One name that regularly crops up in the list of accessories for boards is Adafruit Industries. The company was founded by Limor Fried, who is an electrical engineer and a strong open source advocate. She has built a company that, as well as selling add-ons for Raspberry Pi, Arduino and BeagleBoard, also sells a fantastic range of kits for hobbyists, including a load of wearable electronics. Prom Tiara with multiple LEDs, anyone?
Return of the hobbyist
This is not an exclusive listing; there are other boards, but these seem to be the leaders. When you look at the numbers, you can see a fantastic number of people getting themselves involved in hobbyist hacking (in the positive sense) of hardware and software. It is also clear that engineering professionals have embraced these boards, for fun at home (well, engineers are different), for use in skunk works projects, and as the basis for commercial production. The large communities that have developed around the boards provide both support and stimulation. Are we looking at the replacement to Radio Shack for the 21st century?
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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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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