Yesterday I went to Tokyo MAKE Meeting 04 with Gianluca Martino: a member of the Arduino team. He has been super popular and he really appreciated the Japanese Arduino scene. During the show Gakken displayed the prototype of the JAPANINO (Arduino clone). It will be released next spring in the Otona no Kagaku (in Japanese it means “Science toys for adults”) magazine series with a Persistence of Vision plastic Toy with color LEDs. The price tag will be less than 3500 yen (ca$35) and it will help a lot of people to get into the “Makers” scene. I’m doing consulting for Gakken on this project so I can not reveal all details but this release will definitely make the Japanese Arduino scene the biggest in the World as in a couple of months the magazine will probably sell what the original Arduino sold worldwide in the last years. As all Otona no Kagaku issues there will be also a magazine with many information about original Arduino and simple guide for beginners. There will be a Japanese IDE downloadable from Gakken website but foreign users can use the standard Arduino software.
Can’t really tell if it’s a clone or if they’ve done more / added more…
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Seems like they’ve removed something that might seem small: The retention contact for the ATMega chip. I’m sure it saves money to use a TQFP package rather than a retention contact plus a DIP chip, it makes it very difficult to upgrade.
Also looks like the ISCP pins are missing.
I’m sure this is all academic for 90% of Arduino users.
Glad to have Japan on board. (Though I know a few Makers in Japan and they’ve not had any problems developing with the standard Arduino. But the more eyeballs looking and brains thinking about something increases the awesome potential.)