back to article Brits rattle tin for custom LCD Raspberry Pi funbox

A London-based "networked studio of invention" is rattling the tin down at Kickstarter for the net-connected Tingbot – a custom case for the Raspberry Pi with LCD touchscreen which promises to transform the fruity minicomputer into "a platform for creative applications". For a pledge of just 50 quid – and that compares …

Happy

It's like the Chumby all over again.

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I think the Chumby would have been OK if it had a vaguely sensible programming mechanism rather than some wacky Flash player, also it was a bit unnecessarily 'cloudy'.

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Silver badge

Solution looking for a problem.

3.2 inch screen as a doodle pad. Really?

And why 4 real buttons, no confidence in the touchscreen?

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Early 70's Vision of the Future

Looks like 'a state of the art' vision of the future from the 1970's.

Embed a small physical keyboard below the screen and voila, a mini old style terminal.

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Trollface

Re: Early 70's Vision of the Future

...or just add a rocker switch and voila - instant Palm IIIc (only much bulkier and just a decade late or so...)

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Trollface

Couldn't I get something similar...

... from DK'Tronics?

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Re: Couldn't I get something similar...

Or Alibaba ...

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-3-5-TFT-LCD-Touch-Screen-Module-320-480-RGB-Display-Board-For-Raspberry-Pi/32412904555.html

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Landfill Android

Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to buy a budget / last year's model Android phone? Battery, bigger touchscreen, 3G / 4G antenna, SD slot, etc.

Ok so this makerbox wires up some GPIO pins to hardware buttons; but is it really that much of a gain over a touchscreen alone?

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Re: Landfill Android

I like the *look* of it, the future from the 1970's as another commentard put it, and the constraint of having just four hardware buttons. Once you've learnt that interface, for the one or two apps you may care to have on it, it becomes really *physically* usable. So I'm a buttons and knobs man. Oh dear, that didn't come out quite right.

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Bronze badge

Re: Landfill Android

It still has four USB slots in there for other crap both wired and wireless, as well as the aforementioned screen of touching. A tiny keyboard for that DEC VT100 look, and away you go! Just make the keys in the same shape as a blackberry and viola! You get sued!

I almost plopped down some change for one of those new super tiny Arduino boards at the local electronics shop, about one inch square with tiny headers to stack them up; processor/battery board + USB/something|other + holy breadboard + the smallest standoffs I've ever seen in my life, for about US$40. But then I thought, not yet, you've not finished your pi projects strewn about the kitchen table! We'll get the tinyduino next season. Looks like fun kit.

Also, I'm noticing that hot glue is semi-conductive. I seem it be getting some capacitance on my meter of voltaging on set glue, so fun times for the hot glue weirdos and electronics!

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Coat

Re: Landfill Android

It could make a POS POS...

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Re: Landfill Android

"Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to buy a budget / last year's model Android phone? Battery, bigger touchscreen, 3G / 4G antenna, SD slot, etc."

Sure.

But not as cheap as a packet of frozen peas.

Either beiing as relevant to the case in hand.

"Ok so this makerbox wires up some GPIO pins to hardware buttons; but is it really that much of a gain over a touchscreen alone?"

Yes.

But this is something too complex for someone with a cell phone fetish, to grasp. So I'll leave it at that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Landfill Android

"Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to buy a budget / last year's model Android phone? Battery, bigger touchscreen, 3G / 4G antenna, SD slot, etc."

That kind of defeats the "spirit" of the RPi. The RPi is all about learning and exploration, the idea is you get a base bit of hardware and cheap price point, it's down to you to tinker and make it usable for whatever purpose you've dreamt up.

Buying landfill Android would certainly be the way to get a job done, but you'd miss out on all the fun of doing it yourself. :-)

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Re: Landfill Android

I was also thinking that a landfill android would have a lot better screen and touch capabilities, but not to use it instead of a Raspberry Pi, but in additional to one. An app on the phone handles the GUI, the Pi handles and I/O, and you get the fun of developing comms between them.

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7" Touch screen

Is under £40 and available off the shelf ... just needs a tidier cable set ...

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Anonymous Coward

Why does every one of these always have a custom O/S build?

Surely it can't be that hard to release a driver package for the standard Raspberry PI O/S so that it doesn't mess up the current setup I'm using?

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Re: Why does every one of these always have a custom O/S build?

In fact the OS is Raspian and so that can be upgraded with the driver-specific dtb, etc.

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It seems a tad pointless

What struck me whilst reading and also pointed out above was that most of the functionality is available on a variety of smartphones and tablets. Any extra functionality seems necessarily limited. If you are going to buy a Pi then I'd guess you'd be looking for a bit more.

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Anonymous Coward

Tingbot v pi-topCEED

Don't know why one launch is reported and another ignored.

TINGBOT at £50 without a RasPi seems very poor value compared to pi-topCEED including a RasPi-2 at about £67 delivered (actually US$99) See details for pi-topCEED here:

https://goo.gl/sifvCI

(order before end of week after launch and get free breadboard & components.)

Readers can judge for themselves - different purposes & objectives for each - but I cannot see much useful programming learning being done on TINGBOT compared to pi-topCEED.

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Rebooting....

I'm a bit disappointed there's not a good robotics toolkit for the pi actually. I think a lot of this kind of stuff that gets suggested is really just a rehash of past or present commercial offerings. As someone suggested for instance, what does this offer that an old commodity smartphone doesn't?

I'm really looking forward to seeing some kind of pluggable, addressable servo and motor controller system with good solid cock-up prevention. Really the gameboy, media player, mobile phone things don't need doing again.

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I really don't get the advantage of this as oposed to the 7' "official" display (which is still not very good at 800x480)?

They cost about as much.

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I got the offical Pi 7"touchscreen

and mounted in the box it cam in. Plenty of room for a big USB battery pack thing too.

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innovative? no way.

An obsolete 4 wire resistive touchscreen glued to an obsolete TN QVGA display with an obsolete controller sourced from an ebay/alibaba seller who won't have any more when his current stock runs out.

This KS offers spectacularly low levels of innovation even by KS standards.

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eMailer?

I can't comment on the merits of this product in electronics terms... but I'm with the folk who said that in appearance alone, this looks like you could make a cute little terminal with it.

Actually: add a mini wired keyboard, and this could almost pass as an Amstrad eMailer for the mid-2010s...

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Silver badge

This could be cool....

Makes me think that this kit could be tweaked/modded to make a nice wrist-mounted Pip-Boy.

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On the plus side, a small LCD screen + a couple of buttons is just what you need for many raspberry Pi projects, and it looks cool.

On the other hand, everyone wants something slightly different to suit the particular project they have in mind (whether to include a speaker or not, etc. etc.), making your own case isn't that hard, and if you make your own case you can include exactly the features you want.

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