Crowdfunding Watch: PIC devboard, Arduino metal sensor, Pi robot; Battery reviver

Let’s continue our series looking at some of the good projects surfacing via crowdfunding, on sites like KickStarter. You never know, you may be tempted to contribute, and help make something happen…

LPLC Board layout

LPLC Board layout

Looking at KickStarter, here are a couple of popular projects


LPLC – Low Power, Low Cost Microprocessor Development Board

First up is the LPLC (Low Power, Low Cost) microprocessor development board, based on a Microchip PIC18F27J13 processor. The Kickstarter package includes the devboard, template software and online tutorials.

The creator writes:

So how does the LPLC board ( that stands for low power, low cost by the way,) how does this board differ? Well, my focus has been on the following four areas:

Low power – I want to build circuits that run off a couple of AA batteries for years, or coin cells for months.

Low cost – I want to be able to put the board into a project and not come back a few weeks later to re-use it somewhere else, just because I can’t afford a new board.

Powerful – I want to have lots of code space, and use a proper, professional development environment. I write complex code, so I expect a decent debugger.

Small – I like to make tiny projects, as some of my stuff ends up in portable applications and even magic tricks. Plus I’m getting interested in wearable computing, and I see this board as a stepping stone to even smaller, more powerful designs. I don’t expect this to be my only Kickstarter campaign!

With 7 days to go, at time of writing, the project has 142 backers and has raised £2,829, against a £1,100 goal.


Arduino Metal Sensor - MOI L-Sensor Old Way versus New Way

Arduino Metal Sensor – MOI L-Sensor Old Way versus New Way

Low Voltage Metal Sensor

Or this one is interesting. It’s an Arduino compatible,

The creator writes:

The Low Power Non Magnetic Inductive Proximity Sensor is a Great way for Engineers, Makers, and DIYs to easily detect low permeability (non iron) metals such as aluminum. Why aluminum? Aluminum is widely available, inexpensive, very thin, and easy to apply. With a small piece of aluminum attached by tape or glue to almost anything, it can be detected by this Low Power Non Magnetic Inductive Proximity Sensor. Other low permeability metals such as copper can also be easily detected. This sensor is not to be confused with low cost magnetic sensors which obviously need magnets to operate.

The Low Voltage Metal Sensor outputs a digital signal when a low permeability (non iron) metal is detected. This signal can be used to stop-start or change direction of something in motion or just turn a light off and on to indicate the presence of metal. Best of all no magnet is needed, and unlike magnet sensors non magnetic metals are detected like aluminum, copper, etc.


  1. Operation down to 2.0 volts micro current version or 3v low current version
  2. Easy to interface to Arduino type computer boards or Shields without converting voltages.
  3. Low Current less than 10 micro amps for micro current version or 10 mA for low current version.
  4. Tuned for non ferrous metals such as aluminum.

With 16 days to go, at time of writing, the project has 51 backers and has raised $1,111, against a $1,500 goal.


GoPiGo Raspberry Pi robot

GoPiGo Raspberry Pi robot


The GoPiGo is described as “a delightful and complete robot for the Raspberry Pi that turns your Pi into a fully operating robot”.

The creator writes:

With so many programming languages and USB accessories available for the Pi, you can turn your GoPiGo into anything from a WiFi controlled robot for exploring the scary spaces behind the couch to an autonomous rocket launching office enforcer. With the Raspberry Pi acting as the brains of the robot, the possibilities are infinite.

At less than $100, we think it’s a steal. Most comparable robot kits cost upwards of $150 and deliver a fraction of the capabilities and potential. The GoPiGo packs a full Linux computer, USB and camera expansion, and of course, a robot, all for less than $100.

With 30 days still to go, the project has 274 backers and has already raised $37,692, smashing its $7,600 goal.

Luma light

Luma light


How about Luma, the smart LED lamp controlled via smartphone, with speaker, remote control and configurable light settings?…

It’s described as:

Luma is a smart lamp for the 21st century. Charge your device, listen to music, make a call and set the mood all with this smart lamp controlled by your phone. It is perfect for your office, nursery, bedroom and home foyer.

With 6 days to go, at time of writing, the project has 1,151 backers and has raised a massive $165,992, against a $55,000 goal.






Finally, how about reviving dead batteries with the ReVolt3000?

The creator – one Thomas Hoops of Reno, Nevada – has developed a long-standing interest in battery recovery…

ReVolt3000 is specifically intended to be a small business or consumer level device to revive dead batteries. And, extend the life of expensive lead-acid type rechargeable batteries typically used in larger applications from scooters to solar arrays but focusing on usual car, truck, boat, RV and aircraft like batteries. It also has the ability to revive and extend the life of other types of batteries as well such as Gel-cell, NiCad, NiMH and others.

With 2 days to go, at time of writing, the project has 62 backers and has raised $16,300, against a $10,000 goal.


Previous Crowdfunding Watch posts


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