Frustrating by all the new single board computers boasting power, speed, RAM, awards, yet prove to be incomplete power hogs that run very slowly when real life sensors are included? Frustrated by poor documentation and myriad of scattered wiki links and forums? The usual response to this criticism is education - you'll learn. I think the main education has been how to sell and hype. Maybe they'll be knighted next year.

That said, one thing very enticing with new boards is the ability to program your project in Python. Even better, it would be nice to program in Octave! Octave is the GNU version of basic Matlab, arguably the best language for engineering and feedback control systems - absolutely perfect for robotics. Clean concise programming and vector math! Every engineering student and professional knows what I'm talking about.

I'm not an adafruit representative by any means. I am a customer impressed by Adafruit's ability to pick the right component or sensor and integrate it with a simple to use breakout board at a very reasonable price, cheaper than sparkfun. Now adafruit claims to be engineer, but I've mostly seen selling and hacking. So here's an engineering challenge: design the Adaboard - a microcontroller or single board computer module using an off-the-shelf chip with at least 12 native ADCs!!! (at least 12bit), 12 or more PWM, 36 or more digital I/O, at least 2 SPI, two I2C, 4 hardware serial, ethernet, etc., programmable in Octave, Matlab, or at least Python, for $45 USD. So basically something similar to the Arduino Due, however programmable in a much more powerful and more popular language without boring low-level register instructions. So in other words, a basic line to read an ADC on pin 11 would be: volt = readadc(12); .

Adaboard anyone? Make yourself heard here: