The FredBoard (aka FreakLabs Breadboard) came out of the necessity for a good learning tool to teach people both electronics and Arduino programming at Tokyo Hackerspace. We needed something compact and sturdy that could easily survive being dropped, put away, and handled.
The concept is simple. The fastest way to prototype hardware is by using a solder-less breadboard to put together a circuit. The fastest way to prototype embedded software is by using an Arduino to write up a sketch using the multitude of available libraries. Makers, hobbyists, and hackers are increasingly doing custom, mixed hardware/software designs which is the main reason this board came into existence.
The FredBoard is an excellent tool for the beginning hacker learning electronics or Arduino programming or both. It's also an excellent tool for the professional engineer doing rapid prototypes of a mixed hardware/software design, a hardware only design, or a software design where hardware might be needed to interface to the software. In any of the cases, this is one of the most flexible boards to have in your electronics toolbox.
The FredBoard comes in both a partial kit version where the through hole components are left unsoldered or a fully-assembled/tested version where everything is done for you. It also comes with optional aluminum standoffs or a ruggedized plastic enclosure for mobile embedded hacking. The ruggedized enclosure comes in a high profile form factor with a height of 34.5 mm.
Note: Before you purchase the board here, please check if there are any more allocated units of the nonprofit version of the FredBoard available. Each month, a certain number of units will be designated as nonprofit. Proceeds from the those purchases will go towards supporting the cause listed in the description. Thanks!
FredBoard User Guide