Would you like to add powerful and easy-to-use Bluetooth Low Energy to your robot, art or other electronics project? Heck yeah! With BLE now included in modern smart phones and tablets, its fun to add wireless connectivity. So what you really need is the new Adafruit Bluefruit LE Micro – it’s an Atmega32u4 chip (same as used as in the Adafruit Flora or Arduino Leonardo) plus our SPI Bluefruit LE Friend in one.
Bluetooth Low Energy is the hottest new low-power, 2.4GHz spectrum wireless protocol. It’s on all the talk shows, it’s featured on the cover of Vogue, it even has it’s very own perfume! OK, maybe that stuff isn’t completely true. But it isa very exciting way to have your electronic projects communicate with a BLE-capable computer, tablet or phone.
In particular, its the only wireless protocol that you can use with iOS without needing special certification and it’s supported by all modern smart phones. This makes it excellent for use in portable projects that will make use of an iOS or Android phone or tablet.
Program over USB with the Arduino IDE
The Bluefruit LE Micro makes this easier than ever, by combining an ATmega32u4 microcontroller and our Bluefruit LE module. You can program the ATmega32u4 over USB using the built-in USB bootloader, either directly with avrdude or using the Arduino IDE (it’s the same as used as in the Adafruit Flora or Arduino Leonardo). This microcontroller runs at 8MHz clock speed, and 3.3V logic for compatibility with the vast majority of sensors available on the market. It has 20+ GPIO pins, including I2C, SPI, a UART, and 6 analog inputs. It has 28KB of FLASH available for your program, and 2KB of RAM. And, of course, native USB for programming and communication.
You can also add a rechargable Lithium Polymer battery by picking up a LiPoly backpack. Solder it on top of the Bluefruit LE Micro and it will let you charge the battery over the micro USB connector. When the USB is unplugged, it will run off the battery.
The Power of Bluefruit LE
The Bluefruit LE module is an nRF51822 chipset from Nordic, programmed with multi-function code that can do quite a lot! For most people, they’ll be very happy to use the standard Nordic UART RX/TX connection profile. In this profile, the Bluefruit acts as a data pipe, that can ‘transparently’ transmit back and forth from your iOS or Android device. You can use our iOS App or Android App, or write your own to communicate with the UART service.
The board is capable of much more than just sending strings over the air! Thanks to an easy to learn AT command set, you have full control over how the device behaves, including the ability to define and manipulate your own GATT Services and Characteristics, or change the way that the device advertises itself for other Bluetooth Low Energy devices to see. You can also use the AT commands to query the die temperature, check the battery voltage, and more, check the connection RSSI or MAC address, and tons more. Really, way too long to list here!
Use the Bluefruit App to get your project started
Using our Bluefruit iOS App or Android App, you can quickly get your project prototyped by using your iOS or Android phone/tablet as a controller. We have a color picker, quaternion/accelerometer/gyro/magnetometer or location (GPS), and an 8-button control game pad. This data can be read over BLE and piped into the ATmega32u4 chip for processing & control
You can do a lot more too!
- The Bluefruit can also act like an HID Keyboard (for devices that support BLE HID)
- Can become a BLE Heart Rate Monitor (a standard profile for BLE) – you just need to add the pulse-detection circuitry
- Turn it into a UriBeacon, the Google standard for Bluetooth LE beacons. Just power it and the 'Friend will bleep out a URL to any nearby devices with the UriBeacon app installed.
- Built in over-the-air bootloading capability so we can keep you updated with the hottest new firmware. Use any Android or iOS device to get updates and install them. This will update the native code on the BLE module, to add new wireless capabilities, not program the ATmega chip.
Each order comes with one fully assembled and tested Bluefruit LE Micro board. The ATmega32u4 on board comes with a USB bootloader for quick programming. We also include some headers which you can solder in to use the module in a solderless breadboard.