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Friday Product Post: Rocko the Walabot

Look through walls with the Walabot, light up a project with a strip of APA102-2020 LEDs and protect your HATs on your SmartiPi Touch!

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G'day, everyone, and welcome to another new product-filled Friday Product Post! Though not a cute little wallaby, we do have two versions of the new Walabot radio frequency tool that allows you to see through walls (more on that further down), a strip of 10 teeny-tiny APA102-2020 LEDs, as well as a large back panel for your SmartiPi Touch. All of these fine new products are available right now, so let's dive in and take a closer look!

Look through walls like Superman!

Walabot Developer


The Walabot Developer is a programmable 3D sensor inside a protective enclosure that looks into objects using radio frequency technology. This technology breaks through known barriers, bringing highly sophisticated sensing capabilities to your fingertips. This Walabot Developer version uses an 18-antenna array to illuminate the area in front of it and sense the returning signals. The signals are produced and recorded by a VYYR2401 A3 System-on-Chip integrated circuit. They are then communicated to a host device (like your phone or computer) using a USB interface, which is implemented using a Cypress controller.

Getting Started with Walabot

February 15, 2018

See through walls, track objects, monitor breathing patterns, and more using the power of radio frequency with the Walabot! In this tutorial, we will explore Walabot’s features using the Software Demo Kit (SDK) on Windows and the Application Programming Interface (API) on Linux-based distributions for embedded projects.

Walabot Starter


If you are looking for something less expensive than the Walabot Developer, check out the Starter version instead. This little guy is very similar to the Developer above, but instead of an 18-antenna array, the Starter only has three antennas. Also, this Walabot can't see through walls like its older sibling, but it is still capable of short-range imaging as well as target and breathing pattern detection.

SMD LED - RGB APA102-2020 (Pack of 10)

SMD LED - RGB APA102-2020 (Pack of 10)


This version of the APA102 is an astoundingly tiny, 2020-sized (2x2mm) SMD LED. With an integrated control circuit embedded, the APA102-2020 is incredibly bright and colorful. If you look really closely, you can see the tiny gold chip hidden in there, along with minuscule gold wires connecting the chip to the LED. This miniaturized version of the APA102C LEDs found in our Lumenati line is perfect for applications needing a bit of color while not possessing a lot of real estate.

SmartiPi Touch Back Cover (Large)

SmartiPi Touch Back Cover (Large)


Here is a large cover to protect all of the HATs that you have for the Raspberry Pi that's attached to your SmartiPi Touch. This easy-to-install back cover screws into the back VESA mounts on the SmartiPi Touch with the four included screws. The cover allows you to protect HAT boards and other electronic components that you might want for your project. Each is made out of ABS plastic and can be easily cut, drilled or otherwise modified for any application or use. Additionally, the cover helps protect the ethernet and USB ports on the Pi B+, 2 and 3.

Alrighty, ladies and gentlemen, that's it for this week's diverse Friday Product Post! As always, we can't wait to see what you make with these products! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

Thanks for stopping by. We'll see you next week with even more fantastic new products!

Comments 6 comments

  • Good work 👏

  • A couple of quick comments: I've seen reports on TV of a military device that can "see through walls", and map out a whole room (not just the first few inches). I rather suspect that the military version uses a much higher power than the Walabot, given that although the spec sheet doesn't say what the output power is it does talk about FCC Part 15, which means the power is likely down in the miilliwatts range (given the frequencies being used). (I'm also sure that the millitary version is way more than $600!)

    I also noticed that the Starter only operates in the 6.3-8 GHz band, while the Developer is capable of 3.3-10 GHz. (I wouldn't be too surprised if the military version uses frequencies which are outside the Part 15 bands, but likely within the bands the military shares with Amateur Radio.)

  • Can the less expensive one see through some distance of a material albeit not a wall thickness?

    • Unfortunately, the Walabot Starter has 3x antennas. It is only able to do basic range measurements and detect your breathing patterns. This is outlined as a note in the tutorial => Getting Started with Walabot: Example SDK | Imaging - Short Range.

      The Walabot Developer has 18x antennas so it has more features available. Assuming that the wall is not made of metal, the Developer will be able to detect how far the material is behind the wall up to about 4". The depth is just an estimate.

  • About the wallabot starter, what does "breathing pattern detection" mean? Some sort of cyclical motion detection?

    Do you have any practical use case examples for either wallabot unit? If not, they seem to just be expensive toys?

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