Kano Shipping Imminent

The Kano kit, another crowdfunding veteran, is the most successful Raspberry-Pi-based Kickstarter project yet, and it is also one of the most funded UK-based tech projects. Kano has raised more than US$ 1.5 million in 30 days and perhaps more with their post-Kickstarter pre-orders [4]. The project sparked some controversy during the campaign by apparently avoiding any mention of the Raspberry Pi in their marketing and interviews and claiming that the Raspberry Pi is not easy enough to use for absolute beginners because of lack of documentation. Whether you agree with them or not, they clearly have a successful product, and the sale of more than 15,000 Raspberry Pi computers can never be a bad thing!

Kano has created an attractive accessory kit for the computer, which includes a custom-designed keyboard and touchpad capable of both Bluetooth and RF communication with the Raspberry Pi. The Kano package also includes a case, speaker, WiFi dongle, a power supply, a plethora of cables, and an SD card (pre-loaded with the custom operating system Kano OS), with professionally printed user guides available in several languages.

If you backed the project on Kickstarter, or if you are interested in purchasing a kit, you will be delighted to know that the plan is to ship all of the rewards by the end of July. We hope to get our hands on a Kano kit as soon as possible and will likely introduce it (and the Kano OS) in more detail in a future issue.

Arduino TRE

The Arduino TRE is a new product from the Italian microcontroller masterminds. If you have not already heard about it, the TRE is effectively a BeagleBone Black combined with an Arduino Leonardo.

Arduino TRE features the same Texas Instruments Sitara AM3359AZCZ100 (ARM Cortex-A8) found in the BeagleBone, as well as the Atmel ATmega32U4 microcontroller found in the Leonardo. The idea behind the board is to pair the Arduino and BeagleBone hardware and communities to create an even more powerful board and ecosystem.

Physically, the TRE looks quite large, and the developers have maintained the classic Arduino shape in the center of the board, which is signified by the white silk-screened area. The GPIO pins from both the Arduino and BeagleBone parts of the board are fully broken out (a total of 14 pins with 5V logic and 23 pins with 3.3V logic), with the Arduino pins taking their normal layout – so your existing Arduino shields should be compatible.

This new Arduino board will be the most powerful Arduino to date (roughly 100 times more powerful than the Leonardo), and it will also be the first Arduino board to be manufactured in the US. The first developer edition boards were recently released at a price of EUR 149+VAT; however, they were only available in a very small quantity and sold out quickly. The final product is likely to be much cheaper than these first edition boards, but still significantly more expensive than a Raspberry Pi because of the additional components, headers, and PCB size. Keep an eye on the Arduino store for the release [5].

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