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Microsoft is designing a new prototyping system called Gadgeteer. What is so sweet about this module is that it uses the same processor module we have in FEZ Cobra. It has a similar concept of what we have on this website, easy prototyping. We are still discussing options with Microsoft on how Gadgeteer can be brought to your desk at a very affordable price…so stay tuned for future news

You can see it in this video from maker faire.


I visited the Microsoft Gadgeteer area today.

It was very hard to actually determine it was Microsoft. There were no Microsoft signs visible. One gentleman did have Microsoft on his name tag. Must be the “Evil Empire” syndrome.

But, there was one very prominent sign at the Microsoft/Gadgeteer area…


Great to hear! But why would they use such sockets for the sensors? ???
Why not JST?


I think it is because there are many IOs on the connector


Ok, but this way you can only use these sensors with this board.
Or, you should add cables or design some sort of shield to connect it to fez…
Not so smart in my opinion :frowning:


This whole system is still in Microsoft research labs I think and things may change in future. I am sure this will be studied well before it is in production.


I do hope so. Anyway, back to the chip, so they are using the EMX chip for this? Or am I wrong with that?


They are using Embedded Master (EM) which is the old version of EMX


Why are they using this chip? Is there a reason for that?
Sorry for asking so much questions :stuck_out_tongue:


Because it is the most advance NETMF module anywhere you look :slight_smile:


Interesting, Microsoft NETMF Legos! I liked the idea of mow the different modules plug-in rather than having shields.


I do too! :wink:
Shield have the limitation of it usage to one particular format, or form factor, only.
We could use an Arduino shield with FEZ Panda, or FEZ Domino with ease, but not with anything else.
As a module you can easily connect to everything else.


So is this?:

  • All ports on board already without need for a seperate i/o board
  • Standard port naming on board and devices (which ports they can plug into) - ala GarAnimals tags
  • Standard port connectors for everything.
  • Diasey-chain some components?
  • cable converters to change/wire existing components to same plug?

hmm. Being easily composable as an assumed goal, wonder how things like functional pipelines may now be fezy with plugable components.
mp3 => decoder => mixer => lights => recorder => speaker.

And be able to remove and change state of components in the path via software. Erik Meijer of MS would have a field day in this area. I hope Colin may spend a few hours with Erik over this some time soon.


See more info here


From Microsoft article Gus referenced above:

Is the author talking about the Arduino team? :wink:


Channel 9 has a new video up on Gadgeteer: it is very cool that they are using a GHI module at the heart of it.


That is amazing! Electronic Legos! I hope GHI is one of the partners, since they are using your EMX module at the heart.

I can’t tell you how much I want one of those.



That is cool. I asked Charles on C9 3 days ago for this exact video.

I wanted Eric to also join and talk about idea on “functional” hardware.


Nice, but I got really tired of the guy next to Colin clearly having absolutely no idea what was going on

“Yeah, mmhmm, that really, uh, amazing or something, I guess”