Idiotware Shield

by Curiosity Gym

IoT for Arduino, simplified.

$9,754 raised

of $8,000 goal

121% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices


Idiotware Shield

Buy the Idiotware Shield at retail price. Includes one Idiotware Shield.


Module Set

All four add-on modules: OLED display module, HC-05 Bluetooth module, NRF24L01 mesh networking module, and pre-programmed ESP-01 Wi-Fi module. Idiotware Shield NOT included.


Idiotware Shield + All Modules

Includes one Idiotware Shield and all four add-on modules: OLED display module, HC-05 Bluetooth module, NRF24L01 mesh networking module, and pre-programmed ESP-01 Wi-Fi module. Does not include Arduino board or accessories.


Recent Updates

As Featured In

Open Electronics

"The board is definitely worthy, starting at $25!"

"Following this project by CuriosityGym, you can make your own smart IoT postbox that sends you an email as soon as a letter is dropped into it."



"Checking your mailbox every five minutes can be a roller-coaster of emotion — not to mention time-consuming. If you fall into this trap, [CuriosityGym] has whipped up a mailbox that will send off an email once the snail-mail arrives."

The Idiotware Shield is a learning platform for quickly bringing to life hundreds of Arduino projects, whether you’re a novice or expert. The Idiotware Shield is the Swiss Army Knife of Arduino shields, with plenty of integrated inputs and outputs and options for connectivity and expansion.

31 Days of Simplifying Arduino

For every day of this crowdfunding campaign, we’re going to publish a new project showing how the Idiotware Shield simplifies creating awesome Arduino projects. Here we go!

If there are specific demos you’d like to see, please let us know!

Top view of the Idiotware Shield

Student Tested

The Idiotware Shield is for anyone who wants to quickly bring their IoT ideas to life with minimum hassle and expense.

To make sure we got it right, we spent over a year testing the Idiotware Shield with more than 300 students, most of them in middle school and some as young as nine years old. With the Idiotware Shield, the students quickly got to the core of their ideas, without being distracted by wiring, bulky stacks of multiple shields, or piles of datasheets. See below for more information on our development process.

Features & Specifications

  • Input
  • Output
    • One RGB LED: WS2812B for smart colored light mixing.
    • 12 Red LEDs: connected to Arduino’s digital outputs
    • OLED Display: connected via I2C header, sold separately
    • Piezo Buzzer: Multitone Buzzer with good sound reproduction up to 2 KHz
  • Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi: ESP8226-01 module connected via Wi-Fi header enables over-the-air Arduino programming and cloud connectivity, sold separately
    • Low-power Mesh Radio: NRF24L01 module connected via mesh radio header enables 2.4 GHz mesh networking, sold separately
    • Bluetooth: HC-05 Bluetooth module connected via Bluetooth header, sold separately
    • microSD Card: integrated card slot for data storage.
  • Configurability
    • Expansion Ports: 0.1” headers for digital and analog Arduino pins
    • Voltage Regulator: LM1117 3.3 V regulator supplies up to 800 mA with current limiting and thermal shutdown protection
    • Made for Arduino: compatible with all major Arduino boards, such as the Uno, Mega, and Leonardo

Completely Open Source and Compatible with Everything

We believe in open source and have made everything about the Idiotware Shield open source:

Because everything is open source, you can use the Idiotware Shield with a huge number of other tools, such as:

What You Get

Idiotware Shield

The shield itself is ready to use with any supported Arduino board.

Add-on Modules

The Idiotware Shield has four expansion ports dedicated to specific modules you can buy as add-ons:

For backers who wish to program the bundled ESP8266-01 module, software and programming support is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

Arduino Uno and Accessories

You can use the Idiotware Shield with your own Arduino board, or you can get an Arduino as part of this campaign. Any pledge level (see the list to the right) that includes an Arduino comes with:

  • Arduino Uno Board
  • USB cable
  • DC power adapter


Idiotware Grove Starter Kit V3.0 1Sheeld TinyLab Evive
Cost $45 $49.90 $54.90 $69 $109
Smart RGB LED Onboard Optional Optional Optional Optional
SD Card Plug and Play Optional Optional Onboard Onboard
Wi-Fi* Plug and Play Optional Onboard Plug and Play Plug and Play
Mesh Radio* Plug and Play Optional Optional Plug and Play Plug and Play
IR Receiver Onboard Optional Optional Optional Optional
Temperature Sensor Onboard Onboard Onboard Onboard Onboard
Light Sensor Onboard Onboard Optional Onboard Onboard
Bluetooth* Plug and Play Optional Onboard Plug and Play Plug and Play
OTA Programming Onboard Optional Optional Optional Onboard
Low Power Display* Plug and Play Optional Optional Onboard Onboard
TouchPad Onboard Optional Onboard Onboard Onboard
Push Button Onboard Onboard Onboard Onboard Onboard
Potentiometer Onboard Onboard Optional Onboard Onboard
Digital Expansion Onboard Onboard Optional Optional Onboard
Analog Expansion Onboard Onboard Optional Optional Onboard
Size 71 x 63 mm Larger Similar 4x Larger 4x Larger
Third Party Software Integration Excellent Extremely Limited Excellent Excellent Not Enough Data

* Available as an add-on module

For Beginners

With the Idiotware Shield, you can make its on-board LEDs shine, blink, change colors, and dance to the beat of the on-board multi-tone buzzer.

Basic Project Example

For Intermediate Learners

Integrated on-board the Idiotware Shield are environmental sensors, like temperature and ambient light, and human interfaces, like switches and a touch sensor.

Intermediate Project Example

The Smart IoT Postbox is an example of an Intermediate Project

For Advanced Learners

You can query and process the Shield’s sensor data and control the Shield’s outputs over Wi-Fi using a cloud server or over Bluetooth using a phone. The Shield can log data (offline) to an SD card (up to 8 GB), using the integrated microSD card socket, to be retrieved manually or as soon as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity becomes available.

Advanced Project Example

Create an ON AIR station with the help of the Idiotware Shield.

Development Process

Our journey building the Idiotware Shield started when we built a very basic prototyping shield, which was named the Curiosity Gym shield v0.1.

An early prototype of the Idiotware Shield

Some of the projects the students prototyped with the v0.1 of the shield include a chess clock and a security system that sounds an alarm when someone passes through a laser beam, a.k.a. the laser maze.

Some of our beta testers and their laser maze

After the quick prototyping phase, students used coding techniques to reduce the size of their project as a second iteration. We very quickly realised that we had to bring in communication interfaces (Wi-Fi, mesh radio, and Bluetooth), alongwith a low power display to the Shield.


The Idiotware Shield ships to any country worldwide. Shipping is free to the USA and India. If shipping to India, please place the order with the international shipping surcharge, and your order total will be adjusted to free shipping after the order is placed.

Manufacturing Plan

We’ve been working on Idiotware since January 2016, when we first began hardware development. We then built our first prototype in March. This August, we finished our second prototype, and spent September working on the GitHub code and beta testing with middle schoolers. Since September, these projects have been documented with tutorial videos and community posts on Hackster.

While the campaign is live (starting December 2016) we will be running production tests. Once the campaign ends in early February 2017, we’ll start our first production run. After more testing and packaging, we’ll begin shipping your Shields in May 2017.

Risks & Challenges

There are a couple of components on the PCB that, due to unforeseen circumstances, could become unavailable. We have done adequate research to ensure that we are choosing currently available parts from reputable manufacturers. Testing may take longer than usual, because some of the processes are manual. Lastly, shipping delays that are beyond our control are always a possibility.


Curiosity Gym

Curiosity Gym is a leading makerspace in Mumbai that helps enthusiasts build prototypes. Curiosity Gym also runs Innovation Hubs in schools and colleges to awaken curiosity and help catalyze making, innovation, design thinking, and entrepreneurship across all age groups.

Girish Nair

Jehangir Khajotia

Rupin Chheda

Devansh Shah

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