TinkerKit, Physical Computing Toolkit


TinkerKit is a collection of 20 different sensors and 10 actuators. It’s meant to make prototyping of physical computing devices much quicker/easier. The devices plug into a Sensor Hub Arduino shield. There is also a similar hub board that can emulate a keyboard; it translates sensor input directly to key strokes. It looks like a very ambitious project and it’s still in development. We love the idea though and think the wide variety of components will foster better final designs. The TinkerKit site covers the current component lineup and there’s a demo video embedded below.

5 thoughts on “TinkerKit, Physical Computing Toolkit

  1. this looks great. the best thing about the arduino platform is that you can easily go from having an idea to having a prototype in the space of about 10 minutes.

    however, for me at least there’s a crucial period of enthusiasm after i’ve had an idea – if i get something started within this period, chances are i’ll follow the thing through. otherwise, it just joins my 1001 other ‘gotta try that some day’ projects.

    this means that if i don’t have the necessary components for a first iteration lying around, i am unlikely to actually get to building anything. if i do order some parts they’ll end up gathering dust. with a kit like this, there’d be more chance i’d have at least something similar to what i need lying around already. which means less lost momentum, and more awesomeness.

  2. Arduino is not the only thing that can do that. I’ve been doing that for nearly a decade with 16F pics.

    From idea to working prototype in 10 minutes is possible with ANY programmable chip.

    P.S. the chip on the arduino is far more powerful if programmed in assembler. or programmed in C with a non bootloader/interpeted setup.

    Arduino’s are great for education and newbs. but graduate past them and a HUGE world of some serious power opens up.

  3. I’m interested in the keyboard emulator. Last I checked there wasn’t a really good one available for the arduino. All the threads I’ve seen about it just say to wire to a keyboard encoder. Maybe I don’t want to use ALL my outputs and still not have full use of all keys.

  4. @fartface, looks like you never got a chance in your ‘almost a decade’ to spend a minute or two reading about how the arduino actually works. it uses avr-gcc to compile c(with inline assembly if you need it) that runs uninterpreted.

    oh, i looked up your ’16f pics’ and had a good laugh. maybe you’d like to graduate to the arduino some time?

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