Gumstix has announced impending availability of an inertial measurement unit add-on for the Raspberry Pi Zero family with a difference: It's also a rechargeable uninterruptible power supply (UPS), courtesy of two AA batteries and an integrated charging circuit.
Gumstix's latest creation, first spotted by Linux Gizmos, takes a compact form factor roughly the size of the Raspberry Pi Zero itself. It interfaces with the host Raspberry Pi Zero through the 40-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header, and offers a Bosch BMI160 inertial measurement unit — ideal for robotics or drone-based projects that require motion sensing.
Where the board takes a shift is in also offering an alternative power supply for the Raspberry Pi Zero in the form of two rechargeable AA batteries — not supplied. When inserted, Gumstix claims the batteries can keep the Raspberry Pi Zero running for up to two hours — and there's a charging circuit which tops the batteries back up again when USB power is supplied to the Raspberry Pi Zero, enabling the batteries to act as a UPS.
The board was designed in Gumstix's own Gepetto design environment, which makes it uniquely customizable: Interested parties can load the design into Gepetto and use the platform's drag-and-drop editing environment to add and remove components, including switching out the IMU for a different model if required.
The Gumstix Raspberry Pi Zero Battery Board is available to pre-order now for $50 on the official website, with no launch date yet provided.