What is .NET Gadgeteer?

.NET Gadgeteer is a platform for creating your own electronic devices using a wide variety of hardware modules and a powerful programming environment.

A new way to make sophisticated devices

Even someone with little or no electronics background can build devices made up of components like sensors, lights, switches, displays, communications modules, motor controllers, and much more. Just pick your components, plug them into a mainboard and program the way they work together. .NET Gadgeteer uses the .NET Micro Framework to make writing code for your device as easy as writing a desktop, Web or Windows Phone application.

An open source and open hardware community project

If you're building projects with .NET Gadgeteer, you'll find inspiration and product information on this site. If you're interested in building .NET Gadgeteer hardware, you can find hardware interface specifications and core libraries at http://gadgeteer.codeplex.com. A variety of hardware vendors are building components for .NET Gadgeteer, so you’ll have a huge assortment of modules to choose from.

A creative tool with something for everybody

Educators – .NET Gadgeteer is a great way to excite students about programming, electronics and design.

Hobbyists and Inventors – Bring your ideas to life in hours instead of days or weeks. Develop your inventions easily and show your friends and potential investors.

Professional Prototypers – Go from concept to test in less than a day. Hardware, software and physical design come together to enable quick assessment of sophisticated concepts.

.NET Gadgeteer Hardware

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, including: display, camera, networking, storage and a variety of sensors and input controls. New modules are being designed all the time!

The .NET Gadgeteer mainboard's sockets are numbered, and each is also labeled with one or more letters which indicate which modules can be plugged into it:

 

GHI Fez Spider Mainboard

Each .NET Gadgeteer module contains a corresponding socket which indicates what sort of mainboard socket it requires. Just match the letters between mainboard and module, and you've assembled a working electronic device!



Button module

To spark your imagination, here's a photo showing a range of .NET Gadgeteer boards which are either available to buy or are being prototyped:

 

Assortment of Gadgeteer modules

 

.NET Gadgeteer Software

.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.

An intuitive visual designer gets your project started quickly and easily.

Designer with Connected Modules

 

Plus, you get really powerful features from Visual Studio, such as Intellisense.

Button 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.

Debug output

 

.NET Gadgeteer Physical Design

Combine the power of rapid hardware and software prototyping with innovative physical construction tools like 3D printers and laser cutters! A variety of tools under development will make it easy to design enclosures for your .NET Gadgeteer project.

Arcade console CAD

Getting Started with .NET Gadgeteer

If you want to try it for yourself, check out the Get Started page for everything you need to start creating.

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