Well its another day of product development here at oomlout. Well product development with a healthy dose of procrastination.
As part of that procrastination we happened across a talk given by David Rowe (via make). His open telephony project is quite amazing and while no where close to the scale of his efforts we fancy ourselves at least burgeoning "open hardwarists".
After watching the talk it struck me as silly; the three of us working away on a product, with plans of a standard monolithic product roll out. So as such we thought we'd procrastinate a bit more and bring you up to speed (and show you our in progress files to boot) on what we're currently working on.
What it is:
ARDX - Arduino Experimentation Kit
We all purchased our first Arduino only to have it sit around on our desk for days maybe even weeks before we got around to even playing with the Blink program. As for starter kits they are lovely (both ADA fruit industries and Make produce a very nice kit), but well at oomlout we like more. So what's being developed is a fully contained Arduino experimentation kit, with lights, dials, buttons, motors, transistors oh my along with a guide to introduce each of their usages. Also it's no fun to be tethered to the wall or using 9 volt batteries so a 6 AA battery backpack as well.
A Few Things Different:
The changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary, however the hope is to make the whole kit feel like something special.
- It's all open. We'll post all our files (or watch the product develop the current versions of files can be found at http://www.oomlout.com/ARDX/ (this is just a dump of our current development folder so errors and unfinished files abound)). When its done, feel free to make and package your own (perhaps a nice fundraiser for robotics club?) or help us out by developing more circuits and providing feedback both of which we can roll into future upgrades.
- To keep things nice and clean we're working on a machine to bend and snip all the leads to appropriate breadboard length.
- Breadboard guidance sheets (example) for each circuit there's a lovely colourful sheet that can be pinned to your breadboard and then making the circuit is simply a matter of popping the components into their printed outlines.
- Included battery box to let your projects operate away from the wall and computer.
- Online backup. As many of you have noticed we mad heart Instructables.com around these parts. So we'll be publishing an Instructable with a page for each circuit with extra info, links to more info, where to buy the parts (cheaply) and to help in troubleshooting a video of each circuit being assembled.
- Each circuits pieces will be separately packaged (so no squinting to look at resistor codes) or wondering if that really is the right piece.
Well that's what were upto, check out our progress and give us a shout if you spot any horrendous errors (Stuart does need to be watched), or if you have ideas on changes to make, or things to add we'd love to hear them.
The oomlout team.