Linux-compatible board with multiple sensors and connectivity options beats 15 finalists in the Battle of the DreamBoards competition
element14 has unveiled the winner of its global DreamBoard initiative to find the ultimate development kit. The PC64, designed to be a learning tool for students, has been voted the winner by element14 Community members from a shortlist of 16 finalists. The design captured 67 per cent of the vote in the head-to-head final and beat more than 3,000+ brand new dev kit creations to be named the ultimate DreamBoard.
The winning board was designed by Manjuprasad Basangi, a final year engineering student from India. He created the PC64 as a learning tool for students, as well as a powerful platform for professional engineers to build and test their systems. A 64-bit processor, compatible with Linux, and an Android lollipop loaded onto an SD card maximise the potential use cases across a variety of projects.
Other features include on-board wireless connectivity, as well as GPIO pins and a variety of connectivity options to help the board communicate with the outside word and provide the option to expand where needed. The PC64 also features on-board sensors including the Magnetic Hall effect sensor, ultrasonic sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and temperature, to support robotic and drone projects. Audio I/O provides on-board audio processing and the LVDS port and touchscreen sensor allow the board to perform as a handheld device.
Manjuprasad Basangi, the winner of the DreamBoard initiative, comments: “I am always enthusiastic about developing PCBs and custom development boards. However, the absence of technology in manufacturing industrial-grade PCBs and the lack of availability of components in India means I’ve been forced to stick with LQFP packages, which can be soldered by hand. I wanted to develop something like the Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone, but I’ve always felt discontented due to the lack of funds and technology in manufacturing. element14’s “Build Your Own DreamBoard” campaign has inspired me to visualise the type of dev kit I want to make.”
The Mother H.E.N. DreamBoard was the worthy runner up. Designed by Draven Umbra from the USA, the dev kit enables a ‘Home Environment Network’ designed to sense motion, temperature, humidity, lighting and indoor air quality and control them to optimal conditions.
Launched in October 2014, the DreamBoard competition asked members of the element14 Community to develop their own “dream” dev kits using a bespoke tool to drag and drop various components onto a bare PCB. Designers had to ensure that they weren’t overloading their boards, carefully balancing power, efficiency and speed with applications and functions.
Over the course of the competition element14 received more than 3,000 submissions, then narrowed them down to sixteen finalists spanning the UK, Europe, the USA, and India. The finalists then went head-to-head, with Community members voting for their favourite contenders, culminating in an ultimate showdown between the two finalists.
Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community, element14, comments: “The DreamBoard competition was not only a great opportunity to test the creativity and ingenuity of the engineers from our Community, but also to gain knowledge and insights into the electronics industry as a whole. The submissions showcased an incredible array of creativity, with designs ranging from aquatic monitoring devices to hot air balloons to home automation systems.
“The DreamBoard initiative was a huge success for all those involved. We gained valuable insight to enhance our product offering and understanding of market trends and also provided our element14 Community members with the freedom to create and explore in a way that most organisations could never achieve. The DreamBoard project set out to give engineers the freedom to create, learn, and inspire and that is exactly what we achieved.”
To find out more about the DreamBoard initiative, view the Battle of the DreamBoards slideshare, showcasing the final 16, or visit: http://www.element14.com/dreamboard.