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Why a Flexible Arduino will Change the Game

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Why a Flexible Arduino will Change the Game

When Arduino was introduced to the market in 2005, it quickly became the hot item for DIY’ers and hobbyist for creating gadgets around the house. Fast forward a few years, and large-scale companies are using the device to rapidly prototype projects and get new and more advanced products out the door quickly. Arduino filled a hole in the market, and because it was open-source, it was a complete game changer.

Today Arduino has designed and released several different models and form factors. Including more advanced wifi and Bluetooth connected models.

Like most all rapid prototype boards, they are all standard PCB that is ridged and well… a board. Announced just days ago from NextFlex, they have developed a flexible Arduino! That’s right; it’s flexible and able to be bent and warped around objects in your project case. NextFlex is in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, and they created the very first flexible Arduino development board.

AFRL and NextFlex choose Arduino primarily because it’s open-source and well documented, along with a vast community. Their innovation is both in the flexible substrate that the circuit is printed on, as well as the manufacturing processes used to build a circuit on it. While that substrate, and the traces printed on it, are flexible, the actual components appear to be traditional rigid SMDs.

Of course, the US Military is interested in this development for the same reasons you should be: It changes the game again, it expands the use cases for Arduino into the wearable market. For Military uses it could be on uniforms or other flexible garments that might need some black-ops tech! This is a proof concept showing the manufacturing process is practical, which means you might soon have a flexible Arduino in your own hands.

References:

[AFRL, NextFlex leverage open-source community to create flexible circuit system] – http://www.wpafb.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1431533/afrl-nextflex-leverage-open-source-community-to-create-flexible-circuit-system/

Greg Winn

Greg is veteran of the Iraq war and a unique expert in software engineering, hardware engineering and big data which provides a substantial advantage for Echolo's IoT products and roadmap. Greg spent more than 10 years at the National Association of Rocketry, building guidance and avoidance systems for high powered rockets. After a few years in the online gaming industry, Greg built his first company Tacticalzone.com a community site for the NovaLogic video game, Delta Force. TacticalZone was acquired in 2002 by Playnet Inc. In the years following TacticalZone Greg launched many web platforms and SaaS-based products including Cignal, a big data twitter sentiment analysis and predictive tool. Greg has contracted for top companies and organizations such as NASA, Ackerman & McQueen, Match.com, and the NRA. He has become a leading authority on how to create world-class software with a startup development team then scale into a full product organization.

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