The Circuit Playground Express is a programable electronics board that’s packed full of features. With everything on board, you can get up and running without fiddling around with wires or circuitry. There’s 10 NeoPixels that you can light up in any colour, and it has a speaker so some music can accompany your animations. It’s packed full of sensors and can detect motion, temperature, light and sound. When you’re ready to expand your projects, the Circuit Playground Express can do that with 8 i/o pins (7 of which can sense capacitive touch).
You can program the Circuit Playground Express in three ways. You can use the drag-and-drop MakeCode environment that’s great for people new to programming, there’s Circuit Python for people with a bit more experience with programming and you can use the Arduino IDE if you’re already familiar with micro controllers.
We’re huge fans of the Circuit Playground Express because it makes it so easy to get started with microcontrollers, yet still gives you plenty of scope for building advanced projects. Take a look at our review of if here.
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Connecting things you’ve made to the internet allows you to control them from anywhere, collate data from a wide range of sources and generally put yourself at the centre of an electro-mechanical hive mind. What are you waiting for? It’s time to build your own Internet of Everything. We also chat with maker-teacher-extraordinaire Helen Steer, find out how 3D printing from waste materials is growing in Kenya and Tanzania and build a Z80 computer and much, much more.
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