Sunday, October 20, 2013

Who Wants a IOIO-OTG for $30?

No, this is picture not a negative: it's the new IOIO-OTG from SeeedStudio!

What's new?

  • It's black.
  • It's selling for $30, including male and female headers and a USB-OTG cable.
Otherwise it's exactly the same.


Since I set out to develop the IOIO-OTG I had a goal of making the end-user price be $30. For various reasons that didn't quite work out on the first attempt, but I kept pursuing this goal, with the belief that this is the right price for it. I got strong recommendations on SeeedStudio from Shenzhen, China and soon contacted them with an offer. I was not disappointed! They were very enthusiastic to collaborate and very professional. Working together with them, I closely inspected their manufacturing and testing procedures and I'm happy to report that the quality of their boards meets my highest standards, and I feel that they are very serious and committed to quality and user happiness.
We decided to make it black in order to differentiate it from the existing boards and get people's attention. I also personally love the way it came out looking.
So a big shout-out to those guys for all their hard and excellent work, and I encourage you to support them and the healthy competition they are bringing.

What's next for IOIO?

I'm now working full-steam on the next software release. It will include:
  • The motor control library mentioned on my previous post. Took me a while to get it from "working" to "polished" state.
  • The IOIO-OTG can also work as a USB slave with Android devices that support USB-OTG. That means that the IOIO can be powered by the Android without needing an external power source. This is a contribution by my friends Misha and Nadir (thanks!).
  • Some bug fixes and cleanup.
I'm also planning a small hardware revision that will add some improved protection against input voltage surges. My friends from Seeed drew my attention to a subtle problem with the current design which I'm intending to fix with that. Stay tuned!


  1. I have just check it... Awesome!
    Is it possible to connect a Wi-Fi Dongle instead a BT one? I saw some comments on Internet about you trying to make it work, but no information about specific dongles supported (they are really different as you know).
    Thanks in advance!!!

    1. This is not currently supported. Indeed it would be awesome to add such support, but this would require a lot of work.

  2. Hi, I want to buy the ioio OTG , the new board , but i read that there are problems to connect the BT dongle.
    did you fix those problems?
    what you suggest to buy the old version or the new if i want to use the BT?

  3. I am building a modified poppy robot with regular hobby servos and an ssc 32 board. It is not a stand alone board and needs a microprocessor. I want to make use of the android phone features gyro, GPS, camera vision, possible telepresence. My research comes down to yo-yo or arduino uno. My only real issue is redundancy if the phone dies/becomes disconnected. Will the yo-yo store even a basic code to allow autonomous control to at least return home should something go wrong?

    1. With the standard firmware, the IOIO will do nothing when the host (Android or PC) is disconnected. You can of course change the standard firmware or use an Arduino or whatever. However, if you're losing most/all of your sensors it might be hard to "return home" regardless.

  4. Do you still make IOIO?

    1. I don't personally make them (never have), but yes, they're still available from SparkFun and SeeedStudio.

  5. I'm out of the IOIO board world, those board are by (bad) design utterly fragile to any voltage fluctuation. After tried two in a row I'm back to my rugged little arduino.

    1. There was definitely a design flaw that causes the voltage regulator to fry under certain circumstances. This flaw has been fixed and the new version has been selling for a few months now on SparkFun and SeeedStudio with no single report of a problem.
      Comparing to an Arduino is not really interesting: the Arduino doesn't give you an on-board 5V@3A regulator and it also serves a completely different function.
      I'm really sorry to hear your frustration and welcome your feedback, but please let's be fair here.

  6. Do you know if the changes to the IOIO OTG power supply circuit have addressed the RF interference issue? Thanks.

  7. Definitely not intentionally, but perhaps as a side-effect. I do not have the equipment to test this and this has never really been a design goal.