14-Year-Old Inventor Crowdfunds Battery-Charging Arduino, Hits $35K

The Qduino Mini
The Qduino Mini

Now in the final couple of days of its crowdfunding journey, I thought I’d take a quick look at Quin Etnyre‘s new project, the Qduino Mini board.

Reaching full funding after just 29 hours, the board is Arduino-compatible and based around the ATmega32U4 — the same processor used by the Arduino Leonardo — but also incorporates both a battery charger and a battery monitor based around Microchip’s MCP73832 and Maxim’s MAX17048 chip respectively.

Qduino Mini

As you might expect, this is Quin’s first Kickstarter project — at 14 he hasn’t exactly had enough time to run more than one — especially the case since he’s been rather busy over the last two or three years. After attending his first Maker Faire back in 2011, at the tender age of just 12, he has started his own company, and been a guest at the White House.

His company sells plug and play Arduino-compatible sensors and boards intended to make it easy for beginners to get started with micro controllers and electronics. He’s been working on this board for over a year, collaborating with SparkFun, who will be manufacturing and shipping it after the Kickstarter closes. I’m going to be interested to see what he builds with it.

“I believe everyone, at any age, can be a maker as long as they have the right tools…” — Quin Etnyre



With the finish line in sight, Make: checks in with Quin about the campaign:

Make: How has the campaign been?
Quin: The campaign has been super exciting!  We funded in just 29 hours and currently we have 633 backers with 68 hours to go — it’s been an amazing journey with many supportive friends.

M: What happens after it finishes?
Q: Both SparkFun and I will be working hard to fulfill all of the backer rewards to hit our timeline.  I’ll be making tons of projects and tutorials showcasing the Qduino Mini and quality testing the newest prototypes.

M: When will these ship?
Q: All backer rewards will ship late this summer (our expected delivery date is in August) by SparkFun Electronics in Niwot, CO.  We’ll be quality testing every one of the boards, and SparkFun will be making (as of right now) just about 1,000 boards!

M: What about for non-backers who want to buy one?
Q: We have a stretch goal going on right now — if we hit $50K, SparkFun Electronics will sell the Qduino Minis on their storefront in SparkFun ‘red’ & sell pre-orders after the campaign.  If we reach our stretch goal, non-backers can get one of their own directly from SparkFun Electronics!

M: Open-source, right?
Q: The Qduino Mini will be 100% open source hardware and software!  This means that anyone, anywhere can remix and share new revisions or new ideas for the Qduino Mini to the community, to make a better project overall.  I really think that this encourages makers to get new ideas and overall, make their projects quicker and easier!

M: What’s next?
Q: I’m working on a big project for Maker Faire Bay Area with Atmel!  We are looking into making an Android app so that you can take a selfie with your friends, and it will send the picture through WiFi to Qduino Minis.  These Qduino Minis will be connected to a printer and print out the picture!  Then, it will be sent to an Arduino Zero (used for image processing) connected to huge RGB LED panels like these to display the selfies.  Hopefully it will be sent wirelessly to a backpack with an RGB LED panel & Qduino Mini powered portable printer so that I (or AVR Man!) could carry it around the Maker Faire.

3 thoughts on “14-Year-Old Inventor Crowdfunds Battery-Charging Arduino, Hits $35K

  1. Sherry Huss says:

    Love this! Go Quin! How exciting for you… Looking forward to my battery charged arduino — or Qduino!

    1. Quin Etnyre says:

      Thank you so much, Sherry! See you at Maker Faire

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Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

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