size, Arduino compatible, wireless, ubiquitous computer designed to sketch Internet-of-Things, fast!

Yet another prototyping board. What’s cool with this one?

  • Arduino compatible
  • XBee format
  • designed for wireless projects
  • power efficient
  • Over-The-Air programming

Let’s decrypt this:

  • Arduino compatible means compatible with the Arduino IDE. If you look at the form factor, you’ll see that it’s not compatible with standard shields.
  • XBee is a wireless radio module with a easily recognizable shape (small rectangle with two corners cut).
  • Plug any XBee-shaped wireless shield (XBee, WiFi, Bluetooth) and your project is wireless. Since the AirBoard has the same shape, everything fits nicely and stays compact.
  • If you’ve tried to make an Arduino run for months on battery, you know that they are not optimized for this. The power LED is always on, the regulator is not great. This kills all your power saving efforts. The AirBoard is designed with this in mind and can last 3 years on sleep mode on the 150 mAh included battery. Yes, included battery. And included charger & battery protection. And switchable power output for the shield. You don’t use your shield? Power it off.
  • Last thing, you can program it wirelessly. No cable, no wires. The board can stay in your project enclosure.

OpenMV Cam

Add machine vision to your projects by scripting Python. Small, affordable, and expandable with shields.

This one is a computer vision module. You write Python code for the module, you can check that the detection works correctly with the provided IDE and you can connect it to your Arduino via UART, SPI or I2C.

That’s awesome. No need for a Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone and a webcam. All the heavy work it done on the module (STM32F4 microcontroller) and the Arduino can just get the result and do its stuff. Or you can just use the module standalone and its GPIO.

Bonus: you can solder infrared LEDs and MAGIC! you have night vision.


StickyBUGs are small, modular boards that enable you to quickly make your own Arduino shield, with no wiring or soldering required!

If you like Arduino shields, you will probably like this project. It’s a shield for tiny shields (called bugs). There are half-size and quarter-sized shields and you can place them however you want on the host shield. This way, you create exactly the shield you need.

Want a “treasure hunt” shield? Take a gpsBUG to get the position, a bargraphBUG to show how far or how close you are from the treasure and a servoBUG that will unlock a secret compartment containing a special hint when you are very close. Plug everything and you have your shield.

More seriously, if you create a lot of quick demo prototypes, I think it’s a great tool.