Ron Guest

Ron Guest

Arduino comes of age and slings new hardware

At the New York Make Faire this month the Arduino team, led by Massimo Banzi, made some exciting announcements. The first was the release candidate for the IDE/sketch system. Yes it has finally reached Arduino 1.0rc stage and you can get it here if you want an early look. As you’ll see from the announcement video linked below this should go final in the next month or two.

The biggest excitement comes from the new hardware they’ve introduced. Here are a few highlights along with a photo of the spec sheet.

  • Arduino Leonardo - a lower cost Uno with a simpler design but, get this, it has USB capabilities built in. It can handily emulate USB devices such as a mouse or keyboard. It's expected cost about $20US.
  • Arduino Wifi Shield - finally an official, and far superior, Wifi shield is coming. I've experimented with several of the existing Wifi shields and their implementation all leave something (in fact a lot) to be desired. This official shield, coming soon for about $80US, will leverage support in the new Arduino 1.0 software as well as benefitting from a design that avoids the UART. This means it's functioning will be completely hackable. It has it's own processor so performance will also be superior as well. The Wifi shield should be available soon - but I won't be surprised if they sell out immediately.
  • Arduino Due - a Arduino with a 32-bit processor but that barely tells the tale on this one as it's I/O performance will kick some serious butt. This baby is due at the end of 2011 and will clearly push the frontiers of what's possible with an Arduino.
  • Arduino Robot System - this is a dual-Arduino robot system which is TinkerKit compatible. I have not yet seen a release date for this one.

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