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Jonathan Erickson

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Roll Your Own Hardware, or Dr. Dobb's Does Bug Labs

August 24, 2008

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Semmelhack, the CEO and founder of Bug Labs. I said at the time -- and still believe -- that Bug Labs is a very interesting company. Its mission is to help engineers tap their creativity and build any type of device they want -- without having to solder or learn solid state electronics. And to apply the term "mashups" to hardware as well as software.

Luckily, fellow Dr. Dobb's CodeTalk blogger Mike Riley was able to follow up on my introduction to Bug Labs. I say "luckily" because he actually got to a hands-on look at BUG, a collection of electronic modules that snap together to build any gadget you can imagine. Each BUGmodule represents a specific gadget function -- a camera, a keyboard, a video output, or whatever. You decide which functions to include and BUG takes care of the rest, letting you try out different combinations quickly and easily. With BUG and the integrated programming environment/online community (BUGnet), anyone can build, program and share innovative devices and applications. As they say, Bug Labs doesn't define the final products -- you do.

And luckily for you, Mike made a video of BUG. Hey, even the packaging is cool with this product. In any event, in less than 5 minutes, Mike unbundles the BUG *and* builds a working prototype simply be snapping modules together. You'll love it.



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