Gumstix Unveils Raspberry Pi Zero Battery Board with Two AA Rechargeables, Onboard IMU

Customizable in Gumstix's Gepetto environment, the new board combines two hours of power with inertial measurement.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months ago β€’ Hardware 101
The add-on offers two hours of battery life plus an onboard IMU. (πŸ“·: Gumstix)

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 β€” 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 β€” not supplied. When inserted, Gumstix claims the batteries can keep the Raspberry Pi Zero running for up to two hours β€” 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.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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