Think Lego Mindstorms meets Radio Shack. Bug Labs has been working on their Bug Base—a fully modifiable, open-source gadget building block system. The base itself includes specs similar to “a three-year-old laptop” but includes WiFi and Ethernet, USB and more. Once you have the base, you can add additional “modules,” including LCD displays, GPS, cameras, motion sensors and tons more. Each of the modules will require you to program them using a software package similar to VisualStudio in appearance, but everything is open source. Bug Labs has about 80 different sensors on the roadmap right now and they’re constantly interfacing with the community to come up with new ideas.
The concept has a lot of promise and some great tinkering cred. For the first 60 days, they’re offering an early-adopter special with the base costing just $299 (down from $349) and modules ranging from $49-$119. Pre-orders began on January 21st and will ship by March.
Take a look at our video to see us get our hands on the base and its modules and to talk to Jeremy from Bug Labs about what’s coming down the road and what’s in store for Bug Labs.