Arduino development boards are obviously incredibly popular — I’d estimate that roughly 118% of the projects we feature utilize an Arduino. But, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. One of the most requested features is a larger variety of communications options. As it stands, most Arduinos need to be connected to your computer with a USB cable to upload code or to send/receive serial communications. That can be awfully inconvenient, and the new Z-Duino UNO is designed to address that with Bluetooth connectivity.
Z-Duino UNO recently launched on Kickstarter, and has just reached its funding goal. It has the same basic footprint and pin layout as an Arduino UNO, but with the addition of Bluetooth and onboard Li-Ion charging. The Li-Ion management circuit can be used to charge up your battery through the USB port. It has a max charging current of 1A, and has additional features like low-battery protection.
However, it’s the Bluetooth connectivity that makes the Z-Duino UNO really special. With the built-in BT12 Bluetooth module, you can send code from your computer to the board without cables. You can also download code from the board onto your Android smartphone — though uploading code from your phone doesn’t seem to be possible right now. Using either your computer or your phone, you can also send and receive serial communications for debugging or controlling the board.