Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Retired Arduinos

Arduino.cc has announced the retirement of some of their products.  This includes some mainstays as well as some specialty products.
Some of the retired Arduino products, more here.
Some of these are expected.  The Mega ADK was a specialty product.  The Arduino WiFi Shield was ill-placed - just over three years ago I called it out as way expensive at $85.  The Leonardo was always more of a concept for using the 32U4 chip.  The design sparked many successful clones but the board itself was not featured in many designs as I tried to find in October 2012.  The Arduino Robot was in a niche - it was a commercialization of support to a European robotics team.  It was very expensive and did not receive much focus from hobbyists.

One product closer to my work is the Arduino Esplora.  Many folks had praised the design, but not many projects came out.  I published some of the first projects including the work on pin outs and compatible displays.  Two things hampered the platform: the insistence of using the Tinkerkit inputs and outputs (which no one used in published projects), and the power requirement via a USB connection (when a battery power option would have been the way to go).  The Tinkerkit issue has also plagued other retired projects including the Robot and the USB Host Shield.


Lessons Learned


If you look at new Arduino.cc offerings, you can see the evolution of Arduino products.  New Arduinos consider LiPo battery use and using more affordable components like ESP8266 based wi-fi modules. Certainly the new MKR1000 board is a welcome addition.  We are in for exciting times ahead.  What are your thoughts?


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