Framework Laptop gets an IoT Expansion Module

Published  June 29, 2023   0
S Staff
ESP32 based IoT Expansion Module

Anyone who is familiar with the right to repair movement must heard of the Framework laptop, which is a modular laptop made for easy repairs and upgradability. The Framework laptops offers many modules for customising or upgrading the laptop IO’s. A security researcher known as "spacehuhn" has created his own add-on module featuring an Espressif ESP32-S3 dual-core microcontroller coprocessor. This expansion module has been designed to fit into the laptop's IO expansion bays, which allow users to customize the laptop's input/output options. By sharing the design files, spacehuhn enables others to replicate the add-on and enhance their Framework Laptops with the ESP32-S3 functionality.

The Framework Laptop, known for its modularity, was introduced two years ago and recently updated with options for Intel or AMD processors, as well as a more powerful 16" variant. The laptop's creators even offer the single-board computer at its core as a standalone product, encouraging community projects. Notable examples include an all-in-one desktop and a portable device inspired by the TRS-80 Model 100. Spacehuhn's focus on the IO expansion bays demonstrates the laptop's versatility, as the ESP32-S3 add-on provides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities along with an RGB Neopixel LED and a Qwiic or STEMMA QT connector.

In addition to spacehuhn's contribution, other makers have also been inspired to develop their own add-ons for the Framework Laptop's modular IO slots. Last year, a semi-pseudonymous maker named Sean N. created a 3D-printed expansion card with a magnetic charging port reminiscent of Apple's MagSafe. This feature ensures that accidental cable tugs won't result in the laptop toppling over, expanding the range of accessories available for Framework Laptop users. More information on the project is available on GitHub repo.