Great Add-Ons for XO Laptops: XOrduino and XO Stick


Resumen en español al final del artículo

C. Scott Ananian (OLPC Foundation's Director for New Technologies) recently announced the release of the designs for two great electronics peripherals for XO laptops:

The first is the XOrduino, a stripped down low-cost Arduino-compatible board that plugs right into the XO's USB ports. But wait, there's more: it's also compatible with the Scratch Sensor Board, so you can use this device to control Scratch (and Turtle Art, once Firmata is ported).

The cost: $5. But he didn't stop there and developed a second board.

If $5 per student is too much money, there's also the XO Stick, my second board. It's based on the AVR Stick using the ATtiny85 processor and costs only $1/student. It's not quite as user-friendly as the Arduino-compatible board, but it can also be used to teach simple lessons in embedded electronics.

Best of all: In the spirit of open hardware C. Scott published the design files for both peripherals over on github so everyone can look at and modify them.

Since I used an XO for the first time I've been dreaming about ways to use it with the types of experimental electronics kits which I used to build traffic lights, small radios, and simple musical instruments when I was a child. C. Scott's work now opens up a whole new realm of possibilities: Open experimental electronics kits developed by children and the likes of Guzmán Trinidad, Sameer Verma, the Butia team, and other tinkerers.

For more information and links about these two peripherals please head over to this entry on C. Scott's Web site.

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1 Comment

Hmm... the announced costs are nice, but they are not /prices/. Hope we can buy these as sets soon, and at not too much of a markup!

You can (or could until recently) get for $4.30 USD a Texas Instruments MSP430 Launchpad dev board with 2 MCUs, USB cable, postage included to anywhere in the world...
(they say they are out of stock, but it was only two weeks last time I ordered)
These work fine with the XO:

The necessary software is much "lighter" than the Arduino AVR chain