There are many useful projects for makers, but this one also comes with a slice of Italy. It is called Udoo and is, in practice, a true and proper open source computer. For a little over 100 dollars you can take home a fully programmable device compatible with Arduino. USB connections, audio channels, WiFi, Ethernet and 1 GB of RAM. It allows you to do everything, and has a Linux and Android operating system.
Udoo is a hardware “gym” for developers, hackers and first-time programmers. The idea works, as has been proven by the crowdfunding campaign launched on Kickstarter. In just two days, it raised the 27 thousand dollars required for that first objective: to start the prototyping process and present the finished product in September 2013.
The project has many redeeming features. First of all, Udoo brings together a team of developers from cities around the world, including Siena, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Aarhus. Interaction designers, developers and computer experts have put in their all to break down the barriers between programming and real life.
Arduino is already an excellent platform for makers, creative artists and DIY enthusiasts, but with the inclusion of a computer that can be connected to any peripheral device, things start to get even more interesting. From the control of touch and movement sensors you can go directly on to hack into a device to convert it into a four-wheeled monitoring system that can be remote controlled via the Internet.
The Udoo project is coordinated by Bruno Sinopoli, an electronics engineer at Carnegie Mellon University. He flew directly from Padua to Berkeley and then on to Pittsburgh to bring in the software engineer Marco Sogli and the interaction designer Andrea Camposarcone. They are, however, just two of the people in the team behind the project who are worth getting to know.
Also taking part in Udoo are the 300 or more supporters who helped finance the venture on Kickstarter in just a few days. About 42 thousand dollars have been raised so far, but the crowdfunding campaign still has two months to go. The deadline has been set at June 8th. There is still time to decide whether to help them and bring home one of the very first Udoos.