I also highly recommend Papilio. I recently got a Papilio One with 250K gate Spartan 3E and FTDI USB chip for JTAG programming and serial access. At US$38 it's the cheapest USA board I know of with a large FPGA. DUO will give you a lot more capacity, performance, and RAM.
Update: I backed it. The Early Bird boards are going fast -- fewer than half left. Project just passed 30% funding. I've done a lot of work with Xilinx Spartan-II, Spartan-IIE, Spartan 3A, and Spartan 3E. Should be interesting to check out Spartan 6 when the boards come out of the oven :-)
The Wing interface on the Papilio boards is pretty easy to use. I've designed a couple wings myself.
I've got one that has spots for GPS, IMU and RTC modules, as well as two Pmod ports. The Pmod is an interface layout used by a a number of development board companies. This one will be used with a Papilio on my tele-presence robot at some point. I can use it with any of my Papilios. Presumably, designing one for this new Papilio would be just as easy.
Darn. I missed the Zero day award. I did, however, make the Early Bird Special, and upgraded to 2MB of RAM, and the Classic Computing Shield. Jack's at 25% of his goal after just launching today. Very nice.
I already own an original Papilio and a Papilio Pro. This one sounds like a great addition to my set.
If you're interested in exploring the worl of FPGAs, I highly recommend one of Jack's Papilo boards.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.