Bug Labs' BUG: modular, open-source platform for DIY gadget makers
By Tim Hanlon
January 17, 2009
January 17, 2009 While we've heard the term "mashup" apply to music and web services before, we think the hardware mashups that Bug Labs' BUG platform enables have far more to offer.
BUG is a modular electronics platform that starts with a BUGbase - a Linux-based computer that's roughly the size of a Nintendo DS Lite. The BUGbase has the kind of grunt you would expect from a five-year-old laptop, and four expansion slots that you can slot BUGmodules into.
There are currently 5 BUGmodules available: BUGlocate (GPS), BUGcam2MP (2 megapixel digital camera), BUGmotion (motion sensor and accelerometer), BUGview (touchscreen LCD), and BUGvonHippel (breadboard).
An additional 5 BUGmodules were announced at CES 2009, and will ship this quarter:
- BUGprojector - a mini pico-projector module with a native resolution of 480x320.
- BUGsound - an audio I/O module with a 20-mm speaker, omnidirectional microphone, and four 3.5-mm stereo jacks.
- BUG3g GSM - a 3G mobile radio with SIM card input.
- BUGwifi - 802.11b/g wi-fi and Bluetooth™ 2.0 + EDR radio.
- BUGbee - a low-powered 802.15.4 radio.
The myriad of unique devices that can be created with these 10 BUGmodules, a little imagination and a little Java code boggles the mind - and if you're getting tired of waiting for Bug Labs to create a new module, you can start building one yourself thanks to the BUGvonHippel and the completely open-source hardware.
The BUG SDK is based on Java, and is designed to enable simple and intuitive development of BUG software - depending on which BUGmodules you have plugged in, you'll have a range of different services to pull data from or push data to. BUGnet is an online community integrated with the BUG SDK, facilitating communication, collaboration and sharing with other BUG developers.
We look forward to a world where kids inherit a sack of BUGmodules from their older siblings and family friends, in the same way that Lego bricks are currently passed on.
For pricing, ordering or more information, please visit Bug Labs.
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