DIY enthusiasts that make things that require electronics and software to operate will be familiar with the Arduino platform. That platform can be used to make just about anything you can dream up. A project has hit its funding goal and then some on Indiegogo that is for a board designed to make it easier for people new to Arduino hardware to make stuff.
The project is called the BE Shield and it was originally envisioned as a simple tool for beginners. During the course of the Indiegogo project, the board as upgraded to become one of the most advanced additional items that can be used with any Arduino compatible board.
The BE Shield has a 16x2 LCD display socket with contrast control. It also features a microSD card socket and five control buttons that need only one analog input. The board also has direct control for a servo motor. Other features include a RGB LED strip driver circuit supporting over 1A per channel and an Ethernet controller. The board also has a digital I/O expander adding 16 channels to the original 14 of an Arduino for 30 total.
Those features are packed into a small board that measures 4.25-inches long. The device is also designed to make all of these functions work at the same time. The project was originally seeking only $500 and has raised over $9000 with only six days to go. Shipping for the BE Board is expected in March with each unit selling for $15. The company is also selling the BE Board alongside the BE Shield for an additional $15.