GadgetBox tackles the biggest problems with current IoT devices - shield stacking, easily adding hardware, hardware compatibility, and an enclosure for your project. There are lots of IoT hardware options out there but none of them have thought the problem all the way through, so what we end up with is either a crazy tower of shields or peripherals soldered on with jumper wires. Not something we can proudly show our friends and family, let alone put into use in our homes.
GadgetBox starts with a case and builds from there - so the end result is an attractive, functional device with all of the electronics safely contained in the case.
Inside the GadgetBox case is a motherboard that provides all of the circuitry to charge and use a Lipo battery pack, provide higher current to your peripherals, and organizes all IO pins into the Universal eCog scheme. A motherboard for all of the most popular IoT devices is currently in the works - Arduino, Teensy, Pi Zero, ESP8266, etc.
eCogs are Universal peripherals that just snap into the motherboard and form the top of your enclosure. Only the hardware that is needed by the end user is exposed to the outside world, everything else is tucked inside the enclosure. Because the motherboards are designed using the Universal eCog scheme you can freely interchange your eCogs between motherboards. If you have an SD card eCog shouldn't you be able to use that same eCog with the Arduino, Teensy, Pi Zero, and ESP8266? Of course you should, the Universal eCog scheme makes that possible.
Motherboards in Development
- Arduino compatible - Uses the new ATmega328PB chip that provides just enough IO pins to work with the Universal eCog scheme.
- Teensy - Plug in a Teensy 3.2 and the Motherboard converts the IO pins to work with the Universal eCog scheme. Support for a Lipo battery pack and charging circuit are included.
- Raspberry Pi Zero - Plug in a Raspberry Pi Zero and enjoy the Universal eCog scheme and Lipo battery support.
- ESP8266 - For the absolute lowest cost possible, no need to add a Wifi eCog because the motherboard is the Wifi eCog! The ESP8266 is very GPIO constrained so there are tradeoffs with this design. It is not possible to implement the full Universal eCog scheme, but we are able to get SPI and I2C on all four eCog quadrants which opens up a lot of possibilities.
GadgetBox in Action