LONDON Ė A group of young engineers at startup Lava LLC is trying to use Kickstarter to raise $80,000 to help them create two Bluetooth LE boards that will enable Arduino projects to be controlled from a phone, tablet or notebook computer.
The boards, Ember and Torch, are already designed and a feew have been made. Torch is designed for proving out projects with Arduino "shield" boards able to stack on top. Ember is designed to sit on a prototyping board or for permanent installation, according to the project page.
The boards, with a maximum wireless range of 100 feet, are based on an Atmega32u4 microcontroller from Atmel and nRF8001 Bluetooth low energy transceiver from Nordic Semiconductor.
To help with remote control of Arduino projects the Lava team have written Bonfire, a software library that runs on the Arduino, iOS, Android and OS X operating systems and acts as a bridge between an application running on the host platform and the hardware project. And in the spirit of open source hardware everything associated with Ember and Torch, including the schematics, board files and software, will be freely available and open for adaption and adoption, according to the project page on Kickstarter.
Lava (Flint, Michigan) comprises founders Billy Lindeman (CEO) and Eric Barch (CTO) and lead hardware designer Eric Salem. The team has until July 11 to find out if they will get the $80,000, because Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal. Various combinations of Ember and Torch boards and consultancy have been promised in return for various pledge levels. If the project meets its goal the team have said volume board deliveries should start in September 2013.
The Lava.io website was launched in 2012 as a form of social discussion platform according to the Michigan-oriented mlive website.
Related links and articles:
Ember & Torch project page
Consumer electronics: From atoms to software and back