New Arduino stuff

It would appear i’ve been living under a rock the past week or so and have completely missed that new Arduino boards were released 4 days ago…

If you’re like me, here’s the rundown. First up is an Arduino Ethernet, which – quite obviously – is an Arduino with Ethernet, microSD slot and PoE baked in. Well, kinda. Power-over-Ethernet actually comes as an optional module. Here’s how it looks with it on board:

No, don’t tilt your necks, it’s not your screen that’s lopsided. It’s the PoE module. Check out the through-holes on the board:

Is it just me or does that look like an afterthought you’d find on a Chinese knockoff? Sorta reminds me of Alfa Romeo’s “hidden” doorknobs near the roof, that actually look like someone forgot to put them on during the design stage, or their front bumpers that have no space for a licence plate, so people end up tacking them or bolting them on the bumper, off centre. I ramble…
Anyways, compare that to Freetronics’ EtherTen (which has PoE on-board by default, as well as a microUSB instead of a TTL header):

Geez, Arduino people, what’s wrong with you? To make things worse, the official Arduino blog post brags how “prototypes of the board have been installed and have been operating for over a year at the ‘Campari Gallery’ museum in Milan”. Meh. Anyways, next up is the USB2Serial module, that doesn’t really offer anything new compared to FTDI breakouts already out there, except it’s not FTDI-based. It’s got the same Atmega8U2 on it the Uno has. Which might make it useful for USB/HID hacking, i guess…

Next up is the Arduino Mega ADK, an ATmega2560 ADK (Android Accessory Development Kit) board not unlike (in fact, seems identical to, for the most part) the ones already offered by the likes of SeeedStudio Seeeduino ADK. Looks like a nice, solid board, tho.

Finally, there’s a pricey (250 EUR, or $350) ADK Sensor Kit, consisting of an Arduino Mega ADK and a bunch-a-connectors shield to which you can hook up a bunch-a-dwittwe-sensor-and-actuator-boards.

Maybe it’s just me, but looks eerily similar to Seeedstudio’s GROVE system (STEM and TWIGS), which, admittedly, has nothing to do with ADK, so it’s kinda nice to see the same idea extended to people starting up with Android physical computing:

All in all… nice try, but boo, Arduino! I’ve expected more.

Source: Arduino blog

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