Targeting electronic developers with a non-technical background, Ringwill Inc. has released its first product Wikit – the world’s first flowchart programming electronic development platform based on visual IDE. It is intended to allow students, inventors, hobbyists and artists to make interactive projects without technical barriers.
“The debut of Wikit will transform the traditional electronic programming method. The key feature of Wikit is that it applies flowcharts to programming, which enables people who don’t have technical background the ability to engage in creative thinking,” said Jie Fu, co-founder of Ringwill.
Wikit is a tiny computer that users can program to process inputs and outputs going to and from the chip. A Wikit toolkit includes a USB powered Wikit board, consisting of a Lattice FPGA, flash, a crystal or oscillator and a linear voltage regulator as well as the Wikit IDE (Integrated Development Environment), a free software and app.
The Wikit IDE provides an interactive interface for users to program in flowchart form language that the Wikit understands as easy as drag and drop. Instructions can be downloaded to the Wikit board through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, then the Wikit board will carry out these instructions and interact with the outside world.
“The innovative flowchart programming provided by Wikit allows makers from various fields to participate in electronic design, liberate their creativity and experience the joy of inventing,” commented David Li, founder and CEO of Ardublock and Shanghai XINCHEJIAN fab-lab, as one of the first users of Wikit.
The Wikit board offers great expandability by exposing its FPGA’s I/O pins to enable users to connect those pins to other circuits or to sensors. A short list of supported circuits and sensors includes but is not limited to wireless buttons, wireless light sensors, touch buttons, moisture sensors, PIR motion sensors, RBG LEDs and noise sensors. Other functionalities of the Wikit board include 16 digital GPIOs, four 12 bit ADC channels running under a 200 KHz clock, 10+ GND and VCC pins, 5V-3.3V compatible IOS, built-in Bluetooth and WiFi, wireless programming and debugging, and 200 MHz execution speed.
The Wikit IDE supports a drag and drop programming style that help users avoid the burden of learning various programming languages. It also provides more than 20 examples to help users from beginner to expert level and offers built-in IO drivers to support I2C, CAN, SPI, UART, GPIO, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
With the help of detailed hardware connection guidance and self-testing function, users can get rid of any hardware trouble before programming, which greatly shortens development time and reduces debugging difficulty. The first version of Wikit IDE for iPad will be available on the App Store in near future.
The flowchart programming methodology lowers technical requirement for developers, therefore users without programming knowledge can be able to build a quick prototype on Wikit.
“Wikit is easy-to-use, modular and allows even non-technical people to understand and build hardware prototypes. It is also a vital tool for hardware startups that want to build and test quickly as speed is essential in the dynamic and competitive space of consumer electronics,” explained Ran Ma, founder and CEO of SIREN CARE.
Students in Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab and startups from Shanghai lab fab are incorporating Wikit as prototyping tool to create innovative solutions and test ideas. Wikit will launch user survey on Thunderclap as well as crowdfunding in near future.
Established in 2015, Ringwill is a design house for start-ups and offers rapid prototyping solutions as well as mass production service. The company is currently based in Shanghai.