Mosquino: An Arduino-Based Energy Harvesting Development Board

The Mosquino is a new Arduino variant, designed to work with much lower-capacity power supplies than the standard USB/7805 5 volts, such as those delivered by solar cells or small batteries. While it isn’t physically shield compatible with the Arduino, it does boast some unique and useful features, such as:

  • compatibility with the Arduino toolchain and portable IDE
  • power supply shields — effectively giving you multiple, easy-to-swap PSUs while keeping your program and digital circuit hardware intact.
  • uses an ATMega644, which provides twice as much program memory as the ‘328.
  • 3 (three!) Mosquino-compatible shields can be connected at once without stacking, due to redundant pinouts.
  • prioritization of power supply (USB > battery).
  • FTDI operates from isolated power line, so no draw on circuit when the computer isn’t connected.
  • hardware real-time clock and 3 interrupt lines, to encourage event-driven operation and programming.
  • 0.1″-grid pinout for shields so you can develop on perfboard.
  • still fits in an Altoids tin.

Tim writes:

Mosquino is based on the Sanguino design using the Atmel Atmega644PA and family microcontrollers. It turns out the name Sanguino literally translates as “bleeding”! In keeping with the theme, this parasitically-powered board is a “little bloodsucker”. Don’t worry, it doesn’t drink much. (Also, the name Draculino is already used.)

It’s pretty clear a great deal of thought and hard work went into this board, and the result is mighty impressive. You can check out the design and pcb files here or check out the code page here. The Arduino IDE drop-in files and general discussion are on the main page.

Nicely done, Tim!

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome blog, and thanks for the mention!

    I just wanted to warn/mention to potential builders of this that there is a new version available in the project’s newly created Google Code repository (http://code.google.com/p/mosquino/), and that the version / build files on tim.cexx.org are currently out of date. Some pinouts have changed between the two.

    The Google Code repository now contains all of the code (Arduino cores), EAGLE/Gerber files and related libraries (use the ‘Repository’ dropdown list on the Source tab to switch between these). Barring some very serious mistake, what’s on these boards will be the correct and final Mosquino pinouts.

    This project is still very much a work in progress 🙂 The boards currently in the repository have been sent out for fabrication, I should get them within the next 2 weeks for testing. Once I’m satisfied that they work, maybe see if anyone is interested in producing them (or kits) in higher quantities.


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