FemtoBeacon ESP32-PICO-D4 wireless IMU coin

Femtoduino has designed a dime sized (18mm diameter) Wi-Fi/Bluetooth wireless IMU (inertial measurement unit) that runs MicroPython:

Screenshot from 2020-06-02 23-16-50

FemtoBeacon ESP32-PICO-D4 (4MiB) wireless IMU coin

What is it?

The world’s smallest open-source Wireless IMU. It has an ICM-20948 MPU (9-axis: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer), and an MS561101BA03-50 precision altimeter/temperature sensor.

The coin uses the ESP32-PICO-D4 chip (4MiB) and has all peripherals attached via SPI (hSPI).

Requires a USB to UART adapter that can provide pass-through 5V to coin VIN pin and at least 500mA to 3V3 pin.

Pin Out:

  • RGB LED, Red pin: 26
  • RGB LED, Green pin: 4
  • RGB LED, Blue pin: 5
  • hSPI SCK pin: 14
  • hSPI MOSI pin: 13
  • hSPI MISO pin: 12
  • MPU Chip Select pin: 15
  • Altimeter Chip Select pin: 27

Why did you make it?

I made these for use in personal projects where I need a very small motion processing unit.

What makes it special?

It’s incredibly small, light weight, and open source!

FemtoBeacon ESP32-PICO-D4 wireless IMU coin

Hackaday “Dream Team” grant application ends June 2nd

Tomorrow, June 2nd, is the last day to apply for the Hackaday “Dream Team” challenge:

Screenshot from 2020-06-01 21-27-36

We recognize it’s difficult to secure work in uncertain times. That’s why we have created a whole new category for the 2020 Hackaday Prize known as Dream Team Grants.

Dream Team challenges represent an opportunity to join a three-person task force. We are essentially recruiting top talent for our nonprofit partners, to help them solve some of their most pressing challenges. Each dream team member will be awarded two $3,000 grants for their work throughout the months of June and July.

Apply individually, or as a team.

Screenshot from 2020-06-01 21-30-34

 

Hackaday “Dream Team” grant application ends June 2nd

DipDuino: Arduino-compatible slim as a DIP

AtomSoft has designed this Arduino-compatible board that’s as slim as a DIP chip:

dipbread_SOceNJDsDY

dipDuino Is an Arduino-Compatible Board That’s as Slim as a DIP Chip

Take up fewer rows on your breadboard with this ATmega328P-based board.

One reason the Arduino Nano became a popular form factor is that it fits onto a breadboard. The compact size is nice but makes the board a bit larger in the width dimension. To solve that issue, AtomSoftTech designed the dipDuino as an Arduino-compatible as narrow as a DIP package.

dipDuino has the same ATmega328P found in the other 8-bit Arduino boards like the Uno and Nano, however measures just 0.37 x 1.82 in (9.3 x 46.26 mm) in size. Its DIP package compatibility comes from the pin row to pin row pitch at 0.3 in (7.62mm).

The DIP-compatible form factor has all of the same pins found on those other boards: 13 digital, five analog, VCC, RESET, and GND. The silkscreen labels A4 and A5 as SDA and SCL since they have a shared function (same as the Uno and Nano).

The ATmega328P SMD packages have two extra analog inputs available that the DIP-style package does not. (This difference is why boards like the Pro Mini and Nano have A6 and A7.) Even though dipDuino has an SMD AVR chip, it does not break out the extra analog pins.

DipDuino: Arduino-compatible slim as a DIP

Custom themes for KiCad

Thanks to the wonderful hardware designer Greg Davill for this suggestion on Twitter:

Several custom themes for KiCad are available from this GitHub repo:

pcbnew (1)

pointhi/kicad-color-schemes

Want to change the color scheme of KiCad? Look here for Inspiration.
Check out the readme to see all the options.  Here are a few:

Screenshot from 2020-05-30 22-11-37Screenshot from 2020-05-30 22-11-20

Custom themes for KiCad

Hackaday Prize and Conservation X Labs Issue Design Challenges to Address Extinction Crisis

When most people think of extinct species, they likely imagine prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs or woolly mammoths. Extinction is something you read about in history books, nature’s way of removing contestants in the great game of life. It’s a product of a cruel and savage world, and outside of a few remaining fringe cases, something that humanity’s advanced technology has put a stop to.

Unfortunately, the truth is far more complicated than that. The planet is currently going through its sixth major extinction event, and this time, it’s our fault. Humanity might not be willfully destroying the natural habitats of the plants, fish, birds, and other lifeforms that have been eradicated, but we’re responsible for it just the same. Humans are an apex predator unlike any the world has ever seen before, and the only force that can stop us is ourselves.

Founded in 2015, Conservation X Labs is devoted to doing everything it can to end this sixth wave of extinction. Unsatisfied with the pace of traditional conservation, they leverage technology and open innovation to develop unique new ways of combating the damage our species has done to life on this planet. After all, it’s the only one we’ve got.

We’ve partnered with this organization to help develop solutions to some of these problems. This includes an open call challenge that anyone can enter, and a Dream Team program that you can get involved with if you act quickly. Let’s take a look at what Conservation X Labs is all about, and what is involved with the challenges at hand.

THE CHALLENGE OF HACKING THE PLANET

With such a worthy goal and their embrace of out-of-the-box thinking, Conservation X Labs was a perfect partner for the 2020 Hackaday Prize. Saving species that have become endangered by human activity requires robust real-world solutions, but if they’re to have any chance at being adopted on a large scale, they need to be deployable at minimal cost and with the least amount of disruption as possible. That can be a difficult balance for large commercial entities to strike, but it’s the sort of thing that the hacking and making community absolutely excels at.

For the 2020 Hackaday Prize, Conservation X Labs has tasked competitors with developing innovative solutions for protecting marine life and combating invasive species. Building hardware that can survive the harsh ocean environment adds an extra dimension of challenge to these entries, and we’re excited to see how the submitted designs take it into account.

According to Sam Kelly, the Conservation Technology Program Manager at Conservation X Labs and mentor for this year’s Hackaday Prize, teams that want to tackle these challenges need to plan ahead if their design is to have any chance of surviving. “Between the salt, weather, pressure, and water, any solution needs to be ready for ingress and corrosion. It is also essential to consider the potential inaccessibility of any deployed device – for both maintenance and communication.”

Teams also have to make special considerations for the end-user. If you’re developing a device that needs to be operated by fishermen on a rocking boat in the middle of the ocean, a tiny touch screen probably isn’t going to work out very well. If it’s too difficult or time consuming to operate, then in all likelihood it just won’t get used.

via Hackaday Prize and Conservation X Labs Issue Design Challenges to Address Extinction Crisis — Hackaday

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Learn more about Flexible PCBs

We are very excited to that more and more of our customers are discovering our flexible PCB service and how it can benefit their projects.

Insulectro’s Chris Hunrath joined Royal Circuits in a recent webinar that dives into the details of Flexible PCBs:

Learn more about Flexible PCBs