DFRobot has just released a unique new Single Board Computer (SBC): the UNIHIKER. Priced at an affordable $80, it's a compact all-in-one prototyping tool for hardware and software enthusiasts. Boasting an ARM-based processor, Debian-based GNU/Linux operating system, WiFi and Bluetooth support, and a plethora of sensors, the UNIHIKER is a force to be reckoned with. But that's not all – it also comes with a 2.8-inch touchscreen display that adds a touch of interactivity to your projects.
We chat about Unihiker in this week's Electromaker Show:
Let's dive into the details that make the UNIHIKER an interesting choice. While it may not pack the raw power of a high-end PC, this little dynamo holds its own. With a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A35 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of flash storage, the UNIHIKER strikes an impeccable balance between performance and affordability.
It also features a 2.8-inch display boasting a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. Despite its compact size, it seems to have a vibrant screen and should be more than capable of delivering a good touchscreen experience. And when it comes to wireless connectivity, fear not, for the UNIHIKER supports WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, seamlessly integrating with your existing smart devices and accessories.
But here's where the UNIHIKER truly shines – its versatility. DFRobot has opened the floodgates to a myriad of possibilities. Imagine transforming your home into a smart haven, building fascinating robotic contraptions, or even crafting your own customized mobile device by pairing it with an external battery pack. The choice is yours, and the UNIHIKER is your trusty companion on this captivating journey of creation.
Measuring a mere 83 x 52 x 13mm (3.3" x 2" x 0.5"), the UNIHIKER board is a pocket-sized powerhouse, just a hair smaller than the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. But don't let its size fool you, for this board is packed with surprises. Alongside the touchscreen display, you'll discover an array of sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, and light sensor. But that's not all – there's also a microphone, LED light, buzzer, and a GD32VF103 microcontroller acting as a co-processor. This magnificent microcontroller opens up a world of possibilities, allowing seamless interaction with a variety of analog/digital/I2C/UART/SPI sensors and actuators.
DFRobot hasn't stopped there – they've included a built-in IoT service in the UNIHIKER board, empowering you to store data on the device using the MQTT protocol. This integration elevates your projects, enabling seamless connectivity and data collection.
The UNIHIKER includes a microSD card reader, edge connector, and USB Type-A and Type-B ports for those seeking expansion options. Powering this remarkable board is as simple as connecting it to a 5V/2A USB-C power adapter.
It's worth noting that the onboard GD32VF103 microcontroller is a highly versatile general purpose RISC-V part. Its inclusion as a coprocessor is a nice touch, as the PinPong Python library allows users to get the most out of it without needing to delve into the tool chain usually required to use it.
And let's not forget the edge connector, which bears a striking resemblance to the beloved Micro:Bit form factor. While there are several System on Module (SoM) designs featuring edge connectors, this is one of the few that uses the wide/narrow setup made famous by the BBC Micro:Bit devboard.
The UNIHIKER is designed to get you up and running quickly, allowing you to focus on your projects without delay. The flash memory comes pre-loaded with a Jupyter Notebook, accessible directly in your browser, providing a seamless development experience. Support is also offered for development using popular tools such as VS Code, Thonny, or - pleasingly - Vim! Emphasizing ease of use, the UNIHIKER employs Python as the language of choice and incorporates the PinPong integrated control library, facilitating effortless access to the hardware. Additionally, the UNIHIKER supports MQTT for seamless connectivity and includes a web interface for enhanced control.
DFRobot has opened orders for the UNIHIKER on their official website, with the device available for just $79.90.