Even if you aren’t sure what it is, you’re currently on the internet, which means you have likely heard the name Arduino at some point.
The Arduino is a heavily adaptable prototyping board that is programmable, and customized using add-ons called "shields". Whether it’s something simple such as a twitter controlled coffee pot or something complex, like an auto-piloting quadcopter, the versatility of this product has made it huge with hobbyists and professionals alike.
But what if you need something more compact and less expensive than a full size arduino? Well the guys over at Tiny Circuits have come up with a solution to that.
The TinyDuino uses the same Atmel ATmega 328p microcontroller as the Arduino Uno and has its own shield expansion system, but has been shrunk to the size of a quarter. Costs were scaled down as well which makes this a prime choice for projects where the full complexity of an Arduino would be overkill. In addition to the TinyDuino there is the Tinylily, a bite size counterpart to Arduinos Lilypad. It’s an even smaller Arduino unit that is washable, designed to be sewn onto e-textiles, and uses conductive thread. (Daft Punk jacket anyone?)
The kickstarter page doubled its original goal in the opening week and has announced some stretch goals including new types of shields (Including GPS, WiFi, 802.15.4, Bluetooth, and sensor shields), and bonuses for the backers. For anyone familiar with, or wanting to learn about the Arduino, this looks to be a cheaper and more accessible product to start with, provided you don't toss it in your change jar by mistake.
For more information on the development specs of the TinyDuino and the Tinylily, check out Tiny-Circuits.com