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What is .NET Gadgeteer?


#1

Thanks to the smart developers at Microsoft research, they have made hardware usage as easy as plug-and-play. A Gadgeteer compatible device basically includes a mainboard and numerous modules. A developer is able to pick what modules are needed and plug in the design, similar to FEZ Ultimate Kit http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/265 Gadgeteer is special in the fact that is uses 10-pin sockets that have predefined types. This allows modules from different manufactures to work on mainboards from different manufactures as well.

.NET Gadgeteer took this even a step further and added core software to handle the complex work plus manufacturers are required to provide their own plug-in drivers for any modules they provide. Why? Plug the module in, add the driver to your code and you’re done.

All .NET Gadgeteer is open source so we look forward to seeing many modules and mainboards from many companies.

Where does GHI fit into all of this? As you know, GHI is always in the lead when it comes to NETMF and its related products so stay tuned for more details. By the way, the module used by Microsoft to prototype and research Gadgeteer is GHI’s Embedded Master (the predecessor to EMX).

.NET Gadgeteer source codes and designer guide: http://gadgeteer.codeplex.com/
A very exciting .NET Gadgeteer video: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/gadgeteer/
.NET Gadgeteer presentation: http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=151264

We would love to hear your thoughts and what you would like to see from GHI.


#2

.NET Gadgeteer was the thing I was most psyched about from my trip to MakerFaire NYC last year (2nd place = jet ponies). I tortured poor Colin Miller with many questions, most of them fairly stupid.

It seems like it’s more geared towards learning and experimenting than “ok. I have a specific project and am going to buy a FEZ for it” so kit products would probably be popular. A base robot kit that you could add to (start with switches/bumpers then add range finders, light sensors, arms, lights, gps, etc) would be pretty awesome.

IIRC, the demo they had was a single board. Having it as a shield (aka: E-Block Component Shield for .NET-G) would be nice, too.

And more stuff to plug into it, of course.


#3

For professional: Correct, you will not run product production off gadgeteer. But you will surly save a lot of time/work/money by using gadgeteer for prototyping. Perfect for proofing a concept, showing your management/customer a live demo of what your product will do.

For Learning: Like you said, it is perfect and fun way to make hardware, even by those who do not know anything about hardware.


#4

It is finally here, http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/15/3755/


#5

@ Gus - adafruit posted this on their blog and they seem a bit confused on the question of wether this is open source hardware or not. I posted links to the module specs at codeplex and to your site.

[edit] I posted your comment to hopefully add a little clarity. http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2011/08/03/microsoft-net-gadgeteer-open-hardware/


#6

All FEZ boards are open source so far. As for FEZ Spider, I do not see why not but GHI is still clearing out some final details before release or do anything in that area.

I said there are good news coming before so this maybe a hint (not a promise) :slight_smile:


#7

[quote]or professional: Correct, you will not run product production off gadgeteer. But you will surly save a lot of time/work/money by using gadgeteer for prototyping. Perfect for proofing a concept, showing your management/customer a live demo of what your product will do.
[/quote]

Why cant a gadgeteer-created-product be used for production? And what would be the best alternatives?


#8

It surly can but generally speaking, you can save money by combining what you need on one circuit board. If you are only making 10 then gadgeteer is the way to go for production but if you are making few hundreds/thousands then it is lower cost to prototype using gadgeteer then make one circuit board with all you need for high volume.


#9

thanks! Man I want to get my hands on this kit asap :slight_smile: