Pinoccio: an Open Source, Wireless Hardware & Software Platform

Check out Pinoccio, a neat new open source, wireless hardware & software platform.  Some highlights:

No cables, no cords. Pinoccio talks over wi-fi and runs on a long-lasting rechargeable LiPo battery. It’s also Arduino-compatible.

The Atmel 802.15.4 radio in the 128rfa1 chip we’re using has a ridiculously low power draw for the range you get. We can blast the radio non-stop at full power, and a 550mAh battery will power that (and the MCU) for something like 27 hours. It draws 17mA at full power radio, and the MCU in the highest power state. We wanted this sort of endurance while still remaining networkable. Thus this was the right package.

You can use the board non-stop at full power for around 27 hours. However, it’s more likely that you’ll put the board to sleep, and have it wake up when certain conditions are met. Using it this way, you could have a board run on one charge for months. This can vary a lot depending on how you’re using Pinoccio.

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  1. It’ll be interesting to see how this compares to the Imp. I got a couple of those and played around with them a bit, but I’m not entirely comfortable with my stuff being in the “cloud.” If you can use these to do similar things without being locked into a closed service, I think people would prefer this.

  2. Hi Chris, this is Sally from the Pinoccio team. Good question! You will not be locked into using the Pinoccio API. It’s super important to us that you own your data, no us. The Pinoccio API is just there to help make the process of getting your board to talk to the Web super easy, but you certainly don’t have to use it.

    I realize this wasn’t entirely clear on our web site, so I updated our FAQ with your question. Feel free to reach out to us with any other questions you might have. Thanks again! 🙂

  3. I see potential in this that the Arduino Fio maybe has not achieved.

    There is a large market for Twine-like (http://supermechanical.com/) RF based sensor networks – if the Pinoccio can provide a level of networkability (at least hardware-wise, Web API not necessarily a needed component) at a price point much lower than Twine, then I predict a large market.

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