Gumstix announces addition of 3rd Party Custom Boards

November 3, 2015 | Raj Gopalan

We are happy to announce the addition of 3rd Party Custom Boards – BeagleBone, Critical Link, Diva and more in Geppetto™ Design-To-Order System.

Geppetto encompasses the entire process of design, supply chain integration, and manufacturing automation in one intuitive online design-to-order platform. Custom expansion boards can be designed in minutes and shipped production ready in 15 business days with no minimum order.

The addition of third-party computing options to Geppetto allows you to prototype with a supported COM of choice and design a custom expansion board from the ground up. Alternatively, you can modify an existing board by easily adding features such as WiFi, audio, LCDs, sensors, global navigation (GPS) chips, or USB connectivity.

Creating a custom device is quick and cost-effective, and the process allows you to focus on how to distinguish your software instead of board layouts. Designers managing large-scale development of thousands of boards, or one-off projects that are used for quick prototyping can utilize Geppetto D2O.

For more details, read the Geppetto press release.

Geppetto™ design guideline – BBB compatible cape

November 3, 2015 | Raj Gopalan


Geppetto™, the Design-to-Order (D2O) tool from Gumstix, has been used to design expansion boards that use Gumstix’ Computer-On-Modules (COM) such as the Overo™ COM and Single Board Computers (SBC) such as the Pepper 43C.  While designing these boards, we thought, how cool would it be if we could design capes for the BeagleBone Black community.  It immediately struck a resonant chord with Gumstix engineering team, since the BeagleBone Black platform was based on an AM3354 (Sitara™), an ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor from Texas Instruments, the same processor family used in the Pepper 43C SBC.

Stacked Cape to Mono-cape

Gumstix is proud to announce that developers can now design their custom BeagleBone Black compatible cape in Geppetto’s intuitive, web-based D2O platform. Currently, developers are required to purchase multiple capes and stack them on top of each other, struggling for both space and pin breakout.

Some of the functionality on the add-on capes are sometimes unusable, since not all pins are propagated through. The engineering team at Gumstix decided to design a prototype BeagleBone Black compatible “mono-cape” solution in Geppetto. The elegantly-designed mono-cape is shown below and is available for developers to copy and design a BeagleBone Black compatible cape of their own, using Geppetto.

Single cape vs. multiple cape
Geppetto allows users to design a single cape (left), combining the features of multiple BeagleBone Black capes (right)

All Inclusive Cape – Wifi, GPS header, LEDs, USB

The mono-cape, so called since it is intended to be the only cape that can be connected to a BeagleBone Black, consists of the following modules:

  • Texas Instruments’ WiLink8 (WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 + BLE)
  • 5-pin GPS header (to connect to an off-board GPS module)
  • LEDs (for status indication)
  • USB micro-B jack (for console port)
  • Tactile switch (to turn on/off) and
  • Male headers to connect to a BeagleBone Black.

Custom Software Included

For those power users out there, you must be thinking, well this cape must surely need custom software. You guessed right!  Gumstix provides a custom Linux software image, depending on the connectivity modules that developers design on their cape.  What this means is that when the board ships, it will come with a micro-SD card that contains a custom Linux image based on the specific modules on the cape.  So, users are freed from having to custom their software image and can instead devote their precious time for doing their magic, i.e. application development using the newly designed cape, right out of the box.

For more information regarding BeagleBone Black cape, please visit Gumstix’ website for the BeagleBone Black. This cape would be a great tool for someone interested in exploring the functionality of the various Pre-GO PPP boards that we have in the Gumstix store.

To learn how the BeagleBone Black cape was designed in Geppetto, please view the video tutorial by Gumstix’ Uthra Krishnan.

A snapshot of the Geppetto D2O tool is provided below. To learn more about Geppetto, please visit Geppetto.

geppetto d2o workspace
A snapshot of the Geppetto D2O workspace

We hear you saying, “I have a few suggestions/thoughts that would be very cool!”.  Sure, send us your suggestions to and we will be happy to take a look!

Design-To-Order Changes the Design Game for Makers and Engineers Alike

November 3, 2015 | Uthra Krishnan

Design-to-order (D2O), is breaking new ground in the old world of EDA, giving makers, engineers and OEMs of all sizes access to the same affordable development resources.

Gumstix is leading the charge in this new realm with Geppetto™, our free online D2O tool supporting Linux and Android, and now supporting connectors for third-party computing modules. BeagleBone Black, Critical Link MitySOM 335X and the Diva CPU module based on Texas Instruments’ Sitara™ AM335X processors are now part of Geppetto D2O platform; designers can use them to create custom expansion boards in an intuitive platform that encompasses the entire process of design, supply chain integration and manufacturing automation. The Geppetto module library has over 100+ modules with new modules continuously added to meet expanding design requirements. Two new Geppetto modules include the low-power Zigbee module for IoT design featuring Microchip’s MRF24J40MA surface mount module and the RoHS compliant eMMC module offering 8GB onboard flash memory.

How does it work?

Read more »

Gumstix in MAVs – the 2014 IMAV competition

September 10, 2015 | Uthra Krishnan

Drones are gaining more and more popularity in today’s world and not just for recreational use. The small size and ease of use of micro air vehicles (MAVs) make them ideally suitable in aerial reconnaissance, search and rescue and post-disaster area exploration.


The International Micro Air Vehicle (IMAV) conference hosts a yearly technological competition focusing on MAVs.

One of the MAVs in IMAV
Photo from International Micro Air Vehicle (IMAV)

The 2014 competition, held in Delft, the Netherlands invited research teams from countries across the world to compete in a search and rescue mission in a post-disaster village using MAVs. The competition featured obstacles like the following:

  • Map stitching and route planning using aerial photography
  • Navigation in a enclosed two-story building
  • Identification of various objects using computer vision
  • Precision flight navigation

The team from the National University of Singapore won the championship with their quadrotors outfitted with a Gumstix Overo Fire to implement algorithms such as sensor fusion, servo driving, and automatic control. Read more about their work here.

Powerful Handheld Kits Now Support Smart Home, Automotive and Industrial Designs

September 10, 2015 | Uthra Krishnan

New Android/Linux Touchscreen Development Kits

We’re excited to announce two new Pepper Single Board Computers (SBC) based handheld kits. Both boards now support Android™ in addition to Yocto Project Linux®, providing engineers and designers everything needed to prototype with the world’s most popular operating systems.

Gumstix development kits have helped launch some of the world’s coolest products – from phones to drones – and can be found on commercial, university, and hobbyist workbenches in over 45 countries. The additional support for Android opens up our development kits to a wider designer base and a varied list of innovative, Gumstix-prototyped products.

Pepper Development Kit Features

Featuring wireless connectivity provided by Texas Instruments’ (TI) WiLink™ 8 combo-connectivity module (Wi-Fi® + Bluetooth®), the Pepper handheld development kits are ideally suited for smart home, mobile display based, and other industrial and DIY applications.

The Pepper 43C Handheld Development Kit includes the Newhaven 4.3” Capacitive Multi-Touch LCD touchscreen that is ideal to applications requiring quick response time and multi-touch functionality.

Meanwhile, the Pepper 43R Handheld Development Kit includes the Newhaven 4.3” Resistive LCD touchscreen that is ideal for applications such as a handheld gaming console or applications requiring non-capacitive touch. (Read full release here)

We’d love to hear about what you do with our Pepper Handheld Development kits.