Another documentation update . . .

A project log for NeuroBytes

Build your own nervous system!

zakqwyzakqwy 09/25/2017 at 21:050 Comments

Time for another Project Details update. I guess these happen annually now? In any case, the previous text is below... this log mostly exists to preserve the 10/10/2016 copy:

Thanks for checking out NeuroBytes!

This Project Details section is current as of 10/10/2016. To see the previous edition, follow this link.

[img: NeuroBytes v0.91 boards getting programmed and tested, October 2016]

NeuroBytes® [we did register the name and the NeuroTinker logo, as discussed here] are open-source electronic neuron simulators designed to help students understand basic neuroscience. Each modular board includes five inputs (or dendrites) along with two outputs (its axon terminal) that allow easy connection with other identical boards. A rear-mounted RGB LED allows learners to quickly visualize various characteristics of each neuron, including membrane potential, operating mode, and firing rate. Additionally, analog sensors can be used for advanced biological modeling using our littleBits interface adapter and suitable analog input Bits (such as the light/dark sensor). Outputs can be connected to "muscles": 9g hobby servos driven through a NeuroBytes board switched to Motor Neuron mode.

[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 ten iterations and spawned the formation of NeuroTinker, LLC, a for-profit company primarily funded via a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation. As of October 2016, we have submitted a Phase II application under the same prompt, joined an edtech-focused accelerator called EDSi, run a MN-based manufacturing trial that resulted in prototype sales into both secondary and post-secondary education markets, and generally spent a great deal of time preparing the products and accessories for commercial sale.

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 repo.

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 board built for World Maker Faire 2016.]