Tinkerers and hardware hackers have always been around — but today’s are far more ambitious than those of yesteryear. I have friends with their own space program, but even they pale next to the all-volunteer Danish group that plans to launch its own passenger-capable rocket into space from an ocean platform towed out to sea by their homemade submarine.
Why now? In part, the movement is a collective backlash against our money-obsessed, mass-produced society in which almost no one knows how to build anything anymore. But it’s also because that same society’s technology — e.g. Italy’s wildly successful Arduino open-source hardware platform, cheap new 3-D printers, and lasers cannibalized from PlayStations — has quietly made making things a whole lot easier. Most of all, it’s because today’s relatively wealthy creative classes increasingly care more for accomplishments and esteem than cash.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell with Google Hangouts On-Air is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
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