16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things

Posted December 15, 2015 By  Cynthia Harvey
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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things
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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things

    A survey of the open source hardware tools that are enabling the flexible, integrated design that so naturally fits with the Internet of Things.
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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: Arduino Yún
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    Arduino Yún

    Sold by Arduino's sister organization Genuino, this open source board includes two separate processors: the ATmega32u4 microcontroller that runs Arduino and the Atheros AR9331 that runs a specialized Linux distribution called OpenWrt-Yun. It includes 16 MB of Flash memory, 64 MB RAM, Ethernet, WiFI, USB and a Micro-SD card reader.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: BeagleBoard
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    BeagleBoard

    This organization offers several different open-source boards, all of which are about the size of a credit card. Their flagship product, the BeagleBone Black promises that users will be able to boot Linux in under 10 seconds and get started with development projects in less than 5 minutes. Their boards can run Linux or Android.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: Flutter
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    Flutter

    Designed for hobbyists, students and engineers, Flutter offers a fast ARM processor and long-range wireless communication. It also includes built-in battery charging capabilities and a built-in security chip. It runs Arduino, and prices start at $36 for the basic model.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: Intel Gallileo
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    Intel Gallileo

    While many IoT boards rely on ARM processors, Intel also offers a IoT development board known as Galileo. It's Arduino-compatible and boasts a wider range of ports than most similar boards.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: Local Motors Connected Car
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    Local Motors Connected Car

    Working with the AllSeen Alliance, Local Motors has developed a Rally Car, which they are using as the platform for their Connected Car project. The open source design includes an automotive grade Linux distribution, a Raspberry Pi board, several Arduino relay boards, and Octoblu open source software.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: Microduino
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    Microduino

    Microduino offers a range of extremely small boards that are about the size of a quarter and start at just $8. They are currently taking orders for their new mCookie modules which stack like Lego blocks. A variety of extension boards and application kits are also available for purchase on the website.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: OpenADC
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    OpenADC

    Sold by a company called NewAE Technology, OpenADC is an open source hardware platform with an emphasis on hardware security. The company is also behind the CHipWhisperer hardware security project and offers hardware security training.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: OpenMote
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    OpenMote

    OpenMote offers three different boards: Open-Mote-CC2538, OpenBase and OpenBattery. They can be purchased separately or in kits for complete IoT deployments

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: OpenPicus FlyPortPRO
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    OpenPicus FlyPortPRO

    OpenPicus offers several different open source system on a module (SoM) boards, all of which come with the company's free IDE. You can choose from three different kinds of connectivity—Wi-Fi, GPRS or Ethernet. Modules start at €35.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: Pinoccio
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    Pinoccio

    This company sells very small wireless boards that it calls Scouts. Connect your Scouts together into a mesh network called a Troup and then connect the Lead Scout to the Web. Compatible with Arduino.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: RasWIK
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    RasWIK

    Ciseco (not to be confused with Cisco) offers a Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors Kit, or RasWIK. It promises that you "can build wireless devices in just a matter of minutes," and it comes with 29 projects for you to try. Prices for the kit start at £49.99.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: SODAQ
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    SODAQ

    SODAQ, which stands for "Solar-Powered Data Acquisition," offers Arduino-compatible boards that are easy to connect together. The organization's newest offering is called the Mbili (which means "two" in Swahili), and it includes the Atmel ATmega 1284P microcontroller. It's a low-power board that can run on solar energy.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things; Tessel
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    Tessel

    This open source IoT hardware platform features a modular design that makes prototyping easy. The Tessel 2, which begins shipping in September, costs just $35 and is compatible with Node.js for fast development. Available modules include Accelerometer, Ambient, Relay, Climate, Infrared, Servo, RFID, GPS, MicroSD, Camera, Audio, Lights, Keypad, Motors, Pulse and more.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: UDOO
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    UDOO

    Udoo offers several different open source boards that can run Android, Arduino and the UDOObuntu distribution of Linux, as well as some other operating systems. Prices for boards start at $99, or you can use the provided specs to build your own.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: WeIO
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    WeIO

    This group wants to make creating Internet-connected objects as easy as creating websites. Its award-winning devices support HTML5 and Python, and prices start at $69.

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    16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things: WIZnet
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    WIZnet

    WIZnet makes chips and IoT boards based on those chips. The link above includes details and specifications for its open source hardware products.

The concept of open source hardware is not nearly as popular as its well-known sibling, open source software. Yet open source hardware – created with schematics, blueprints and logic designs that are freely licensed and modifiable – is positioned to play a real role in the Internet of Things. Because of the highly integrated world of IoT devices, assembling the physical elements (sensors, monitors) from designs that are easily changeable by any developer can be tremendously helpful. It’s not clear now, but one of these open source hardware tools may make a major difference in the growth of the Internet of Things.

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9 Open Source Internet of Things Platforms

9 Open Source Operating Systems for the Internet of Things 51 Open Source Tools for the Internet of Things


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