If ‘mega:bit’ is Scaled Up micro:bit, ‘giga:bit’ is Human-Scale micro:bit!
The micro:bit is a fascinating little SBC, with multiple on-board sensors and LEDs, Bluetooth LE and micro USB. It’s readymade for learning MicroPython and other adventures in making. However demo’ing it in the classroom may prove challenging because of its size. As the name implies, ‘micro’ is its main feature – it is small, with a board size only 2.0″ x 1.7″. So we dig these oversized micro:bit replicas – fully operational no less – that act as visual aids to be able to more clearly point to points on the board for classroom instruction (and also just because they’re cool oversized replicas!):
So, it was the summer of 2015 and details had been released about the amazing-sounding BBC micro:bit that was going to be given to all Year 7 students to encourage them to learn how to program. As a soon-to-be teacher of computing at a secondary school, this was a very exciting to me and, for no good reason, I set about making a large mock-up of the micro:bit on the school’s laser cutter:
My plan had been to add the LEDs and switches and connect it to my Raspberry Pi so that I could write some simple programs in Python that would display things on my scaled-up micro:bit. I didn’t really have any plans for it except that I thought it might be fun to make and could be useful in my classroom.
This eventually lead to the creation of this human-scale ‘giga:bit’ project:
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.