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10 Interesting .NET Micro Framework Demos and Applications

Pete Brown - 19 January 2011

The .NET Micro Framework (.NET MF) is an open source (Apache licensed) version of the .NET Framework designed to work on microcontrollers. Since it is OSS, you can port it using the porting kit (link at the bottom) to any processor you want, if you have the know-how.

Luckily, there exist a number of boards with the .NET MF already ported, with the addition of a number of features and drivers for board-specific functionality. Each of the boards vary in the number of I/O, peripherals, MCU speed, memory etc. Some even include built-in displays. You don't need to know much about electronics to get some really good results from these boards.

You can code for the .NET MF using Visual Studio (VS 2010 for the 4.1 version, 2008 for prior versions). You can also use Visual C# Express and do it all for free. Pretty nice!

I myself have been playing with a few of the boards, especially the Netduino. Other folks have created some really cool projects. Due to the nature of these projects, you tend to find them more on YouTube than on blogs. Here are 10 that really stand out to me.

1. Tetris

Tetris running on a Tahoe board with a built-in display


2. Etch a Sketch

CNC etch-a-sketch


3. Home Thermometer

Showing the temperature using sensors and the .NET MF


4. WiFi 802.11 wireless Networking and IP Camera

Cool project with an IP camera and a few boards


5. Netduino Web Server

A really light web server using the Netduino. There are a bunch of these out there


6. ChipworkX RPL Video Playback

A video playback/decoding test


7. .NET Micro Framework Game

A neat little video game using a built-in display


8. Tank-track Robot

A nifty tank-tread robot


9. Stepper Motor Midi Player (this is awesome)

This is great. Automating a stepper motor so it plays music


10. Aquarium Controller

An aquarium monitor and motor


Lots more Micro framework videos here.

Hobby-Accessible Devices

Porting the .NET Micro Framework to other Devices

If you want to get started at a pretty low cost, I recommend either the Netduino or the FEZ Panda. Both are under $50, very capable, well-supported and readily available.

posted by Pete Brown on Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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2 comments for “10 Interesting .NET Micro Framework Demos and Applications”

  1. Innovactivesays:
    Hi Pete!

    What about our 2 super cool .NET MF + Silverlight 4 projects?

    1) .NET MF Innovactive Gardener - based on garduino project, it uses a Tahoe board to receive signals from temperature, lighting and humidity sensors and drive heater, water pump and light actuators. It uses media streaming of greenhouse video and an amazing silverlight control application that uses FullDuplex WCF binding to push update notifications (e.g. temperature variations) to every connected client.


    2) Innovactive Home Sentinel - uses a Netduino, WiFly shield and a ultrasonic proximity sensor to "push" notification of "fence violations" to a full duplext silverlight application

  2. Pareensays:

    Thanks for the cool info.. I want your help.

    1) Can we deploy a silverlight based app using the .net micro framework on a ARM board?
    2) is there a way to write graphical apps is .net micro framework?

    questions may sound newbie but i need you to understand the query and answer best


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