For each kit, the company publishes the computer-aided design files, schematics for circuit boards, and the firmware or software code that runs inside a device. Anyone can use this material under a Creative Commons license, provided they credit the source and publish any related works under a similar open- source license.
In addition to publishing designs, the company offers online tutorials, and Fried co-hosts a weekly video chat with Adafruit designer Phillip Torrone to teach lessons and answer questions. “She’s really educating people. It’s almost like she’s running a school in addition to everything else she’s doing,” says Alicia Gibb, another organizer of the Open Hardware Summit who works as “gadget wrangler” at Bug Labs, an open-source hardware company developing wireless devices.
Fried says her mission as an entrepreneur is to spread the kind of innovation that flows from opening up electronics and learning how they work. “We have so little connection to what’s in these plastic boxes,” she says. “The point of the company is to teach people and to learn. It’s not just to buy and consume.”
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.