Pinoccio – An Ecosystem for the Internet of Things

pinoccio-lead-scout-labelled

[Pinoccio] is currently an Indeigogo crowd-sourced project that aims use the real-world programmability of the Arduino through the internet using a wifi connection. One could rightly point out that this can already be done through the use of a wifi shield. Before ruling this device out, just “shush your shussins” and consider that it’s designed specifically for interfacing with “things” over the internet. This can replace several components (see 1:10 in the video after the break) and should be less of a hassle.

Additionally, with a shield on one of these devices, several other [Pinoccio] boards can communicate with the Internet using this as a hub in a mesh network. This is similar to how the many “smart” electrical meters work, with a grid router being a central hub for communications. Additionally, this board has a built in temperature sensor and a RGB (instead of a single-color) LED, so you can do some interesting stuff with it right out of the box. Assuming this project gets funded, which seems likely at this point, we’re excited to see the projects that get built using it!

40 thoughts on “Pinoccio – An Ecosystem for the Internet of Things

    1. Yes, but Imps don’t have LiPo’s, charging circuits, USB interfaces, RGB LEDs, thermometers, so naturally it will be bigger. Its closest counterpart is the Arduino, which is much bigger.

      Oranges are buLkier than apples too!

      1. The problem is price. If this were a hub and the nodes were cheap, this could work, but they just compacted a bunch of hardware that will still be too expensive to use widely. Electric Imp has issues of its own, but at least they’re targeting being compact and inexpensive. Temp sensor, LED and LiPo circuit assume use scenarios.

    2. What @citizenjapp said, also electric imp is a disaster waiting to happen with its dependence on the “cloud” and closed s/w.
      It’s a little bigger, but if you need Wifi then the Carambola ( http://www.8devices.com/product/3/wi-fi-4-things ) looks pretty good – it runs OpenWRT without all the cloud nonsense. measures 35mm x 45mm – about the size of a CF card. Cheap too.

  1. the best part was the ~ 1 minute stop-motion video (minus the goofy audio!)
    I might be happy to purchase a hairbrush for the girl in the video!

  2. I know this thing does 802.15.4 but it also says in the Q&A that it doesn’t have ZigBee support at the moment since there is no OSS implementation – any thoughts on how to secure communication then? The ATmega128RFA1 supports AES, but I wonder whether and how the Pinoccio supports that feature of the chip.

    1. A simple command in the sketch activates AES encryption. By using the same seed value in the script running on each of your Pinoccios you create a private group. The groups mesh traffic is all encrypted and can’t be snooped by an outsider.

      1. That’s interesting – didn’t expect it to be exposed as a sketch API – I’ll look into it, thanks. It’s been a VERY long time since I’ve written any sketches.
        FWIW when digging around trying to find out more about 802.15.4 I also found the ZigBit, which might suit my (and other people’s) purposes (~automation+accurate remote power monitoring) better (smaller, I don’t need LED, battery, that many I/O).
        Thanks again.

  3. Bob, the ATmega128RFA1 does indeed support hardware AES 128. In our Pinoccio library, you simply enable a flag to enable encryption, then use a shared secret on all of the Pinoccios you want to secure, and you’ll be good to go.

    #define PINOCCIO_ENABLE_SECURITY true
    #define PINOCCIO_SECURITY_KEY mys3cretkey

    (If you really want Zigbee on Pinoccios, Atmel has a blob version called Bitcloud you can download and use.)

      1. Not when it’s on battery power. There’s a cuttable SMD jumper to kill the power LED, and the 3.3V regulator has a sub-microamp quiescent current. The biggest power draw is of course the Atmega itself. The USB interface (and its LEDs) are powered off USB only and don’t draw power when on battery. All other LEDs are under software control, and there’s just nothing else on the board to draw power when it’s asleep.

        This assumes you have the pins set correctly when you go into sleep — failure to do that can kick your power consumption up alarmingly. Unfortunately, you can’t provide workable defaults for this because the correct pin setting is determined by the attached circuits.

  4. Anyone know if its ever cheaper to get these sort of things after this whole funding process is finished. for example the 10 boards + wifi for $500 will it be the same price or lower after they reach the 60K they need? Something like this might be what I need for a project at work.

  5. $50 per board is extremely expensive considering there are very similar solutions out there already, such as the recent Radioblock which features a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0, $30 JTAG debugger add-on, 802.15.4 radio, a place for a CR2032 battery, FCC certification and an Arduino library. Even on the Pinoccio website it says “The bare-bones Pinoccio price should come in under $20.” Radioblocks are $20 per board. The way I see it, Radioblock is exactly what the Pinoccio wants to become.

  6. Eh, if I was looking to do something like this I’d just grab a Raspberry Pi with maybe a wifi dongle. Not much more expensive, but FAR easier to use. I’ve just been experimenting with one myself…and while I own a soldering iron, I’m terrible with hardware. I’m the kind of guy who can take a schematic from the internet, get those exact parts, put the whole thing together…and never be able to figure out why the damn thing doesn’t work. I have trouble just getting a 555 to generate a square wave. Yet I’ve managed to get my Pi controlling all kinds of stuff in only a couple hours. Not to mention the incredible ease of programming the thing in bash! :D

      1. yeah, being from italy i had guessed it’s an homage to Collodi’s character :)
        it’s just that leaving the H out makes the name look like a typo or a spelling error.
        it’s risky ;)

          1. @fixpert i didn’t notice the sad story of H! that’s hylarious ;)
            i know copyright (and domain squatters) can be a pain when choosing names…

  7. Whoa that is a slick campaign you’ve got there! Also a cool product, funny FAQ and it seems your team really has it together. Nice.

    What I really want to know is if we raced any of the same alleycats in NY, Sally?

    – Robot

    1. @Robot – Ah! Cool, this might be my favorite question so far! Let’s see, I was a bike messenger a long time ago — 2001-2003, around then. So, I raced in Mike Dee’s “Drug Wars” race on April 20, 2002. :) I race in Squid’s EPIC “Warriors” race that summer. I also did some other East Coast alleycats, like Ides of March — I think it was a 3-city series in Baltimore, DC, and Richmond VA. Some race in Philly, others I can’t remember the names of. So many fun memories!

      What about you? Maybe we raced together in NYC?

      1. @Sally – Well, I moved to Boston and did just about every race I got word of but didn’t start racing in NY until Mike Dee and CK’s 5 Borough Generals alleycat stage race starting with Rumble Through The Bronx (which was by far my favorite race.) So I quickly started taking the Lucky Star down just about every weekend getting to know and love NY. Some of the notable races in NY were Queens Riot, Broadway Bombin, Moster Track (of course) and shoot. . . so many others like the Scumbag Cups, some crazy things in Baltimore, etc. Bike Kill was always a great weekend. For me this was in 2005 so it seems that we probably didn’t cross paths but with it having been such a small scene chances were good.

        – Robot

          1. Oh man, so awesome! Bike Kill rings a beel, and Rumble Through the Bronx does too, but yeah, I guess I was “retired” by the time you were racing. Super cool. I love that this thread took this direction btw! :)

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