Development boards like the incredibly popular Arduino Uno have made it easier than ever to prototype electronic circuits, but you’re often still left with a rat’s nest of wires. Even a simple project will likely require a breadboard and a handful of wires running between the various components. A number of module-based prototyping systems have developed over the years to make it easy to snap circuits together, but those are usually intended to kid-friendly and simple. That’s why Redditor Solder_Man developed his own DIY electronic brick system for prototyping dubbed "Project PocKit," and it’s very impressive.
Before even discussing the very exciting functionality of these electronic bricks, we need to take a minute to talk about aesthetics. While we firmly believe that form should follow function, there is no denying that these bricks are downright beautiful. They have a nice, white, minimalist appearance that results in a beautiful prototype that looks far more attractive than the traditional pile of circuit boards and wires. Each brick, which is a self-contained module for a specific component, appears to be 3D-printed and snaps magnetically onto the base board to make an electronic connection. The bricks come in different sizes, but in consistent proportions. In that way, they’re like LEGO bricks that can be positioned seamlessly next to each other.
Of course, aesthetics aren’t what is actually important. Fortunately Solder_Man hasn’t neglected the functionality here. There are three available “core” bricks: one containing a Raspberry Pi Computer Module 3+, one with an Arduino-compatible Microchip ATmega328P microcontroller, and one with an STM32-F429 microcontroller. Those work with a total of 12 different kinds of peripheral bricks that contain components like displays, speakers, potentiometers, and sensors. Solder_Man doesn’t provide much detail about how everything is programmed, but in the demonstration video he’s able to quickly snap together different circuits and the peripherals seem to automatically work with the cores. Even if the cores need to be programmed for each circuit arrangement, this electronic brick system still dramatically cleans up the prototyping process. Solder_Man doesn’t have any specific plans for this system yet, but we’re looking forward to seeing where it goes.
If you'd like to learn more, Solder_Man has created a Facebook group to discuss Project PocKit, and you can find it here,