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An Open Source | Open Hardware electronics platform using the .Net Micro Framework.
What's a Netduino Go! and how is it different from an Arduino platform?
The philosophy behind the Netduino Go! is to eliminate the complexity involved with building DIY electronic projects: it's like building with "Electronic LEGO blocks". You don't need to become an electrical and embedded software engineer to dream and build your creations. Instead, you can just plug in modules into a Netduino Go! board and hit the ground running.
How does Netduino Go! remove complexity?
The Netduino Go! board features eight identical sockets used for powering and communicating with modules such as sensors, displays, input devices, etc. The sockets also expose a general purpose I/O line and two shared general purpose serial ports, which are also used to upgrade a module's firmware in the field. A Netduino Go! module behaves as an SPI slave device, receiving and executing high-level commands, isolating the user from the actual electronic and software implementation details required to make it work. Depending on the function of the module, data is sent back to the application running on the Netduino Go! board over the same SPI channel. Every Netduino Go! module ships with its own C# driver, wrapping the low-level SPI protocol details into a simple programming interface. This makes the Netduino Go! an ideal platform for learning embedded electronics as well as designing and prototyping professional-grade devices and embedded applications.
Powerful and efficient
The Netduino Go! is part of a new breed of 32-bit microcontrollers powered by powerful ARM-Cortex processors. It is programmable in C# or Visual Basic .Net. In contrast to the Arduino platform and IDE, the .Net Micro Framework is supported by Visual Studio Express which is a free, robust development environment, making it easier to create simple and complex projects alike. Best of all, you can debug your code as it is running on the board without requiring any extra hardware.
Freedom of choice
While the Netduino Go! platform is growing with new modules specific to the platform being developed and supported by the community and by Secret Labs but it's important to know that Netduino Go! sockets are compatible with .Net Gadgeteer modules with socket types "X", "S" and "U", offering a nice variety of sensors and connectors to get started building projects today.
Check out the demos we presented at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire last June to see some fun projects in action.