Microsoft has announced the official launch of Gadgeteer, a set of electronic parts designed to be plugged together to build prototypes or working electronic devices. Remote controlled cars and cameras are given as possible examples.
It is aimed squarely at Gadget Masters - "hobbyists, electronic enthusiasts and educators" - and Microsoft says it does not require any specialist electronics knowledge or soldering. The idea is to make it simple for anyone to quickly design and build their own devices.
The platform is built on the .NET Micro Framework and the small creations can be programmed in the C# language.
The Gadgeteer website has further information including a product overview, a Getting Started guide, a forum and a database of .NET Gadgeteer mainboards and modules currently available to purchase.
".NET Gadgeteer is a powerful platform that lets you build sophisticated devices really quickly -- even if you don't have much experience," said Steve Hodges, principal hardware engineer, Microsoft Research Cambridge.
"It started out as an internal tool at Microsoft Research Cambridge, but its appeal to people outside the lab quickly became evident. The open source release will make this powerful technology available to others, including the hobbyists, teachers, researchers and developers who have given us such positive feedback to date."