Virtual Breadboard or 'VBB' is a development and an emulation environment for embedded applications that use microcontrollers featuring Makeable Breadboard layouts that bring your designs to life.
You might have noticed that things have been quite for while, is VBB dead?
Far from it! But I do need your help...
Before I explain.. Checkout WaveRaster, my new Killer-App - its awesome
As the VBB feedback has been coming in I know what you all want. More! More everything, more emulated components, more tutorials, better documentation, courses, API's, SDK's, schematics, PCB layout, you name it.. you want it!
Unfortunately what you want and the resources available to make it all happen are mismatched. So I have been devising a scaleable strategy that goes something like.
Its really hard to set development priorities. VBB is already great but there are thousands of components and features that can be added to make VBB the ultimate DIY design tool. Unfortunately I am not a University funded programme, I don't have a big sponsor bankrolling me and I am not repackaging work created by other people. VBB is created and funded completely by me and from those of you who support VBB by paying a little something for the extra features.
Over the years I have released dozens of extra VBB features, Gerber Generation, Firmata, PICMicros, Visual Basic Language, Component Development Kit. When its for free your 'all-in', but when I charge something all that stops. Recently I have pulled all the features that have not been selling out of VBB to rethink them. Maybe they need more examples, more documentation, more polish or maybe their not as useful as I thought, exactly which I cant' be sure.
Rather than make guesses about what to re-release or new things to develop I realised recently that CrowdFunding is a potential solution. I can detail the feature that I would like to release and then put it out there to the crowd. Instead of voting with likes, or clicks, or polls you can vote by funding what you would like to see made. This will mean the most important things will get built first which will in turn fund things for everyone else, like expanding what's available in the free versions for those who can't afford to pay anything at all.
I am preparing the first crowdfunding campaign right now and will be making an announcement on this in the coming days. Exciting Stuff.
Prototype virtually then Make for real
Simulate and visualise interactively
Safely experiment with electronics
Share your live creations
Learn by example
In my search for a Killer-App to incubate and fund VBB I invented WaveRaster. WaveRaster is a platform where-by mini android apps with arduino i/o run in embedded things but display their user interface in a phone.
Unlike VBB which has open-ended goal of emulating the entire world, WaveRaster has the specific goal of making it unbelievably easy to use your phone as the user interface to your embedded projects. Because its a specific goal it's easier to build a business case and yet because the code base is shared with VBB progress with WaveRaster also moves VBB forward. Two birds, one stone.
The WaveRaster Platform involves
For more information see the WaveRaster WebSite
Joint Crowd Funding Campaign - Coming Soon!
The first crowdfunding project will combine VBB and WaveRaster awards. I have lots of things I want to build but will do it in phases. That's kind of my style, do a little experiment, see what happes, take the next steps. Check Back Soon to get involved in the Crowd Funding Campaign! - I need your help to make it great.
I know its frustrating. You want to use VBB because it's so cool but you are missing a component and don't know what to do. I call this the 9 out of 10 problem and it seems like you are always missing a component.
This is one situation where the ICEShield can be especially useful. Wire up an external physical component to ICEShield and use it side by side with virtual components. To make this easier I will be creating a new Component Development Kit Component that works with ICESHield so you can create pinouts inside VBB but import the behaviour from the real component.
So the plan is to lean on the ICEShield as a pragmatic way to expand the scope of projects VBB can be used with.
Hence I will be focus more on ICESHield applications, tutorials, examples and so on in coming months.
November 7, 2013
October 22, 2013
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