Netduino

Netduino is an interesting dev board built around the .NET Micro framework with the goal of being compatible with Arduino shields. Netduino is an open source hardware platform that can run .NET Micro Framework 4.2 code.

The Netduino is a dev board built around the .NET Micro framework with the goal of being compatible with Arduino shields. Netduino page offers three small embedded platforms that can run .NET Micro Framework code. Netduino gets a huge upgrade article tells that the newest Netduino Plus 2 board features an upgraded STM32 ARM Cortex-M4 uC running at 168 MHz, improving on the original Netduino’s ARM7 running at 47 MHz.

Netduino and Netduino plus 2 look pretty similar to Arduino and can use many Arduino Shields. Netduino combines 20 GPIOs with SPI, I2C, 2 UARTs (1 RTS/CTS), 4 PWM and 6 ADC channels. Netduino is an open source electronics platform. Design files and source code are included. Learn from the designs.

Getting Started with Netduino article gives you a good start. What Is an Arduino Shield and Why Should My Netduino Care? article talks on issues on using Arduino shields with Netduino. Yet, there’s always one hurdle that needs to be overcome: in order to give access to their hardware functions easily, many Arduino shields provide sample sketches (a.k.a. C/C++ Wiring programs) and libraries also written in C/C++ designed to be used within the Arduino IDE. Unfortunately, Arduino sketches and libraries aren’t compatible with the Visual Studio environment and the .NET runtime: they need to be adapted in order to make use of the shield’s hardware.

netduino_photo_overhead

The .NET Micro Framework is the smallest version of .NET for very resource-constrained devices (the typical .NET Micro-Framework device has a 32 bit processor with or without a memory management can have as little as 64K of RAM). The .NET Micro Framework (NETMF) is an open source .NET platform for resource-constrained devices with at least 256 KBytes of flash and 64 KBytes of RAM. It includes a small version of the .NET CLR and supports development in C#, Visual Basic .NET, and debugging (in an emulator or on hardware) using Microsoft Visual Studio.

.NET Micro Framework is an open source platform that expands the power and versatility of .NET to the world of small embedded applications. Desktop programmers can harness their existing .NET knowledge base to build embedded applications. .NET Micro Framework is developed by Microsoft (together with active community contributions) and offered under an Open Source License (Apache 2.0).

Netduino is not the only small embedded board that can run .NET code.

Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is a rapid prototyping platform for small electronic gadgets and embedded hardware devices. .NET Gadgeteer consists of modules that can be connected together to construct both simple and sophisticated devices.

There is also .NET for the STM32 F4 Discovery board that allows STM32F4 Discovery Board running .NET MicroFramework. What is the best .net Micro Framework dev board, for under $300? discussion provides pointers to other .NET boards. TinyCLR community provides support for Gadgeteer and other .NET Micro Framework boards.

5 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Gadgeteer plant monitor wants it wet and photogenic
    http://hackaday.com/2012/12/03/gadgeteer-plant-monitor-wants-it-wet-and-photogenic/

    [Christian] is growing a tomato plant on his desk and wanted to capture some time-lapse images of its progress. To that end he built a rig that monitors moisture levels and snaps images at regular intervals.

    The hardware he’s using is part of the Gadgeteer family. These run a .NET micro framework and are modular which makes for easy assembly.

    The images and moisture readings are all pushed to a server. There is an Ethernet board near the base of the rig. It uses POST to send the image, which is saved by a server-side script. The moisture data is sent via a GET command.

    Tomato: what is this?
    http://tomatos.have.no.32leav.es/

    Hardware
    The whole thing is powered by Microsoft .NET gadgeteer. A FEZ Spider mainboard is attached to the back of the rig and connected to all other components using the Gadgeteer-typical ribbon cables. On the top panel, four multi-color LEDs surround the camera. At the bottom of the rig, the USB client module – for power and the ethernet model, share the same mounting hole. The irrigation sensor is not shown in the CAD drawing, but can be seen in the photo. It has not attachment to the rig and is directly placed in the soil of the plant.

    Software
    The software on running on the Gadgeteer hardware will take a photo and sensor reading every ten minutes. This data is then uploaded to a server via HTTP. On the server side is a simple PHP script, that takes the raw POST data – which is the BMP image of the camera – and saves it in a file. The sensor reading is transmitted as GET parameter and stored in a seperate file alongside the image.

    how can I build my own?
    You’ll need two things to build one of these: the Gadgeteer modules and access to a laser-cutter.

    Reply
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  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CC3000 WiFi driver for .NET Micros
    http://hackaday.com/2013/08/27/cc3000-wifi-driver-for-net-micros/

    The Netduino and other .NET Micro boards don’t seem to get much love, but that doesn’t mean they’re not able to use one of the coolest chips we’ve seen in a while. [Valkyrie] has written a driver for TI’s new CC3000 all-in-one WiFi chip, giving any .NET micro device a very small and very cheap WiFi connection.

    A while back, [Chris Magagna] created a TI CC3000 library for the Arduino. [Valkyrie] fell out of his chair when he saw that post, as it meant the .NET Micro devices such as the Netduino could finally use this device.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    3D Printed Netduino Remote Controlled Car
    http://hackaday.com/2014/01/28/3d-printed-netduino-remote-controlled-car/

    built a Windows Phone-controlled car with a Netduino and 3D-printed parts.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Netduino 3 wifi
    http://www.netduino.com/netduino3wifi/specs.htm

    An open-source electronics platform using the .NET Micro Framework

    Processor: 168MHz Cortex-M4 MCU; 2MB dual-bank flash; 256KB RAM.
    Standard I/O: 22 GPIOs combined with SPI, I2C, 4 UARTs (1 RTS/CTS), 6 PWM channels and 6 12-bit ADC channels.
    Advanced I/O: 802.11b/g/n (Wi-Fi) with SSL/TLS. MicroSD storage. 3 GoBus 2.0 ports for plug-and-play components.
    MicroUSB cable and GoBus cable included. Design files and source code are included.
    .NET Micro Framework combines the ease of high-level coding and the raw features of microcontrollers.

    Price: $69.95

    Reply

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