BUG modular gadgets | Dezeen

American technology company Bug Labs has developed a system where consumers combine modular electronic devices to build their own ideal gadget (via Protein OS).

Called BUG, the system consists of a BUGbase with four connectors so that different elements can simply be snapped onto the sides. It was unveiled at the International CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Four modules will be available to start with: GPS, digital camera and videocam, touch-sensitive colour LCD screen, and accelerometer and motion sensor.

Other modules will be added later this year, including a teleporter apparently.

Below is some information from Bug Labs:

BUG is a collection of easy-to-use electronic modules that snap together to build any gadget you can imagine. Each BUGmodule represents a specific gadget function (eg: a camera, a keyboard, a video output, etc). 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/web community (BUGnet), anyone can build, program and share innovative devices and applications. We don’t define the final products – you do.

(Above: Digital camera/videocam module)
(Above: Digital camera/videocam module)

The Platform:

BUG helps you explore the realm of personalized devices and applications, and find ways to solve many of the problems current gadgets can’t. For example, with BUG, you can easily assemble and program a GPS + digital camera device that automatically publishes geo-tagged photos as a web service. Integrating with an online photo-sharing service like Flickr is only a few more lines of code away, and now you have your own real-time, connected traffic-enabled mobile Webcam!

(Above: Accelerometer/motion sensor module)

The platform is designed to enable a collaborative development environment. BUGnet, our online community, is tied in directly to the BUG SDK, which allows developers to connect with others, share information, and jointly build products or services.

(Above: GPS module)


BUGbase is the foundation of your BUG device. It’s a fully programmable and “hackable” Linux computer, equipped with a fast CPU, 128MB RAM, built-in WiFi, rechargeable battery, USB, Ethernet, and a small LCD with button controls. It also has a tripod mount because, well, why not? Each BUGbase houses four connectors for users to combine any assortment of BUGmodules to create their ultimate gadget.

Technical Specifications

* ARM1136JF-S-based microprocessor
* 1 USB 2.0 HS host interface/4 hub port connections
* 1 USB OTG HS interface
* 4 UART serial links
* 4 channel SPI interface
* I2C (400 kbits) interface/4 channels
* I2S interface/2 channels
* Smart LCD interface
* Camera sensor interface
* Micro memory card interface
* MPEG4 hardware encoding/decoding
* Hardware graphic acceleration
* 10/100 Ethernet MAC
* 802.11b/g
* Base unit LCD module interface
* Base unit onboard memory (FLASH/DDR SDRAM)
* JTAG/ICE support
* Serial debug port
* Power system
* AC operation
* Battery operation/up to 4 external batteries
* Fast battery charging/simultaneous of internal and external batteries
* Smart power management support
* Battery-backed real-time clock
* Audio out via onboard piezo speaker

(Above: Touch-sensitive, LCD screen)


BUGmodules are the functional components used to add capabilities to your BUG device. Each module connects to the BUGbase, and installing and swapping modules is literally a snap. Each additional module exponentially increases the overall function of your BUG, and every combination unlocks virtually unlimited new potential devices.

Available Q1, 2008: GPS, Digital Camera / Videocam, Touch-sensitive, Colour LCD Screen, Accelerometer, Motion Sensor


BUG is built entirely with open source software. BMI, the BUG Module Interface, attaches devices to the BUG. Device-based services and applications are dynamically available based on which modules are connected to the BUG. Higher up the stack is Java, which hosts a service-oriented component runtime called OSGi. Java and OSGi make creating new BUG applications simple and intuitive, as BUG applications are essentially one or more bundles. In addition, each BUGmodule launches an OSGi bundle which in turn creates services for other components to consume. BUG applications are created using the BUG SDK (internally named Dragonfly), and are shared with other developers and users through BUGnet, our online community.

About Bug Labs:

Bug Labs is a new kind of technology company, enabling a new generation of engineers to tap their creativity and build any type of device they want, without having to solder, learn solid state electronics, or go to China. Bug Labs envisions a future where CE stands for Community Electronics, the term “mashups” applies equally to hardware as it does to Web services, and entrepreneurs can appeal to numerous markets by inventing “The Long Tail” of devices.

Bug Labs didn’t just start with a dream or a vision. As kids, we were more likely to take apart new toys than actually play with them, just to see what was inside. As teenagers, personal computers were still new and as much a challenge to tinker with as they were to operate.

With BUG, we want people to recapture and share this excitement again, and we want them to apply this to their everyday device. We believe everybody is an inventor at heart, so we’ve developed a platform for users to create and forever modify their favourite gadget, allowing for ultimate customization and use.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard | Dezeen

German graduate designer Christoph Thetard has created a set of pedal-powered kitchen gadgets.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

Called r2b2, the appliance includes a hand blender, coffee grinder and food processor that fit onto a wooden unit containing a pedal-powered drive mechanism.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

Thetard developed the product as his final project at Bauhaus-University Weimar.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

Above: the coffee grinder

The appliances can be stored in a pull-out cabinet on one side of the unit.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

Above and below: the hand blender

The kitchen unit is part of a diploma project by Thetard to create products that do away with the need for electricity and it will be shown at Ambiente Talents, Frankfurt in February 2011 and Salone Satellite, Milan in April next year.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

See more kitchen equipment in our special Food and Design report. Here’s some more information about this project:

R2B2- kitchen appliances with alternative driving concept by Christoph Thetard

R2B2 is a set of kitchen machines that gets powered by rotating a flywheel with muscular strength. The stored energy can be used by connecting different machines on special plugs. There is a kitchen machine, a hand blender and a coffee mill.
Electricity is not necessary anymore. That means no electrical waste, a load less use of resources, independency of the electrical power grid and almost no noise while in use.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

Above: the kitchen machine (food processor)

The hand blender
The hand blender can be used for different works by attaching different tops. A flexible shaft leads the rotation noiseless to the handheld and powers a blender, an egg or a cappuccino creamer. The transmission makes a speed up to 10.000 rpm possible. The hand blender can be stored on a holder on the bottom end of the shaft for daily use. It can be used for different works by attaching different tops.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

The coffee grinder
The coffee grinder is storage and mill at once. The bean container and the powder container are made out of glass. There is room for 300g of beans. The main part of the mill with the grinder is made out of porcelain and closes the whole coffee grinder aroma-tight. It is possible to grind beans for 10 cups of coffee at once. The big opening of the glasses guarantees easy excess to clean.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

The kitchen machine
The kitchen machine is laid out for four people. For the multifunctional use there are blades, a whip and different adapters for cutting slices. To clean the machine, you can easily reassemble the axle from the bowl. One criterion to choose the attachments was the aim to provide the possibility to do as many different jobs with as less as possible parts.

All appliances can be placed in the container. The main part of the transportation and selling packaging can be used to hold the attachments in place. All attachments will be sold separately. That means that you can buy just the parts you need.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

During his final project, Christoph Thetard concentrated on sustainability. Regenerative energy seems to be the solution for the problems of energy supply. That puts people into the temptation to use electrical devices in all kinds of products. But it creates another problem that already exists today: The production of electrical waste and the loss of resources. So the target of this project wasn’t to make electrical appliances more sustainable, but to avoid electricity completely.

R2B2 combines three kitchen appliances and a central driving unit. A kitchen machine, a coffee grinder and a hand blender were chosen after extensive studies to stand representatively for a lot of appliances which are essentials for comfortable cooking.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

The heart of the driving unit is a flying wheel, which gets powered manually by a pedal. It works as an energy storage and powers the appliances mechanically and directly. Because of splitting the machines in functional attachment and power unit, it is possible to store much more energy than with usual manually powered appliances.

Early during his studies at the Bauhaus-University Weimar, Christoph had a passion about sustainability. His main focus lies on the conception of a solution that gets to the core of the problem. It sometimes happens, that he combines very old techniques and principles with high-tech material and production- processes to find a solution for a problem. A lot of these techniques are forgotten, but with the new material, they can build a surprisingly good alternative to the standard solutions of today.

r2b2 by Christoph Thetard

That is what Christoph Thetard also did with R2B2: This simple, robust, independent and long-lasting technique turns it into a purchase that will last a lifetime. That reduces the production of waste and the use of natural resources to a minimum. The fact that R2B2 operates nearly inaudibly earns it a lot of acceptance.

Christoph made the flywheel and the whole technique visible to make it understandable for everybody. Using the pedal, it is possible to speed up the flywheel to 400 rpm. The so stored energy is enough to work one minute with 350W. With a switch at the front, you can choose between a slow, a fast or a neutral gear. R2B2 will be shown on Ambiente Talents 2011 and SaloneSatellite 2011 with StudioMontag.

See also:


Jambox by Yves Béhar | Dezeen

Industrial designer Yves Béhar of Fuseproject has sent sketches, computer renderings and photos explaining the design and manufacture of Jambox, a portable wireless speaker for Jawbone.

Jambox by Yves Behar

The stainless steel product is covered in a moulded rubber casing in four different surface treatments and colours. and uses Jawbone’s wireless technology.

Jambox by Yves Behar

The speaker can be connected to other electronic devices, including mobile phones and iPads, and can be updated with apps and other software.

Jambox by Yves Behar

A built-in microphone means that the device can also be used as a speakerphone.

See all our stories about Yves Béhar. Read more about the other Jawbone products by Béhar here and here.

Jambox by Yves Behar

Here’s some more information about the product:

Jawbone® Introduces JAMBOXTM: The World’s First Intelligent Wireless Speaker and Speakerphone

This is the newest addition to the Jawbone family! A tiny wireless speaker blasts noise instead of our normal noise cancelling technology!  It plays tunes off of your phone or iPad and also has a speakerphone in case you need to take a call in the middle of your jams…..4 colors, textures and available on www.jawbone.com.

A breakthrough in sound, wireless computing and design, Jawbone, the leader in personal mobile technology, today announced their latest breakthrough: JAMBOX, the first intelligent wireless speaker and speakerphone.

Jambox by Yves Behar

In addition to delivering full spectrum audio, JAMBOX quickly and easily connects with mobile phones, computers, tablets, iPods® or any other Bluetooth® device, allowing consumers to seamlessly stream and share music, movies, games, phone and conference calls anywhere — all wirelessly, all in the palm of your hand.

Jambox by Yves Behar

“Jawbone has been committed to providing the most advanced technology in compact and elegantly designed lifestyle products,” says Hosain Rahman, CEO and founder of Jawbone. “JAMBOX is an extension of this commitment — we’ve combined cutting-edge innovations in acoustics and microcomputing into a meticulously crafted package. JAMBOX is not just a new kind of stereo speaker; it’s a whole new category of high quality mobile audio.”

Jambox by Yves Behar

Breakthrough Science Delivers Full Spectrum Sound
JAMBOX utilizes more than 40 years of acoustics research to produce sound quality and volume unparalleled for a speaker of its size. Its two highly powerful acoustic drivers and ultra-small dome produce an audio spectrum almost as wide as the human ear itself. These drivers and speakers work in concert with an innovative moving-wall passive bass radiator and airtight enclosure — the only one of its kind in a compact speaker — to deliver such shimmering highs and massive low frequencies that they can literally be felt from feet away.

Jambox by Yves Behar

Constantly Evolving Technology
JAMBOX is the only speaker in the world that gets smarter with time. It can be updated with apps, software and new features at Jawbone’s industry-first online platform, MyTALK. Audio alerts offer totally hands-free convenience, letting you know battery life, caller ID, call functions and more. JAMBOX can also be personalized with voice and language options. This one-of-a-kind intelligence means JAMBOX will always be up-to-date with the latest and greatest technologies.

Jambox by Yves Behar

Modern Design Looks As Good As It Sounds

With its stainless steel construction and industrial-weight molded rubber casing, JAMBOX is a sturdy, highly portable and versatile speaker system in a package that looks like minimalist art. “JAMBOX exemplifies Jawbone’s obsession with ensuring that form is always integrated with function,” says Yves Béhar, Chief Creative Officer. “It’s built totally differently from your typical speaker: All four sides are wrapped in a single grill to cut down on moving parts, achieving a strong, minimal form unlike any other speaker, while also making it highly durable.” JAMBOX’s innovative single-grill construction also fully exposes the speakers, resulting in a richer, louder, and broader spectrum of sound. Uncompromising attention to detail extends to the four distinct design options, which according to Béhar, “visually reflect sound in the forms of dots, diamonds and waves bringing an artisan quality to JAMBOX’s pure box aesthetic.”

Jambox by Yves Behar

Fully Experience Mobile Media Wherever You Go
With JAMBOX, all mobile media comes brilliantly to life — you will literally feel the thump of every kick drum, cinematic car crash and video game battle. The built-in professional-quality microphone lets you to share conference calls anywhere — in the office, at home, or on the road — alone or with a group. Without docks or cords, JAMBOX can be carried from room to room or thrown in a bag, delivering the freedom of pristine wireless audio anytime, anywhere.
JAMBOX comes in four stunning designs: Blue Wave, Black Diamond, Grey Hex and Red Dot.

About Jawbone
For more than a decade, Jawbone has produced personal wireless technologies unparalleled in their innovation, ease-of-use and sophistication of design. Jawbone is the creator of the award-winning and best-selling premium ICON Bluetooth headset and the inventor of NoiseAssassin® technology, the world’s first and only military-grade noise-eliminating technology. Jawbone delivers products that innovate and improve the mobile lifestyle through ever-changing software and wearability. Privately-held and headquartered in San Francisco.

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