Just as retro ideas from a bygone era can inspire modern fashion, film, and TV trends, today’s researchers are being empowered by the revival of an innovative technology concept from the past: open-source hardware.
Open-source hardware is the public availability of designs, mechanical drawings, or schematics of physical technology, such as computer processors or network switches. The Arduino electronics board is one popular example.
The concepts behind open hardware have been around for decades. But, with the rise of intellectual property in the 1980s and 1990s, open hardware fell out of favor. Today, perhaps thanks to the success of the open-source software movement, open hardware is back, according to its proponents. In 2012, it allows researchers to measure the time-of-flight of neutrinos, enables poor rural communities to communicate freely, and creates new business markets.
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.
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