Introducing the BLOCKTINU – programming with blocks for the Tinusaur and ATtiny85

Blocktinu for Tinusaur

Dragging and dropping blocks on a web page that generates real C code which gets compiled on the cloud and then uploaded locally to your microcontroller.

Does that sound interesting to you?

Well, we’ve done it. Kind of. We called it Blocktinu.

A couple of weeks ago me (Neven Boyanov) and my friend Geroge (Georgi Marinov) participated in the #BG10xEU hackathon in Sofia and the idea that we developed and presented was just that. Within the given 24 hrs we managed to develop the initial version of most of the modules, including a browser extension for Google Chrome for handling the communication between the cloud and the local machine. At the moment the only missing part is the piece that invokes the avrdude from within the browser extension.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is just the beginning and there is still work to be done.

We will have the source code (free and open) at this location: https://bitbucket.org/tinusaur/blocktinu.

The project will be located here: https://tinusaur.org/projects/blocktinu/.

The Blocktinu is using the Blockly library for handling the block in a browser.

Below is a high-level architecture diagram.

Blocktinu for Tinusaur Architectural Diagram
Blocktinu for Tinusaur Architectural Diagram

PS: We did not get any prizes, the judges did not find the idea interesting enough. 😦

 

Some of you should’ve received their packages already.

Tinusaur Indiegogo Campaign Packaging and Shipping

Some of you should’ve received their packages already.

Please, do us a favor!

  • Let us know by email that you’ve received it;
    or, even better …
  • Tweet about it with hashtags #TINUSAUR and #received
    or, the best:
  • Share it on Facebook with hashtags #TINUSAUR and #received

Thanks again for your support.

All the best,
The TINUSAUR Team.

Good news, dear friends, and supporters! All of the parts are here …

Good news, dear friends, and supporters! All of the parts are here (except some of the green 3mm LEDs) and we started packaging everything else (except some of the LEDx2 Shields).

Quick stats about the bundles we have to package:
— Tinusaur Board LITE: 559 pcs
— Tinusaur Board STD: 182 pcs
— Shield LEDx2: 179 pcs
— Shield EDUx4IO: 160 pcs

So, starting next week we will be shipping the first packages. You will receive an individual message through the Indiegogo messaging when we ship your perks.

All the best,
The TINUSAUR Team.

Big fix: The Tinusaur Package for the Arduino IDE

Tinusaur Arduino IDE Package Bug Fix

We’ve recently discovered a bug in our Arduino IDE package that will cause an error when you try to compile your code.

We have a fix for it and the only thing you need to do is to update the package.

Here is how:

  1. Start your Arduino IDE
  2. Go to the menu Tools / Board … and then “Board Manager …” at the top.
  3. Wait for a while until the list is updated from the Internet.
  4. Scroll all the way down to the bottom until you see the “Tinusaur Boards“.
  5. Click on the item and see the “Update” button.
  6. Press the “Update” button.

Enjoy! 🙂

If you don’t have the package installed yet follow the instructions for setting up the Arduino IDE with the Tinusaur boards.

If you don’t have a Tinusaur board yet 🙂 go to our Indiegogo Campaign InDemand option and get one.

 

We have not been idle

Tinusaur Shield LEDx3

We’ve not been idle waiting for the parts from our suppliers.

We’re prototyping a new shield that we called Shield LEDx3 that has 3 LED – green, yellow and red. As you may have guessed already it is similar to the traffic lights. That will be a great new shield to play with. We expect to have it in production in about a month or so.

Tinusaur Shield LEDx3

PLEDGE: We will make the Tinusaur Car

The Tinusaur Car Prototype

As you may have noticed we’ve extended our campaign by a couple of days to allow more people to get their perks over the weekend.

We’re 175% over our original goal, $4522 raised – with 12 hours still left to go.

We’re so excited that we’ve decided to make this pledge: if we reach 200% or $5000 (whichever happens first) before the end of the campaign (i.e. in about 12 hours) we promise that we will make the Tinusaur Car – a 2-wheel mini car that can follow a line – and we will make it available on our website.

We are already building a working prototype.
(picture above)

What can you do to help us reach our next goal?

  1. Go to our campaign https://igg.me/at/tinusaur support us – get a perk.
  2. Share our campaign link https://igg.me/at/tinusaur with your friends or through your social media channels.

Wish us luck for the next 12 hours!
The Tinusaur Team.

Funded 140% and only 16 hours left

Tinusaur Indiegogo Campaign 140 percent

We are 140% funded and there are only 16 hours left of our Indiegogo campaign.

This would’ve not happened without your support. 🙂

By continuing to support our cause you will help us get even more Tinusaur kits to our students.

Not interested in getting a Tinusaur board? You can donate to the project! Our promise: we will spend the money to bring the Tinusaur boards to even more students … as we’ve done it before.

Neither of those is for you? No problem. You could just share our campaign link https://igg.me/at/tinusaur to your social media channels such like Facebook, Twitter, or whatever you prefer.

Just a quick reminder: After the campaign is over the price of the boards, the kits, and the shipping will go slightly up so now is the best time get a bunch them.

Thanks again for your support.

Indiegogo Campaign is Almost Halfway Through

Tinusaur Indiegogo Campaign

Last week we’ve launched our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and, as of a few minutes ago, we’ve reached 1/3-rd of our goal already. 🙂

In case you’re not familiar what the Tinusaur project is about …

A small board with a tiny chip on it that comes as an assembly kit – a small package with parts and you get the chance to learn how to solder it. This circuit is so simple that there are very few things that could go wrong. It’s been around for over 3 years and used in schools and universities to educate young people in both hardware and software. With this campaign, you could help us produce more of the Tinusaur boards, bring the cost down to $3 per basic “lite” board and allow more people to be able to get them.

Tinusaur Indiegogo Campaign

The Tinusaur boards are powered by the Atmel ATtiny85 microcontroller. You could program your Tinusaur board with the Arduino development environment, or if you chose so – using the plain old C/C++ compiler, or … using whatever you prefer.

The success of this campaign will help us produce our boards and kits in much larger quantities and bring the coast down. That will allow us to have the basic “lite” boards for as little as $3/pcs – that will make them available for even more people.

Help us spread the word – just share it. But, if you like the idea and the project, you could back us up. Here’s the link: https://igg.me/at/tinusaur.

Thanks in advance for your support.

We’re planning to launch new Indiegogo campaign for $3 boards – next week

Tinusaur 3 Dollar Bill

With the growing interest in our project and kits, we decided to plan for and launch another Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign – next week.

The goals:

  • to make 1000 or more boards;
  • to bring the cost for the Tinusaur Board Lite down to $3 a piece.

The link for the campaign will be http://igg.me/at/tinusaur.

Some of our team members will be at the FOSDEM in Brussels on the 4th and the 5th next week – will be glad to meet anyone interested in what we’re doing.