Americas Sensors

Snickerdoodle, Linux Autopilot

snickerdoodle, connectors up, perspective view, flat

A palm-sized, reconfigurable Linux computer that connects to the real world with ARM, FPGA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 154 I/O for the price of a wireless-enabled Raspberry Pi

snickerdoodle is a tiny computer built to be connected to the real world. With a powerful ARM processor, FPGA, 154 I/O, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 built-in, snickerdoodle is a brain for your robot, an autopilot for your drone, and the backbone for your computer vision system – all in one tight little package.

The coolest part of all? Not only do you have 154 I/O at your disposal, but 100 of them are totally customizable for your project! So you’ll always have the pins you need, when you need them.

And when paired with the snickerdoodle mobile app (available for iOS and Android), you’ll be able to wirelessly upload your projects and hardware configurations without so much as touching your keyboard. Not bad, huh?

what can I do with snickerdoodle?

With snickerdoodle, you can build all kinds of awesome machines and inventions that other low-cost platforms like Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or Beaglebone simply can’t keep up with. Just imagine being able to build:

self-navigating robots • drones with heads up displays • wireless security systems with facial recognition
image: app-photos

6-axis robots • 3D printers • autonomous underwater rovers • 3D computer vision systems • remote weather stations • gigabit Ethernet routers • and so much more
Hardware that can be reconfigured “on the fly” opens up doors for everything from motor control to machine vision. And you can even ‘hardwire’ the hardware – via software – to accelerate complex algorithms and tackle interfacing tasks that your run-of-the-mill microprocessors and microcontrollers simply can’t handle.

snickerdoodle, connectors down, side profile

And at $55, snickerdoodle will truly allow you to take your projects to the next level. Before you know it, you’ll be asking yourself: “What can’t I do with snickerdoodle?”

open source

snickerdoodle supports all your favorite open source operating systems and libraries. With downloadable packages for Linux, ROS, FreeRTOS, ArduPilot, OpenCV, and more, you’ll be able to take advantage of massive existing code bases and quickly port over existing projects.

And with loads of reference designs and pre-built applications, building and learning actually becomes fun again!

premiums & pledge levels

snickerdoodle ($55)
A palm-sized Linux computer that connects to the real world with ARM, FPGA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 154 reconfigurable I/O. snickerdoodle is a brain for your robot, an autopilot for your drone, and the backbone for your computer vision system – all in one tight little package.

Available upgrades:

7020 SoC w/ heat sink (+$60)
Upgrade from the Zynq 7010 SoC for 30% faster processor (866MHz vs. 667MHz) and 3x the programmable logic (1.3M gates vs. 430K gates). Includes copperHead heat sink.

1GB LPDDR2 RAM (+$10)
Double the RAM from 512MB LPDDR2 to 1GB LPDDR2.

dual-band Wi-Fi (+$15)
Upgrade from single-band 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi to dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz 802.11n 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi.

connectors “down” (+$10)
Orient your snickerdoodle’s connectors “down” for plugging into a baseboard.breakyBreaky breakout baseboard ($25)
Did someone say something about 0.1” pins? Well here’s 270 of them! Think that’ll cover it? breakyBreaky provides the full snickerdoodle pinout on 0.1” headers. Just remember to order those connectors “down”…shieldBuddy for Arduino baseboard ($40)
Have piles of Arduino shields lying around and don’t want them to go to waste? shieldBuddy lets you use all your favorite Arduino shields with snickerdoodle. Connects to snickerdoodle, piSmasher, or whiteRhino via the included cable.piSmasher SBC baseboard ($55)
Think of piSmasher as Raspberry Pi on steroids. snickerdoodle plugs into piSmasher to provide gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 high-speed, HDMI in AND out, and 68 reconfigurable I/O via 0.1″ headers. Just remember to order those connectors “down”…gryphon autopilot baseboard ($300)
gryphon is a compact, performance autopilot system for small, remotely piloted aircraft equipped with machine vision and extensive navigational sensing capabilities. Four HD camera inputs, three 9-axis IMUs, two barometers, microUSB 2.0 OTG high-speed, GPS, tons of communication interfaces, and an automotive-grade safety microcontroller. Just remember to order those connectors “down”…
Note: pre-orders for gryphon will only be fulfilled if at least 50 units are pre-ordered during the campaign.whiteRhino industrial SBC baseboard ($500)
Perfect for hardcore, networked terrestrial robotics and advanced system prototyping, whiteRhino simply blows everything else away. Five gigabit Ethernet ports, six USB 2.0 jacks, multiple HD camera inputs, tons of I/O including several banks of ADCs and DACs, CAN, RS-485, the list goes on. Just remember to order those connectors “down”…and be careful!
Note: pre-orders for whiteRhino will only be fulfilled if at least 100 units are pre-ordered during the campaign.cookieJar enclosure ($25)
Don’t let your cookies get stale. This injection-molded-plastic enclosure provides a way to keep your snickerdoodle safe, clean, cool, and securely mounted in your automonomous cat-herding robot.copperHead heat sink ($5)
Keep your snickerdoodle’s head cool when your pushing it to the limits of its computational housings ($5)
Perfect for if you don’t need a baseboard or you’re just wiring some stuff up on the bench. Pair with a bundle of jumpers for total maker madness.
Note: includes full set (7) pin housings only – intended to be paired with jumpers (sold separately; see: “jumpers”)jumpers – pack of 50 ($10)
7.5″ (19cm) long with Samtec pins on one end for installing in pin housings (above) and 0.1″ female pins/housings on the other to satisfy all your frankensteining needs.
Note: includes jumpers (50 pack) only – intended to be paired with pin housings (sold separately; see: “pin housings”)

stretch goals

We have some really awesome stretch goals planned but we need your help to get there! As a first step, let’s try doubling the goal…

$110k people’s choice
$250k TBA
$500k TBA

snickerdoodle: inside & out

Below are the high-level technical specifications for snickerdoodle (items in bold are upgradable to suit your needs):

  • Dual-Core 667MHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor w/ 430K gate FPGA
  • 154 I/O (100 reconfigurable)
  • 512MB LPDDR2 RAM
  • 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth Classic
  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • 3.7 – 17V input
  • locking “captive” microSD card cage
  • microUSB 2.0 (w/ serial console and mass storage device)
  • 2” x 3.5” (50.8mm x 88.9mm)
  • iOS & Android apps

And how snickerdoodle compares to “the other guys”…

Raspberry Pi 2
Model B
snickerdoodle snickderdoodle
ARM Processor Cortex‑M3 Cortex‑A8 Cortex‑A7 Cortex‑A9 866MHz
GFLOPS 0.001 3.6 31.2 34.4 121.5
RAM 96KB 512MB 1GB 512MB 1GB
I/O 75 76 28 154 179
Power 7‑12V 5V 5V 3.7‑17V 3.7‑17V
FPGA flexibility
430K gates

1.3M gates
Wi‑Fi +$39.95*


2.4 & 5GHz
Bluetooth + BLE $11.95* $11.95*
iOS/Android app
Base Price $49.95 $55.00 $39.95 $55 $155
fully loaded

* in addition to the quoted base price; all prices from as of 2015-10-05

look ma, a microprocessor and FPGA in one!

The workhorse behind snickerdoodle is an ARM-based FPGA System on Chip (SoC) from Xilinx.

FPGA stands for “field-programmable gate array,” which is basically a fancy way of saying: hardware that can be reconfigured with software to perform a very specific custom hardware function. Think of it as a 3D printer for digital hardware.

The SoC inside snickerdoodle has a “hard” ARM microprocessor tied directly to FPGA fabric. By using a part that combines these two technologies into the same physical package, you are able to treat the SoC as if it were “just another microprocessor”…with a ton of (really fast) I/O.

In other words, the development process and tools are very similar to what you’re used to using with other systems like Raspberry Pi. In fact, you might even say: “It’s as easy as Pi!” (ba-dum tschh!)

one chip, two delicious flavors

With snickerdoodle, you have two SoC flavors…errr….options to choose from:

The 7010 has a 667MHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and a 430K gate FPGA will get you all 154 I/O (100 customizable) and everything you need to get started.

But if you need more processing power (+30%), more I/O (+25 FPGA I/O), and 3x the FPGA goodness, the7020 packs a punch with an 866MHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 and an 1.3M gate FPGA.

See our FAQs at the bottom of the page for additional hardcore technical details on the exact part numbers, I/O performance, documentation, and more.

wireless: can you hear me now?

Sick of putting up with poorly performing dongles or endlessly wrestling with dysfunctional drivers just to get your projects connected to the Internet or your mobile device? snickerdoodle has the cure.

With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board and equipped with fully functional networking stacks right out of the box, wireless is no longer an afterthought. Using your iOS or Android device, you and your snickerdoodle will be online faster than you can say, “I love my snickerdoodle.”

Wireless connectivity is provided via a Texas Instruments WiLink 8 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth pre-certified module.

Like the SoCs, there are two wireless options to choose from:

The WL1831 gives you single-band 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The WL1837 bumps you up to dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz 802.11n 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi.

Both modules come equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, which means they provide both Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. Having both options really opens up communication and control possibilities, simplifies device pairing, and allows for very low-energy data transfers and device interaction – a must for mobile, battery-powered systems.

Again, see our FAQs at the bottom of the page for additional hardcore technical details on the exact part numbers, wireless performance, documentation, and more.

wait, where are the connectors?

snickerdoodle has seven physical connectors (eight if you opt for the upgraded SoC).

image: topDownwithConnector

Connector Manufacturer Part Number Description
J1 FCI 10103594-0001LF USB and Power Input
J2 Samtec TFM/SFM-115-01-F-D-A Power, JTAG, Bluetooth Audio, I2C, Analog
J3 Samtec TFM/SFM-120-01-F-D-A Microprocessor Subsystem
JA1, JA2, JB1, JB2 Samtec TFM/SFM-120-01-F-D-A FPGA
JC1 Samtec TFM/SFM-120-01-F-D-A FPGA (7020 only)

In order to keep snickerdoodle small enough to use in mobile robots, drones, and other size- and weight-sensitive applications – but not so small that you:

a) can’t practically hook anything up out of the box or

b) are forced to buy an expensive baseboard just to get to pins you can actually use

the 0.05” pitch, upright headers can be plugged into directly using a connector pack (loose connectors that mate to all seven snickerdoodle connectors) and a ”‘maker-friendly” wire bundle (wires w/ pins to insert into the connectors on one end and 0.1” female pins/housings on the other).

image: 8663

Note: wires and connectors sold separately so you can order only as many wires as you need and use your own color coding scheme to best suit your project.

This is the perfect solution if you neither need nor want any bulky USB and Ethernet jacks in your system or you’re just looking to hook something up on the workbench and start creating your own gloriously ‘frankensteined’ contraption…

image: benchtop

But don’t worry – if it’s more single-board-computer-style connectors or 0.1” headers you’re looking for, we have a solution for that too! Just head on down to our “baseboards” section below…

getting started with snickerdoodle

Right about now you’re probably thinking: “Sounds awesome! Buuuut…how the heck do I use this thing?”

Well we’re glad you asked because that’s where snickerdoodle shines!

Paired with a free mobile app and an Eclipse-based development environment, you’ll be able to get from opening the box to running an application in under 15 minutes.

step one: connecting to snickerdoodle

If you’ve ever logged onto a Wi-Fi network or paired with a Bluetooth device using your phone or tablet, you basically already know how to connect to your snickerdoodle and how to connect your snickerdoodle to the ‘net.


image: wireless-setup

And that’s it! Yes, seriously – we told you it’d be easy. Next up?

step two: using the IDE (i.e. the hacker’s habitat)

Programming snickerdoodle is primarily done using the Xilinx Software Development Kit (SDK): an Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) that will be downloadable for free via the krtkl and snickerdoodle websites (for Windows and Linux).

So whether you’re working in C/C++, Python, or even Wiring, you’ll be right at home.

You’ll also be able to download all the board support packages (BSPs) and reference designs you need for your application straight from the krtkl and snickerdoodle websites. With everything from pre-built I/O configurations to open source operating systems and libraries, snickerdoodle starts your project off on the right foot.

Note: interested in learning more about the Xilinx SDK? Feel free to check out some of the links provided in theFAQs below.

who needs wires?

Why clutter your desk with more wires when you don’t need to? snickerdoodle can be configured wirelessly so once you’re connected to your snickerdoodle, you’ll be able to load projects, hardware configurations, and reference designs straight from your mobile device.


Of course, “the cloud” isn’t for everybody. Maybe you don’t want your data leaving your bedside. Maybe you’re worried the government is watching your every move. Or maybe you’re stuck inside a Faraday cage in Bermuda. Whatever the reason, fear not…because you can still program your snickerdoodle the “old school way” – with no Internet connection OR mobile device.

You can:

  • jack right into the microUSB and use the serial console
  • set up snickerdoodle to be recognized as a”‘mass storage device,” you can plug into a computer via the microUSB port and “drag and drop” applications right into flash
  • load everything onto a microSD card and install it directly into the on-board, locking “captive” microSD card cage

And for more advanced embedded development, you can use the dedicated pins (on J2) for debugging via JTAG or GDB over Wi-Fi.


Here’s the thing about “reconfigurable” hardware – you are in complete control…not the manufacturer. In the simplest case, this means you can totally customize your I/O to suit your needs, but once you move into the realm of “FPGA IP,” we guarantee your whole world will be flipped right on its head in ways you’d never imagine.

FPGA IP (“IP” being an acronym for Intellectual Property) is essentially a software ‘blob’ designed to get your hardware to perform a specific function. This includes everything from a “soft” microprocessor core with custom peripherals to dedicated hardware acceleration for image processing. You can think of IP blocks/cores as hardware “shields” that exist entirely in software but allow your hardware to do awesome new things.

The power of community

Traditionally, there have been two ways to access FPGA IP:

  • you build it yourself, which requires years of practice in a very specialized field and, outside of the truly determined, generally requires a commercial incentive or backing due to both the learning curve and the cost of advanced development tools and hardware platforms OR
  • you buy it…for anywhere from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars, which unfortunately is a complete non-starter for anyone outside the “inner circle” (see: aerospace and defense contractors)

That’s where snickerdoodle comes in. For the first time, everyone will have equal access to a curated community of platform-integrated FPGA IP for the benefit of project builders and IP creators alike.

This allows people new to the world of FPGAs to take advantage of the knowledge and experience industry experts bring to the table while using a well-defined, reconfigurable platform.

roll your own

Of course, if you’re a seasoned FPGA vet or you’ve been looking for a reasonably affordable way to start learning and experimenting with Verilog or VHDL…or even if the first time you heard the letters “FPGA” used in a sentence was 30 seconds into our video and you’re dying roll up your sleeves and see what all the hubbub is about, just download Xilinx’s Vivado WebPACK and get building.

To get the creative juices flowing, here are some cool project ideas to get you inspired:

  • build a 32-bit Arduino clone
  • design a low-cost wireless pattern generator and logic analyzer
  • achieve a 60x acceleration for your autonomous cat-tracking robot
  • construct your own microcontroller with a custom architecture and peripherals
  • create a cycle-accurate NES emulator :)

And when you’re done building your awesome hardware invention, you can upload it for the rest of the community to enjoy and build upon!


Have a specific application in mind and want a little help getting started? snickerdoodle can be paired with several pre-configured baseboards for anything from Arduino shields to aerospace-grade flight controls.

image: 8671

No need to hassle with configuration or setup, either. Since each baseboard has its own on-board memory/identification chip, so it’ll tell your snickerdoodle what’s plugged in and automatically load the right package to get all your peripherals working without you lifting a finger.

breakyBreaky breakout

image: breakyBreaky_isometric_rendering

Did someone say something about 0.1” pins? Well here’s 270 of them! Think that’ll cover it?

breakyBreaky provides the full snickerdoodle pinout on 0.1” headers and comes loaded with:

  • 2.5mm x 5.5mm DC power jack
  • 14-pin 2mm Xilinx JTAG header
  • 0.1” grid plated-through-hole prototyping area
  • six 2×20-pin male 0.1” pitch headers
  • one 2×15-pin male 0.1” pitch header
  • one male 30-pin TFM mating header for snickerdoodle
  • six male 40-pin TFM mating headers for snickerdoodle

Includes: Four adhesive-base locking PCB supports
Dimensions: 125mm x 100mm

Note: the above image is a rendering. An updated picture will be added shortly…

shieldBuddy for Arduino

So you have piles of Arduino shields lying around and don’t want them to go to waste. Not to worry! With shieldBuddy, you can use all your favorite Arduino shields with snickerdoodle. Just connect shieldBuddy to one (or all!) of snickerdoodle’s FPGA connectors and you’ll be rolling along with a juiced up Arduino at your disposal.

shieldBuddy accepts standard Arduino shields and has:

  • 2.5mm x 5.5mm DC power jack
  • one USB micro-B receptacle for powering via USB
  • 2A 5V/3.3V onboard DC power supply
  • selectable 3.3V or 5V Arduino IOREF voltage
  • two-channel 100kSPS DAC with IOREF output range
  • twelve-channel 1 MSPS 12-bit ADC with IOREF input range
  • one male right-angle 40-pin TFM header for snickerdoodle I/O
  • integrated level translators accept any snickerdoodle I/O voltage
  • one 1×10-pin female 0.1” pitch Arduino I/O socket
  • three 1×8-pin female 0.1” pitch Arduino I/O and power socket
  • I2C Identification and configuration EEPROM

Includes: Four adhesive-base locking PCB supports
Dimensions: 71mm x 54mm

piSmasher single-board computer

piSmasher SBC, perspective view with snickerdoodle installed

Or maybe what you’re looking for is gigabit Ethernet, high-speed USB, a bunch of reconfigurable I/O, and…simultaneous HDMI output AND input? In that case, you’ll want to see this… Named “piSmasher” for a reason, you’ll get everything Raspberry Pi provides and more – you can kind of think of it as a Raspberry Pi on steroids.

piSmasher gives you:

  • 2.5mm x 5.5mm DC power jack
  • 14-pin 2mm Xilinx JTAG header
  • one standard HDMI Type A receptacle supporting 1080p60 3D video output
  • one standard HDMI Type A receptacle supporting 1080p60 3D video input
  • one USB 2.0 hi-speed standard-A host receptacle
  • one RJ45 1000Base-T gigabit Ethernet jack
  • one male 40-pin TFM header for access to 25 snickerdoodle JC1 FPGA I/O
  • two 2×25-pin male 0.1” pitch headers to access up to 68 unused FPGA I/O
  • I2C Identification and configuration EEPROM
  • one male 30-pin TFM mating header for snickerdoodle
  • six male 40-pin TFM mating headers for snickerdoodle

Includes: Four adhesive-base locking PCB supports
Dimensions: 140mm x 66mm

Note: snickerdoodle not included. And just be sure to order your snickerdoodle with the connectors pointing “down” and you’ll be able to plug straight into piSmasher.

gryphon autopilot

gryphon Autopilot, perspective view with snickerdoodle installed

There are autopilots, and then…there are autopilots. gryphon is a compact, performance autopilot system for small, remotely piloted aircraft equipped with machine vision and extensive navigational sensing capabilities. Think of gryphon as the combination of the (yet-to-be-released) 3DRobotics PixHawk 2 and the recently announced Qualcomm Flight…then add fault-tolerant flight capability.

In addition to all the I/O – including 4 HD camera inputs – and a dual-core processor capable of running ArduPilot (courtesy of snickerdoodle), gryphon has an automotive-grade safety microcontroller incorporated on board: a dual-core, lockstep ARM Cortex-R4 for system supervision and control in the event of a catastrophic system failure.

Throw in integrated GPS, redundant IMUs and barometers, and more, and no other autopilot comes close to gryphon’s integration, size, and affordability.

gryphon flies with:

  • TMS570LS0714 dual-core-lockstep Cortex-R4F automotive-grade safety microcontroller
  • MachXO2-7000 PLD providing triple MIPI CSI-2 camera sensor bridging
  • EVA-M8M dual-frequency concurrent global satellite navigation receiver
  • triple-redundant MPU-9250 nine-axis gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer
  • double-redundant MS5611091BA03 barometric altimeter
  • triple-redundant auto-failover power supply switch
  • RGB status LED
  • 8-Channel 200ksps 16-bit ADC exposed on two 8-pin CLIK-Mate receptacles
  • 22-Channel PPM/PWM/S.BUS transceiver exposed on 3×22 pin male 0.1” pitch header
  • four TTL UART telemetry ports exposed on 6-Pin CLIK-Mate receptacles
  • one USB 2.0 hi-speed OTG micro-AB receptacle
  • one micro HDMI Type D receptacle supporting 1080p60 camera video input
  • fail-safe dual 1Mbps CAN transceiver with two 4-pin CLIK-Mate receptacles
  • three Samtec 30-pin TEM locking MIPI CSI-2 camera connectors
  • I2C exposed on a 4-pin CLIK-Mate receptacle
  • SPI exposed on a 7-pin CLIK-Mate receptacle
  • arm switch input on a 3-pin CLIK-Mate receptacle
  • on-Board piezoelectric sounder
  • I2C Identification and configuration EEPROM
  • one male 30-pin TFM mating header for snickerdoodle
  • six male 40-pin TFM mating headers for snickerdoodle

Dimensions: 102mm x 67mm

Note: snickerdoodle not included. And just be sure to order your snickerdoodle with the connectors pointing “down” and you’ll be able to plug straight into gryphon. Pre-orders for gryphon will only be fulfilled if at least 50 units are pre-ordered during the campaign.

whiteRhino industrial SBC

image: 8655

Finally, the “Grand Poobah” of baseboards… whiteRhino flexes snickerdoodle’s muscles to the max. This thing does just about everything, from gigabit Ethernet networking and routing to 3D HD stereo vision. Tons of I/O including several banks of ADCs and DACs, CAN, RS422…the list goes on.

Perfect for hardcore, networked terrestrial robotics and advanced system prototyping, whiteRhino simply blows everything else away with:

  • 2.5mm x 5.5mm DC power jack
  • 14-pin 2mm Xilinx JTAG header
  • 4A multi-chemistry smart battery charger
  • extremely accurate temperature-compensated real time clock with soldered down, high-temperature lithium battery
  • 7-port 802.1 AVB QoS low-latency gigabit Ethernet switch
  • five RJ45 1000Base-T gigabit ethernet jacks
  • 7-port USB 2.0 hi-speed hub
  • six USB standard-A host receptacles
  • high-fidelity 96kHz 90+dB SNR stereo audio CODEC
  • four 3.5mm audio jacks: microphone, headphone, line-in and line-out
  • one standard HDMI Type A receptacle supporting 1080p60 3D video output
  • ten 750Mbps LVDS-in pairs supporting dual MIPI CSI-2 cameras or twenty 2.5V GPIO
  • eight GPIO with 1.8V/2.5V/3.3V I/O level selectors
  • one 2×7-pin male 0.1” pitch 4-wall header with latch/ejector for level selectable GPIO access
  • fail-safe hot-swap 16Mbps RS-485/RS-422 transceiver with male 9-pin D-Sub connector
  • fail-safe dual 1Mbps CAN transceiver with two male 9-pin D-Sub connectors
  • MachXO2-7000 I2C configurable PLD for I/O level conversion and bridging
  • 10-pin 2.54mm Lattice JTAG header
  • 32-channel 1MSPS 12-bit ADC with 5V input range (via snickerdoodle Zynq XADC)
  • 8-channel 400kSPS 12-bit DAC with 5V output range
  • 8-channel I2C switch
  • three free switched I2C ports with independent 1.8V/2.5V/3.3V I/O level selectors
  • one 3.3V SPI port
  • four 2×20-pin male 0.1” pitch 4-wall headers with latch/ejector for power, I2C, SPI, USB, DAC, ADC and CSI-2 access
  • five current limited, user load switches supplying 1.2V/805mA, 1.8V/275mA, 2.5V/275mA, 3.3V/550mA and 5V/275mA to user attached devices
  • two male 40-pin TFM headers for access to 50 unused snickerdoodle JB2/JC1 FPGA I/O
  • I2C Identification and configuration EEPROM
  • one male 30-pin TFM mating header for snickerdoodle
  • six male 40-pin TFM mating headers for snickerdoodle

Includes: Six adhesive-base locking PCB supports Dimensions: 178mm x 178mm

Note: due to whiteRhino’s complexity and component cost, we will only be able to support production and fulfill pre-orders if we reach an order threshold of 100 units so if you want to see whiteRhino out in the wild, better get to sharing… Of course no matter what the schematics will remain freely available.

snickerdoodle at scale (and DIY baseboards)

One of the beauties of snickerdoodle is that it’s architected, built, and priced in a way that makes it incredibly easy and practical to go from proof-of-concept prototypes to the production line. The minute you’re done prototyping, simply take the snickerdoodle you spent all those hours in the lab with and plug it right into your production system.

image: footprint-snickerdoodle.png

Have a killer idea for a baseboard or shield you don’t see? Just follow our baseboard design guide and you can build your own micro shields, breakout boards, interfaces, or whatever you can dream up. And with reconfigurable I/O, the possibilities are practically endless.

Note: for more information on connectors, footprints, and pin-outs, be sure to check out our User Manual linked in the FAQs.


Finally, snickerdoodle has a bunch of optional accessories to make your development experience even more awesome…

cookieJar enclosure

image: cookiejar.png

Note: the above image is a rendering, final design subject to change. snickerdoodle not included. Production enclosure to be functionally equivalent and made of injection-molded plastic.

copperHead high-performance copper heat sink

image: heat-sink

Note: heat sink is included as a free add-on when you upgrade to the 7020 SoC.

32GB U3 Speed Class microSD Card (pre-loaded with Linux & FreeRTOS image)

Note: microSD card manufacturer subject to change. Potential substitute shall be at least functionally equivalent.

pin housings

Note: includes pin housings only. Each ‘housing pack’ includes mating housings for all snickerdoodle Samtec headers (7pcs total).

jumpers (pack of 50)

image: jumpers.pngNote: jumpers only. Wires are approximately 7.5” long (19cm), and come with 0.1” female pins & housings installed on one end and crimped pins for installation into mating Samtec housings on the other.

who are we?

We’re a collection of electrical, mechanical, and software engineers based out of San Francisco. Here’s a quick intro to our founding team:

Ryan Cousins, CEO
Ryan is an R&D engineer, inventor, tinkerer, patent holder, IP strategist, product evangelist, negotiator, and world traveler. His primary responsibilities at krtkl are open-source software and hardware initiatives, developer community engagement, customer happiness, user experience, product management, supply chain operation, technical editing, marketing, and sales. He has previously served as a product & design engineer and North American sales manager for a medical device component manufacturer, and most recently as Vice President of Engineering at an embedded systems consulting firm. A mechanical engineer from UCLA, Ryan lives for making people smile and producing products people love.

Jamil Weatherbee, CTO
Jamil is an embedded expert, hardware and firmware architect, wireless enthusiast, patent holder, and family man. At krtkl, Jamil serves as chief systems architect, electrical engineer, and technology visionary. A childhood computer programming geek in the mid-‘80s and commensurate RPL hacker in his formative years, he was introduced to the potential of FPGAs at Cal in the late 90’s. He has been developing embedded systems professionally for 17+ years, has successfully commercialized several complex embedded products, and is the owner of multiple patents in the area of real-time, mechatronic control. Specializing in ARM based real-time embedded systems, programmable logic, system programming, performance optimization and I/O interfaces, Jamil’s essence revolves around doing what has never been done by thinking different.

Russell Bush, CDO
Russell is a software developer, controls specialist, chief hacker, master roboticist, web designer, and artist. With experience from patent drafting to embedded communications, his expertise includes C/C++, Linux, real-time operating systems, iOS development, model-based design (MATLAB/Simulink), and being a Certified LabVIEW developer. As CDO at krtkl, he is responsible for software implementation, technical developer community oversight, and iOS/Android activities. Prior to krtkl, he headed new system R&D at a medical device company, and was a senior mechatronic system engineer at an embedded consulting firm. Russell is a mechanical engineer from UCLA and has a distinct talent for leveraging his creativity to architect beautiful solutions to complex technical problems.

why are we doing this?

After several years and thousands of hours developing custom mechatronic and embedded control systems for a range of medical, industrial, and consumer technology companies, we finally got so tired of the lack of an affordable and versatile tool for building robotic systems that we decided to just make one ourselves.

We started by envisioning something that we, as engineers, would actually want to use – something that would make our lives easier and would eliminate the design sacrifices we always found ourselves making as a result of using poorly conceived, underperforming, and overpriced tools. Then we iterated and iterated…and iterated until we landed upon (what we feel is) the perfect combination of functionality, usability, and affordability.

And so, out of a grueling and rewarding two-year “labor of love,” snickerdoodle was born…

Inspired by the idea of what might be possible if the blossoming community of makers, hobbyists, and hardware enthusiasts could get their hands on advanced technologies that would normally be way out of their reach, we ultimately developed a combination of hardware and software that truly levels the playing field. Bringing together professionals and hobbyists using one common platform has the uniquue potential to build a community of creators unlike any before it.

why we need your help

Simply put: without your help, this project would never be able to get off the ground. Sure, we could ‘do what everyone else does:’ just add a zero to the price tag and build something with this awesome technology…and effectively exclude everyone without a multi-million dollar R&D budget from using it. But we desperately wanted this to be a way for everyone to get their hands on affordable, professional-caliber tools.

So in order to hit our minimum order quantities with the various manufacturers and distributors, along with ensuring we reach the volumes that will enable us to keep prices as low as possible while sustaining the level of support necessary to make your user and development experience as pain-free as possible, we need your help as a customer, evangelist, and contributor to this amazing new community of creators.

And of course, every development platform is only as valuable as the community of developers behind it. We look forward to welcoming you with open arms to – what is about to be – a thriving community of snickerdoodlers. Ultimately, this is all about you – we’re just here to make sure you receive the hardware and software support you need to continue experimenting, learning, building, and succeeding.

We really can’t wait to see what you create.

manufacturing plan

We have spent the last nine months leading up to the campaign finalizing part selections, nailing down the supply chain, negotiating with vendors and distributors, evaluating contract manufacturers, and setting up for high-volume production and fulfillment. The minute we hit our goal, we will be placing orders for long-lead-time parts and wrapping up the final hardware details.

Pre-order snickerdoodle volumes will dictate where assembly ultimately takes place. We are planning (and hoping) to have boards (both snickerdoodles and baseboards) assembled by one of our partners in China, but only if volume warrants. Fabrication will take place either in SE Asia or in/near Shenzhen. Cable assemblies are scheduled to be assembled and packaged in China.

Crowd Supply has also offered to assist us with packaging requirements/sourcing as well as domestic and international logistics to ensure you receive the best and most reliable customer service and ordering experience possible.

thank you!

We’d like to thank some of the people who helped ‘keep the ship afloat’ for the past two (loooong) years. A big, warm, heartfelt “thank you” to:

Bruce Hammond for the dozens of projects he’s helped us with (including this one); Don and CADParts for their amazing work on the layouts…and for always standing by the Bat Phone; Romy for producing our killer video (and for putting up with us); fellow roboticists Leo & co. at SMP Robotics and Adam & Daniel atModbot; Ryan & Jeff and all the folks at Tempo Automation for getting us out of (more than) a couple prototyping binds; Marie for being our bulldog; Josh & Darrell and the Crowd Supply team; Brad from TI, Justin & Bruce from Avnet, Jahanarha, Elizabeth, & Kristin from Samtec, Ronald & Chris from Norcomp, and Douglas & Monica from Digi-Key for all their ongoing support.

Also, thank you to our investors – you know who you are – for taking a leap of faith and believing in us when we were just three guys in a 140 square foot office armed with nothing but a box of equipment and a dream. And to our friends and families for being there when we needed you most.

And finally, thanks to you, our backers and fans for sharing our enthusiasm for creating new things and for all the words of encouragement – every one of them meant something. This is for you.

Thank you.

risks & challenges

Producing hardware in volume carries with it many risks. Potential issues with supply chains, quality assurance, part shortages, and natural disasters are just a few of the obstacles that can get in the way of successful delivery of a hardware product.

Software also carries risks and requires a carefully architected and executable plan. Our first priority is ensuring the highest possible quality of snickerdoodle’s fundamental software building blocks: wireless connectivity, board support packages, mobile applications, backend device management and data security, and baseboard functionality.

Wherever possible, we’ve taken care to allow time for delivery setbacks, quality issues, and other potential hiccups to be ironed out without causing delays in fulfillment. But no matter what, we will always be transparent, responsive, and quick to provide updates along the way so our backers will always know where we are, where we’re going, any challenges we might come across, and how we are working to address them.


Do you have an Alpha program? If so, how do I get involved?

Yes! If you’re interested in participating, just submit a “question” using the button at the bottom of the campaign explaining how you’d like to get involved; please include some project/experience examples and a link to your resumé and/or GitHub profile would be helpful.

Note: our Alpha customers will get early access to pre-production hardware before the end of the year and will be working closely with us on testing new features and building demo applications. We’re particularly looking for people with experience in Linux, FreeRTOS, ROS, and/or FPGA IP and who are eager to get their hands dirty. Please keep in mind that pre-production hardware and software is likely to be buggy and will require knowledge of how to resolve issues with both.

There are a limited number of spaces available, so don’t wait to apply!

How do I go about building my own snickerdoodle “microShield” or baseboard?

For both plug-in and cable-ready baseboards and microShields, check out our User Manual (linked below) for info on connectors, footprints, pinouts, and more.

Can I order snickerdoodles in large volumes?

Absolutely! Just submit a “question” using the button at the bottom of the campaign and we’ll get right back to you…

Do I have to run Linux?

Nope. Again, there are two “hard” ARM Cortex-A9 processor cores so you can run a wide range of real-time and general-purpose operating systems. Or if you don’t want the overhead of an OS, you can even run “bare metal!”

I noticed you have an STM32 microcontroller in your block diagram but you don’t mention it in the campaign. What does it do and can I run my own code on it?

The STM32 functions as a USB-to-serial bridge, power-supply manager, Bluetooth-integration bridge, boot-source controller, USB boot flash mass-storage-device bridge, LED and button controller, and I2C auto-configuration manager. We provide pre-integrated, functioning firmware for this device, which allows us to implement many of the platform and mobile application usability features intrinsic to snickerdoodle.

However, if you wish to build your own custom firmware for the STM32 device, both ST and ARM provide complete free toolchains and SDKs for the STM32F078, and the STM32 debug pins are fully exposed as well (on J2).

I’m interested in getting into some image processing and computer vision applications – you don’t have a pre-built camera module I can plug into snickerdoodle, do you?

Let’s just say: if you help us reach our first stretch goal, we will unveil a “solution” we think you might like (that will be incorporated into a subsequent stretch goal)…

Is snickerdoodle “open source?”

All baseboard/microShield schematics, Gerbers, and BOMs are/will be published and publicly available.

The complete snickerdoodle schematics and BOM will be published and made publicly available before the end of the campaign.

But wait, I want more specs! How fast are the I/O? What about the memory interfaces? What’s the wireless performance like?

Here’s pretty much everything you need to know…

features snickerdoodle optional upgrades
chipset Xilinx® Zynq®-7010 Xilinx® Zynq®-7020
CPU 32-bit dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 w/640kB cache and 2x 128-bit NEON™ coprocessors
performance 3,335 DMIPS/2.6 [email protected] 4,330 DMIPS/3.4 [email protected]
flash 16MB XIP NOR + up to 200GB SDIO NAND via captive microSD card cage
DRAM/bandwidth 512MB/25.6Gbps 1GB/25.6Gbps
SRAM/bandwidth 256kB/28.4 Gbps 256kB/36.9 Gbps
CPU to FPGA/bandwidth [email protected] AXI3/134.4Gbps [email protected] AXI3/179.2Gbps
FPGA programmable logic 430K gates/17,600 LUT-6 1.3M gates/53,200 LUT-6
32-bit performance 143,150 [email protected] 587,575 [email protected]
distributed RAM 270kB/3,354Gbps 630kB/10,275Gbps
DSP performance 74 GMACs/31.8 [email protected] 276 GMACs/121.5 [email protected]
total user GPIO 154 179
FPGA GPIO/performance 16x ADC/100x reconfigurable/46.2Gbps 16x ADC/125x reconfigurable/75.7Gbps
fixed GPIO 33x GPIO, 4x I2S audio, 14x I2C, 1x ADC, 2x DAC
wireless 150Mbps SISO 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n 150Mbps 2×2 MIMO 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n
3Mbps dual-mode Bluetooth® 4.1 Classic+EDR/BLE, dual-band antenna, switched U.FL ports
serial interfaces 2x gigabit ethernet, 2x CAN, 2x I2C, SPI, UART, USB 2.0 high-speed, microUSB console/JTAG
analog interfaces 2x 1MSPS 12-bit ADCs w/16 channel multiplexer, 2x 1MSPS 12-bit DACs
other peripherals 5x LEDs, 2x pushbuttons, secure cryptographic key/certificate storage
software support snickerdoodle iOS/Android app, Linux, FreeRTOS, ArduPilot, ROS, Wiring, Python, C/C++, Vivado
power 5V via microUSB or 3.7V-17V via power pins
dimensions 3.5″ x 2.0″ (88.9mm x 50.8mm)

What about documentation? Do you have a User Manual or something?

Of course! Here’s a link to the snickerdoodle User Manual. This is a “living” document and will continue to be updated going forward, but this should help answer a lot of the questions you still have.

If you’re looking for more information on Zynq and everything it’s capable of, our good friends at the University of Strathclyde literally wrote the book on Zynq. It’s an excellent resource packed full of useful information and best of all? It’s 100% free! Check it out at, (or pick up a hard copy offAmazon).

You can also check out our GitHub profile for a comprehensive list of schematics, manuals, drawings, tables, and other goodies.

Where do I find out more about the IDE you’re using?

For more on the Xilinx SDK, head on over to their website where you can find all kinds of great documentation and other resources: Xilinx SDK Documentation

And if you’re looking for more info on FPGA IP development using Vivado, check out “The Zynq Book” mentioned above or go to the Xilinx site: Vivado Design Suite Video Tutorials

This is amazing but it almost seems too good to be true… ARM, FPGA, * and * Wi-Fi & Bluetooth?! How on earth did you guys get snickerdoodle down to $55?

snickerdoodle has gone through countless revisions to the architecture, design, and bill of materials over the last 24 months in order to arrive at an optimal combination of functionality and affordability. Working with our vendors and other technology partners who understand and believe in our vision, we’ve been able to secure competitive volume pricing capable of making the product sustainable. Of course, this model only works with your help and we need your support now to get the ball rolling down the hill… So tell your friends, colleagues, classmates, instructors, and cats to grab a snickerdoodle and come help build an awesome community of creators ready the change the world!

How can you offer so many configurations? I mean, it’s awesome…but isn’t that expensive?

We wanted to make sure you can configure your hardware just the way you want it so we carefully selected multiple pin-compatible parts for the SoC, RAM, wireless module, and connectors. Because each component and it’s upgradable counterpart are made by the same respective manufacturer, we are able to realize combined volume discounts across multiple SKUs – helping us pass savings for both the base and upgraded models along to you.

How do you pronounce “krtkl”?

It’s pronounced “critical” (krĭt′ĭ-kəl)…we just removed the vowels and changed the “c’s” to “k’s!” Written in lowercase, the inspiration comes from us spending our entire professional careers developing “safety-critical” systems.

What’s the meaning of life?

Uh, we’ll get back to you…

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