MOAR Project Details Section Updates

A project log for NeuroBytes

Build your own nervous system!

zakqwyzakqwy 10/29/2018 at 19:590 Comments

Time to update the Project Details Section again. Saving the previous version here for posterity. Something something revision control etc

Thanks for checking out NeuroBytes!

This Project Details section is current as of 9/25/2017. To see the previous edition, follow this link.

[Above: 3+ years of NeuroBytes evolution. The new boards have different connectors, different microcontrollers, different graphics, different LEDs, different communication protocols, and ... well, different just-about-everthing. Below: the current NeuroBytes ecosystem as rendered from the original PCB designs, all of which have been prototyped and some of which have been produced in 100+ board quantities. Left to Right: Interneuron, Tonic Neuron, Motor Neuron, Touch Sensory Neuron, Pressure Sensory Neuron, Rod Photoreceptor, Battery Pack. Not shown: Vestibular System, Cochlea, NID, Braitenberg Vehicle chassis, Patellar Reflex model, etc...]

NeuroBytes® are open-source electronic neuron simulators designed to help students understand basic neuroscience. Each module can be freely connected with others to form complex and biologically representative neural networks. On-board reverse-mounted RGB LEDs indicate current state: excited, inhibited, firing, learning, etc. The boards are based on the STM32L0 ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller and the libopencm3 hardware library, and communicate via a novel board-to-board networking protocol that allows central data collection and global message broadcasting.

[img: NeuroTinker co-founders Joe (left) and Zach (right) at San Diego Maker Faire 2015]

Since its inception in mid-2012 and hardware development starting in February of 2014, this project has gone through many iterations and spawned the formation of NeuroTinker, LLC, a for-profit company primarily funded via Phase I and Phase II SBIR grants from the National Science Foundation. We are currently on track to commercially launch the product via a crowdfunding campaign before the end of 2017, and will have products for sale on the general market in early 2018.

Open Source Hardware

NeuroBytes is Open Source Hardware, as defined by OSHWA and standardized under their Certification Program (US000024). Our design files (C code for firmware and KiCAD files for hardware) are released under the terms of GPLv3 as detailed in our license file.


NeuroBytes GitHub Repository. The firmware and hardware files for this project are released under GPLv3 and the latest version will always live in the linked GitHub organization. Individual boards are listed under their respective names (Interneuron, Motor Neuron, etc).

NeuroTinker company site. This is where we share additional information related to the NeuroBytes product line, such as operating instructions, kit purchase links, and social media account info. We have a public forum on the site that sees occasional use, and a spot to sign up for infrequent email newsletters that make every effort to consolidate important info into one location.

This project page. Yes, the project page you are currently reading. New project logs will appear somewhat frequently and tend to provide a good up-to-the-minute record of technical challenges and developments; conversely, if you want an exhaustive history of NeuroBytes you can start at the beginning. We've had a few great conversations in the log page comment sections (along with the main comment section), so don't hesitate to provide your input.

[img: jumbo-sized and functional NeuroBytes v0.91 board built for World Maker Faire 2016.]