The Pinoccio Backpacks

Here's a list of the backpacks (known elsewhere as "shields") that are currently completed or in development.


Proto Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype built, testing complete, currently available

The Proto Backpack makes it easy to build your own backpacks for Pinoccio. Use existing through-hole components you have on-hand, with easy access to USB power, battery power, or 3.3v power. Ground and reset are also available in dedicated holes on the backpack.

  • Standard 0.1" through-hole spacing
  • Three power buses, ground, and reset pin brought out to dedicated holes
  • Small, solderable pads are on the bottom, next to each pin, so it's easy to solder/desolder to pins without having to mess with the headers.
  • Headers included

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Wi-Fi Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype built, testing complete, currently available

The Wi-Fi backpack is the one that comes with a Pinoccio Starter Kit. It uses the Gainspan GS1011MIPS wi-fi module, that supports 8 simultaneous sockets, can act as its own limited Access Point, and also supports SSL/TLS connections, for secure access to any remote socket. Also, included is a 2 megabyte serial flash chip, for storing log information, or anything else you want, as well as a micro-SD card slot for a lot more storage.

  • Uses the Gainspan GS1011MIPS module, with support for TLS, UDP server/client, TCP server/client, WPA/WPA2/WEP/PEAP authentication.
  • A 2 megabyte serial flash chip for lots of fast, low-power storage.
  • A micro-SD card slot for removeable storage of any micro-SD card size up to 32GB.

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Environmental Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype built, currently under test

This backpack is the ticket for many types of environmental sensing. On this backpack is a high-accuracy, high-resolution environmental sensing of temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and light irradiance.

  • Environmental temperature range: -40 - +125 Celsius. Humidity range: 0-100% RH.
  • Barometric pressure measurement: 50 kPa to 115 kPa absolute pressure rnage, with a 1kPa accuracy
  • Light measurement: Near-photopic response over an effective 20-bit dynamic range
  • Library converts light sensor output to ambient lux, to approximate human eye response

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Motion/GPS Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype built, currently under test

Want to integrate your robotics or UAV project into the rest of your Pinoccio mesh network? Want to be notified when your washing machine stops? Thinking about building your own digital pedometer to track activity? Maybe a haptic interface to guide you through the streets of Manhattan. The Motion/GPS Backpack is the way to go. Includes a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyro, and a 3-axis magnetometer. The magnetometer will give you accurate compass headings regardless of position of the backpack. Also available for this backpack is an optional GPS module, to get global positioning from anywhere on the planet. Lastly, the backpack has an optional barometric pressure sensor with 10cm altitude resolution for excellent altimeter data.

  • 3-axis accelerometer with ±2g/±4g/±8g/±16g selectable full-scale, at 16 bits resolution
  • 3-axis gyro at 16 bits resolution
  • 2 independent interrupts--one for free-fall, one for motion-detection--tied to interrupts on the Pinoccio's microcontroller
  • 3-axis digital compass for heading and correction data.
  • GPS supports 66 channels with update rate of up to 10 Hz
  • Barometric pressure sensor with 24 bit resolution, and a 10-1200 mbar range

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Bluetooth 4/LE Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype built, currently under test

Bring Bluetooth 4.0/LE to your Pinoccio mesh network! Compatible with any Bluetooth 4.0 device, including later iOS, Android, and PC devices.

  • Utilizes the well-tested nRF8001 chipset for simple, fast, low-power Bluetooth functionality
  • Available library for support with Pinoccio transparent serial interfacing to run ScoutScript commands
  • Ultra low-power mode for long battery life

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Infrared Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype being built

Make your Pinoccio board a learning remote, for all of those remote-controlled devices you have around your home or office. Then have it play back whatever commands you want to send to these devices, over the mesh network or the web.

  • IR sensor module with learning capability.
  • All major formats supported, with carrier responses from 30kHz to 55kHz
  • Wide and narrow beam IR LEDs for accurate signaling of receiver components.

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Ethernet Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype being built

When you want a hardline to the Internet, replace your Lead Scout's WiFi backpack with this Ethernet Backpack.

  • Simple Ethernet networking functionality in a Pinoccio backpack form-factor
  • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) feature available as well

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MIDI Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype built, currently under test

Add a simple MIDI OUT port to your Pinoccio. Wireless synthesizer controllers, sequencing, and programming are all possible. Add the USB MIDI device support to the base Pinoccio, and make the Pinoccio board look like a MIDI device when you plug it into the USB port of your computer.

  • 5V boost converter to enable standard, 5v signaling per the MIDI specification.
  • Optocoupler MIDI input to protect the device from misconnected MIDI cables.
  • Library support for sending and receiving MIDI note on/off, continuous controller, and SysEx messages.

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Security Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype being built

DIY security system for your home or office? Or maybe you just want to keep the raccoons away from your chicken coop. The Security Backpack can monitor warm-blooded movement up to 10 meters away, as well as sound via its MEMS microphone.

  • Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor to detect warm-blooded motion. No more false alarms from trees blowing in the wind.
  • Extremely low-power PIR sensor of around 180µA of current draw, for great battery life.
  • Tiny MEMS microphone included to detect ambient noise, or trigger on a threshold volume level.

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16-Channel Servo Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype being built

It's one thing to have wireless Pinoccios around, but something altogether better when you can make Pinoccios move things (or themselves) via servos! This is a standalone, 16 channel PWM backpack that will drive a full 16 servos, or a mix of servos and other PWM devices (such as LEDs.)

  • 12 bit PWM output, up to 4096 steps.
  • Can be run at various PWM speeds, from 40Hz to 1MHz.
  • External power terminal for powering the servos directly.

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GPRS Cellular Data Backpack

Status: Currently under design

Some Pinoccio mesh networks reside outside, away from WiFi or ethernet connections. When you want your mesh network to still be connected to the web, replace the Lead Scout's WiFi backpack with a GPRS Cellular Data Backpack.

  • Quad-band GSM cellular data support
  • Supports data and SMS/text-messaging
  • Just a simple SIM card needed for cellular data support

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Long-Haul RF Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype built, currently under test

The built-in mesh radio on Pinoccios uses 2.4GHz, which gives about 100 meters of range in ideal conditions. If you want much further range for your mesh network, the long-haul RF backpack will get you up to 1-2km! This is excellent for larger mesh networks, such as for agriculture, smart cities, and swarms of quadcopters.

  • Uses the 900MHz frequency for longer range and better permeability.
  • Up to 1Mbit/sec transfer rate.
  • Half-watt front-end amplifier for maximum range.
  • Screw-in duck antenna for mounting outside of a housing.

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Solar Energy Harvester Backpack

Status: Designed, prototype being built

This backpack is one of our favorites. If you want "Konami Code" support for your Pinoccio boards, giving them unlimited battery life, this is the way to get it. Add ultra-low-power solar charging to any Pinoccio with two built-in solar cells, and charge off of light as low as an indoor lamp.

  • Uses an ultra-efficient energy harvesting component designed to harvest microwatts of available power.
  • Includes two tiny solar cells attached directly to the backpack. No need for an additional solar cell if you don't have one.
  • Plug for an external solar cell if you want more power or faster charging capability.

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Audio Backpack

Status: Currently under design

Want to build your own mesh-based music streaming system? Maybe just have the ability to record and play back various audio files? Build your own music player, or maybe a cellular phone? This backpack will get you there.

  • Uses the VS1063 Audio Codec chip from VLSI. Very common, and very easy to use.
  • Stereo earphone driver capable of driving a 30Ω load.
  • Microphone input support.
  • Encoders available: MP3; Ogg Vorbis; PCM; IMA ADPCM; G.711 (μ-law, A-law); G.722 ADPCM
  • Decoders available: MP3 (MPEG 1 & 2 audio layer III (CBR +VBR +ABR)); MP2 (layer II) (optional); MPEG4 / 2 AAC-LC(+PNS), HE-AAC v2 (Level 3) (SBR + PS); Ogg Vorbis; FLAC; WMA 4.0/4.1/7/8/9 all profiles (5-384 kbps); WAV (PCM, IMA ADPCM, G.711 μ-law/A- law, G.722 ADPCM)
  • Full Duplex Codecs (for mobile-phone applications): PCM;G.711(μ-law,A-law);G.722ADPCM; IMA ADPCM

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E-paper Backpack

Status: Currently under design

If you like the look of the Amazon Kindle, or perhaps the Pebble Smartwatch display, you'll absolutely love the E-paper backpack. Finally, having a highly-visible, very low power display backpack for Pinoccio is within reach.

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