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.NET Gadgeteer

Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is a rapid prototyping platform for small electronic gadgets and embedded hardware devices. It combines the advantages of object-oriented programming, solderless assembly of electronics using a kit of hardware modules, and quick physical enclosure fabrication using computer-aided design.

About .NET Gadgeteer

.NET Gadgeteer was created by researchers at Microsoft as an internal prototyping tool, but because of external interest, particualrly from educators and hobbyists, we turned it into open source software supported by a hardware ecosystem from independent manufacturers.

The platform is built on the .NET Micro Framework, which allows small devices to be programmed in the C# language and make use of Visual Studio’s programming and debugging tools.

Individual .NET Gadgeteer modules can be easily connected together to construct both simple and sophisticated devices. Each module adds some extra capabilities, such as the ability to display images, playback sounds, take pictures, sense the environment, communicate with other devices or enable user interaction. This powerful combination allows fully functional devices to be prototyped in a matter of hours rather than days or weeks. 

Related Academic Publications

If you want to cite .NET Gadgeteer, please refer to the paper above entitled ".NET Gadgeteer: a Platform for Custom Devices" at Pervasive 2012.


The photos below (and the video at the top) are a little retro since they show off our old internal hardware, but the open source platform hardware has followed this pretty closely.

Learn More
  • .NET Gadgeteer website
    Find out how to get and use .NET Gadgeteer - available hardware, example projects, and documentation.
  • .NET Gadgeteer Codeplex website
    Learn more about the open source project and find details about developing your own .NET Gadgeteer-compatible modules.