Quin Etnyre walks to the front of a crowded room at Deezmaker 3D Printers and Hackerspace in Pasadena, California. He adjusts his laptop on the workbench, then looks up and addresses the class. “Thanks for coming out on a Saturday,” he says, his voice barely audible over the steady hum of servomotors. The students, 18 middle-aged men and preteen boys, look on as Quin straightens his MIT T-shirt and swipes an index finger across an iPod. The screen behind him flashes “Intro to Arduino Class.”
He explains to the group, which includes a toy maker, an engineer, and a high-school electronics teacher, that he’ll be showing them how to program an Arduino—a $30 microcontroller board that can convert sensory inputs into outputs, making objects interactive. “First I want to demonstrate some cool things I made that you can make too,” he says, reaching into a backpack. Two men stop whispering and turn toward him. Quin pulls out the FuzzBot, a bug-eyed, four-wheeled robot slightly smaller than a shoebox. Then he holds up a baseball cap with LEDs stitched into the fabric.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.