As a child, Limor Fried was known to take apart VCRs and once modified a Radio Shack tone-dialer. This sort of curiosity helped her found of Adafruit Industries, a factory manufacturing DIY open source electronic hardware kits in New York City. Today, she and her team work alongside machines like pick-and-places and reflow ovens, not outsourcing the company’s top asset: knowledge. “When something’s not working, I know instantly, not two or three weeks later. Being next to the machines, I can revise and adapt quickly.”
Adafruit’s customers are encouraged to ‘hack’ the designs in the kits they buy, tweaking the final product. Listen to this chat with Fried from the factory floor as she explains how her approach demystifies hardware through education and makes certain types of engineering more accessible to creatives of any stripe. She’ll also explain why she doesn’t have a cell phone — and how it keeps her focused.
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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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