Open source electronics maker TinyCircuits has launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring their tiny Whisker add-on boards to the market. The boards act in a similar fashion to Raspberry Pi HATs and Arduino shields, adding everything from sensors to 9-axis IMUs.
“Whiskers are tiny, low-cost, and to top it all off — they are compatible with TinyCircuits boards, standard Arduino boards, and Raspberry Pi boards. Over 30 Whisker boards have been developed with many more planned in the future!”
The Whiskers connect to the Pi/Arduino/TinyDuino via a 5-pin cable, which means there is no soldering required, making it easy to attach to new or existing projects. Of course, to use the Whiskers with those boards, they need a HAT/shield adapter, which is outfitted with the necessary jacks to add up to four additional boards. They are also equipped with a 4-channel multiplexer, RTC, and onboard voltage regulation and level shifting.
TinyCircuits state they have developed over 30 Whisker boards — including a myriad of sensors (accelerometer, 9-axis IMU, color, VOC, etc.), Hall effect switch, Hall effect sensor, IR receiver, I/O expansion, LRA vibration motor, various-sized displays, and rotary switch. There is even a MEMS microphone board, audio amplifier, NFC reader, breakout board, pulse oximeter, and a host of others in the arsenal.
Beyond Whisker boards, TinyCircuits offers a pair of processor platforms that were designed for low-cost Whisker projects, such as the WhiskerZero, which features a Microchip SAM D21 MCU, USB connectivity port, power management, and battery charger. Tiny Circuits’ other processor board, the RobotZero, was designed for robotic projects and features four Whisker connectors, two motor ports, an IMU, as well as a SAM D21 MCU.
TinyCircuits is currently crowdfunding their Whiskers on Kickstarter with pledges starting at $25 for the Basic Kit, which comes with your choice of Pi HAT, Arduino shield, or WhiskerZero adapter boards, digital Hall sensor board, RGB LED board, rechargeable battery, 0.42-inch display, light sensor, buzzer, programmable button, and six Whisker cables.