Have you ever want to build devices made up of components like sensors, lights, switches, displays, communications, motor controllers, and much more but missing the knowledge of these components. To address this problem Microsoft released an open source project called Gadgeteer. Gadgeteer allows you to build small electronic device using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio or Visual C# Express.
A .NET Gadgeteer system is composed of a mainboard containing an embedded processor and a variety of modules which connect to the mainboard through a simple plug-and-play interface. There are lots of .NET Gadgeteer modules available today: display, camera, networking, storage, input controls, and more modules are being designed all the time!
The .NET Gadgeteer mainboard’s sockets are numbered, and each is labeled with one or more letters which indicate which modules can be plugged into it:
Each .NET Gadgeteer module contains a corresponding socket which indicates what sort of mainboard sockets it requires. Just match the letters between mainboard and module, and you’ve assembled a working electronic device!
.NET Gadgeteer devices are programmed in C# using the .NET Micro Framework. You can apply your knowledge of .NET programming on the desktop, Web or phone to embedded devices. Plus, you get wonderful Visual Studio features like Intellisense.
You can also debug your .NET Gadgeteer programs while they are running on the device – a unique feature which makes troubleshooting your .NET Gadgeteer devices much easier.