The FabTile is an Arduino-based kit used to teach people how to solder components to a printed circuit board and also how to program in the Arduino environment. Rather than using generic design examples to demonstrate the principles of Arduino programming, this kit and associated workshop lessons require the user to assemble and solder the board, and then write software for it with a specific goal in mind. The end product is a device that produces an interesting visual effect as well as teaching the principles of Arduino and embedded programming.
I use this kit for a two-day workshop combining an Introduction to Soldering and An Introduction to Arduino Programming. This kit is normally only available by taking the Arduino workshops that I teach at FabCafe or Tokyo Hackerspace. Since Mothership Hackermoms is running a Kickstarter campaign, I'll be making this kit available for purchase outside of the workshop for the duration of their campaign to help raise funds. All proceeds from the sale of this kit will go towards the Mothership Hackermoms Kickstarter campaign.
It's required to have at least one FTDI USB/serial breakout board to use with the FabTiles. The USB/serial board is used to connect the PC to the board, program the Arduino code into the board, and also can be used for serial debugging. You can purchase the USB/Serial breakout board as a purchase option below for a discounted price. If you don't already have a 5V supply, then you'll need one of those to power the board/s. Each board takes approximately 200 mA at 5V so a 1A supply can power about 5 boards. This board only accepts 5V. You can get discounted 5V power adapters in the options menu below.
You can also purchase a FabTile Starter Pack that includes three tiles, the USB/Serial board, and the power supply which is everything you need to start. Here's the link to the starter kit:
FabTile Starter Kit.
All of the design credit for this kit goes to Evil Mad Scientist Labs who created the Octolively which became the inspiration for this workshop kit. This kit is based on their design concept of tiled, interactive LEDs. The only difference is that I adapted the hardware and software to the Arduino platform and environment so that I could use it to teach Introductory Arduino workshops. For more information on the Octolively, you can check out their wiki here.
Note: For people that are just starting out in electronics and Arduino programming, I highly recommend doing this under the supervision of someone with electronics experience. This could be a hackerspace or anywhere else that has someone that can answer electronics questions and also inspect/troubleshoot assembly and soldering issues.
Here's the link introducing the FabTile and fundraising for the Mothership Hackermoms Kickstarter Campaign:
Here's a preview of the pics for the soldering and assembly of the FabTile:
Here's the link to download the Soldering/Assembly instructions, Lesson manual, FabFx Arduino library, sketches, and design documents:
Here's a video of an 8 FabTile array in action:
Here's the video from the Mothership Hackermoms Kickstarter Campaign: