The Evil Mad Science ISP Shield 2.0 is an Arduino add-on that lets you use your Arduino (or shield-compatible clone, such as the Diavolino) as an AVR ISP (in-system programmer). This can be used to burn bootloaders onto "raw" AVR chips, directly within the Arduino programming environment, either in the provided ZIF socket or on an external target board. You can read more about this process here on the official Arduino site.
Of course, it isn't just limited to bootloaders. The Arduino+ISP Shield combination is a full-fledged AVR ISP, capable of programming any AVR microcontroller that has an ISP programming interface. The ISP shield is sold as a soldering kit. It includes the circuit board, stacking header set, 28-pin DIP ZIF socket and 16 MHz crystal (for on-board programming of ATmega168/328 chips), a 6-pin header for programming external targets, plus some small but important parts like LEDs, resistors, and a reset button. There are also configuration header jumpers for providing (or not providing) power to the external target and selecting (or not selecting) auto-reset override.
The Evil Mad Science ISP Shield is an open source hardware project, designed to be compatible with the "Arduino as ISP" option in recent versions of the Arduino IDE. It is based on a number of prior hardware implementations, most closely the version by Andre Knoerig at Fritzing.
Complete documentation about this kit, including assembly instructions, design files, and basic usage information is available at the Evil Mad Scientist Wiki.
Special note on skill level:
This is a simple soldering kit, but "Arduino as ISP" is a relatively immature process, and there are some rough edges. Accordingly, we recommend the ISP Shield 2.0 for both novices and advanced users, but with some caveats:
|Manufacturer||Evil Mad Science LLC|