AlaMode is a stackable, Arduino compatible board for the Raspberry Pi that plugs in to it’s GPIO header.
While there are lots of emerging examples of interfacing hardware to the Pi, it’s just not as easy as the Arduino, and the Arduino already has hundreds of libraries for interfacing with motors, sensors, and displays. While you can always plug an Arduino into the USB port, but it’s not as neat and embed-able as a GPIO interfaced board. You can write a program on the Pi in any language you want to control or monitor your Arduino application, making Internet integration and control super easy. In addition you can even program the AlaMode directly from the Pi.
Here are the features including a few extra goodies:
- Flexible power. Can be powered directly from the Pi, standalone with a battery or wall-wart, or USB power. This is important if your shield takes more power than the Pi can provide or if you want to undock it for standalone operation.
- Programmable via the Pi’s UART on the GPIO pins, or an FTDI USB-Serial adapter or ISP.
- Header for connecting Fastrax UP501 GPS.
- DS3234 Real time Clock. The Pi doesn’t have it’s own battery backed RTC. You can set a program in the AlaMode to report the time to the Pi via serial or I2C
- Micro-SD card slot. Useful for datalogging, and big-memory for your Arduino applications
- Row of Servo Headers connected to the PWM pins with a configurable power and ground rail
Complete datasheet here