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Raspberry Pi teases finished Gertboard I/O extender, revs creative engines (Update: pre-orders open now, video)

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The Raspberry Pi faithful have been looking forward to the Gertboard almost as much as the main device itself: Gert van Loo's I/O extender promises to flash lights, spin motors and otherwise take on the tasks that the Raspberry Pi doesn't directly manage on its own. While we've seen work on the project since late 2011, the expansion now looks to be closer to reality following a fresh teaser. The refined design's biggest tweak is replacing its original PIC controller with an Arduino-powered chip -- an element no doubt familiar to the crowd that would already be looking at a very hackable, miniature Linux computer. Most everything else is a refinement, although Gert has brought in three physical buttons and two-channel analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters. We'll learn the full story later this week, and until then we'll be dreaming of all the off-kilter Arduino projects that might be made better with a little Raspberry Pi companionship.

Update: The wait turned out to be short, and interested parties ready to do some soldering of their own can pre-order the Gertboard for £30 at element14 now. Check the Raspberry Pi blog (2) for more info, or check out a video interview with Mr. van Loo himself embedded after the break.

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