For the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge, the team at Workshop 88 designed, built and programmed a series of five interactive cubes which are intended to be used as a platform for encouraging students at all levels to learn.
The Educubes that we made have a touchscreen for displaying problems and puzzles for students to work out and attempt to solve. The cubes communicate with each other, so that students can rearrange the order of the cubes to create various permutations of problems to work on.
For the contest, we have created four apps which are programmed into our cubes. Two are sorting apps: numerical and alphabetical. One is an example of an arithmetic app where numbers are added together. The last app is an example of an anagram game.
We want to emphasize that the cubes are not just about the apps that we have programmed in. Many applications for learning could be programmed into these Educubes: mathematics, spelling, grammar, anagrams, logic gates, chemical equations, even electronic circuit problems. The possibilities for learning applications are endless! The simple apps we have programmed are currently at the level of elementary school students, but a slightly more advanced math app could be written to test students understanding of the order of operations.
The Educubes are intended to foster creativity, curiosity and teamwork in students who use them. If a group of students work with the Educubes they could easily set up different challenges for other students in the classroom. The making of the Educubes was a collaborative process for the members of Workshop 88. We hope students using the Educubes would also use them collaboratively to further their own learning.
Like DIY Sifteo cubes! The Educubes use our 2.8″ 18-bit color TFT LCD with touchscreen breakout board.
2.8″ 18-bit color TFT LCD with touchscreen breakout board! Add some jazz & pizazz to your project with a color touchscreen LCD. This TFT display is big (2.8″ diagonal) bright (4 white-LED backlight) and colorful (up to 18-bit 262,000 different shades)! 240×320 pixels with individual pixel control, this has way more resolution than a black and white 128×64 display. As a bonus, this display has a resistive touchscreen attached to it already, so you can detect finger presses anywhere on the screen.
This display has a controller built into it with RAM buffering, so that almost no work is done by the microcontroller. You’ll need 8 digital data lines and 4 or 5 digital control lines to read and write to the display (12 lines total). 4 pins are required for the touch screen (2 digital, 2 analog) but because of the way resistive touch screens work, we can share pins with the LCD so the entire setup can be run by 12 pins (10 digital, 2 analog).
Of course, we wouldn’t just leave you with a datasheet and a “good luck!” – we’ve written a full open source graphics library that can draw pixels, lines, rectangles, circles and text . We also have a touch screen library that detects x, y and z (pressure) and example code to demonstrate all of it. Be sure to see our detailed tutorial at the product page where we discuss how to use the LCD, and go through the example Arduino library and example code.
The library and example code is written for Arduino but can be easily ported to your favorite microcontroller!
- 2.8″ diagonal LCD TFT display
- 240×320 resolution, 18-bit (262,000) color
- ILI9325 (datasheet) or ILI9328 (datasheet) controller with built in video RAM buffer
- 8 bit digital interface, plus 4 or 5 control lines
- 5V compatible! Use with 3.3V or 5V logic such as an Arduino
- Onboard 3.3V @ 150mA LDO regulator
- 4 white LED backlight, transistor connected so you can PWM dim the backlight
- 1×20 header for easy breadboarding, or 2×10 header for cable connection
- 4 x 0.125″/3mm mounting holes with tabs
- 4-wire resistive touchscreen