Video: BLEduino is Bluetooth made easy

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The BLEduino is a tiny Arduino-compatible dev board with integrated Bluetooth 4.0. As expected, the BLEduino is both hardware and software compatible with Arduino - because the hardware is based on the Arduino Leonardo. Meaning, anything that runs on an Arduino will run on a BLEduino.

"We wanted the BLEduino to be small enough to be used in any project, but not if [it] meant you'd lose the ability to use all your awesome Arduino shields. For this reason, we created the Shield-Shield - a handy attachment that translates the BLEduino’s pin layout into the traditional Arduino layout, making the BLEduino fully Arduino shield compatible," Kytelabs explained in a Kickstarter post.

"[Yes], we've noticed a trend of boards stating they are compatible with all Arduino Shields when they actually aren't. For a board to be fully compatible you would need it to support both the old Arduino UNO pin layout and the new Arduino Leonardo pin layout. Not only that, the boards would have to support 5V logic (which we do)."

According to a Kytelabs rep, the the layout problem was solved by the company's "Shield-Shield" - allowing users to switch between the old and new pin layout by just flipping a switch. In other words, the same Shield-Shield is basically backwards and forwards compatible, allowing it to work with nearly all Arduino shields.

Key BLEduino hardware specs include:

  • ATmega32u4 with a modified Leonardo bootloader.
  • Supply Voltage - 5V
  • Onboard 5V Regulator
  • Onboard 3.3V Regulator
  • GPIO Pins - 21
  • PWM Channels - 6
  • Analog Input Channels - 12
  • Serial Communication: UART, SPI, I2C
  • DC Current per I/O Pin - 40 mA
  • Flash Memory - 32 KB.
  • 4KB used by bootloader.
  • SRAM - 2.5 KB
  • EEPROM - 1 KB
  • Clock Speed - 16 MHz
  • LED’s for serial communication (RX, TX)
  • LED for bluetooth connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) - nRF8001
  • Dedicated controller for nRF8001
  • Expected BLE Range - at least 80ft (currently testing)

BLEduino has already managed to raise $20,340 of a $15,000 goal with 25 days to go.