The maker culture has changed significantly since the cheap educational microcontroller Arduino was introduced in 2005. Now, new open-source boards based on the Arduino architecture are ready to encourage teamwork and creativity.
WiDo is a new credit card-sized microcontroller board designed to reflect the latest trend in the Internet of Things industry. The WiDo is an IoT node that costs just $30, making it a perfect prototyping platform for the hobbyist or tinkerers.
The small development board has MicroUSB port, MicroSD card socket, built-in WiFi chip, and several digital and analog driver pins for interfacing external components. It runs the same Arduino programming language with the help from Adafruit library.
The idea behind this WiFi development board is to be the core of the DIY projects for the Internet of Things community makers. Why? Because is easier to use only one board with the same sketches as the Arduino. Suddenly the Internet-connected robots are more familiars and accessible for kids as well as adults. Putting a foot into the future and thinking about the increasingly huge number of connections that we expected to be around 9 billion by 2018, this kind of device has a great potential to become the new prototyping platform for present and future things.
Why to use WiDo instead Arduino? If you haven’t decided what your next IoT platform is going to be, here is up to six features that can make any hobbyist or hacker to turn the eyes from Arduino+WiFi shield to WiDo.
1. The WiDo is cheap, very cheap
An Arduino UNO together with a WiFi shield cost around $79, while the WiDo price is with $49 less. At a simple calculation the WiDo is cheap and powerful enough to replace the Arduino board as the IoT solution. More than that, it has a built-in module with support for 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g networks.
2. Fully compatible with Arduino IDE
The engineers were inspired enough to design the board based on the Arduino architecture and compatible with the Arduino IDE. The Arduino IDE is very popular, simple, and comes with a large library of examples.
3. It can be connected to Xively
What is Xively? The Xively is a platform that works as a cloud service and provide everything users needs to accelerate and simplify the creation of connected products.
4. It uses the same microcontroller as Arduino Leonardo
Yes, the WiDo uses the same ATmega32U4 low-power microcontroller to execute the sketches.
5. It is open-source
The hardware is freely available and anyone is free to modify or re-build the board.
6. Power supply
The board can support a power supply ranging between 5v or 7-12v. From the MicroUSB it can take 5V, while from a DC power jack 7-12v.
Ultimately, the impact of IoT over robotics industry is high and has effects over the makers’ community. If you think that the WiDo is powerful enough to replace the Arduino and WiFi shield, share your thoughts in the comments and share the article with your friends.