Montag, 13. August 2012

BerryBase - How it came about

Since I first heard about the RaspberryPi, I was fascinated by the little computer. Once the final specs however came out, I realized that I did not really know what I would use it for. It seemed under-powered for the computer-vision application I originally had in mind. I considered using it as a microcontroller, but I soon realized that in most cases I would be better off using an Arduino instead.

I soon realized, that adding some basic circuitry might improve the situation. I also wanted to add a case. My idea was, that it would be cool to simply increase the number of I/O pins, as well as add some analog inputs. Additionally I wanted to be able to source significantly more power over the individual pins. I discussed this at length with my friend Michael Harst, but it stayed a simple idea.

First Prototype

I ended up meeting Yann Leretaille, Torben Friehe, Mathias Hemmerle & Alex Hannemann. Together we created the first prototype. It was Yann who also suggested "Everything should be Plug & Play". I thought he was crazy.

Somehow Yann and I however felt our original design restricting. We where especially unhappy with how we where handling the SPI and I2C ports. (Basically we where ignoring them). Eventuelly we started experimenting with ways of extending the SPI and I2C ports. While doing so we realized that we might as well create a modular system - we thought that the design would not be significantly more complex (we where wrong). And all of a sudden Yann's "Plug & Play" Idea no longer seemed crazy, once we restricted the Plug & Play functions to the modules we designed.

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