…focused on developing environmental sensing projects and research. From soldering stations to 3D printers to laser cutters, our lab provides the tools necessary for students, professors, and researchers alike to develop tools used locally and worldwide by the ecological science and engineering community.
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As our projects continue to evolve alongside with the advances of technology it is important to keep the OPEnS lab up to date with the latest and greatest prototyping technologies at our disposal. There is no example greater than that of the microprocessor. This post will explore two of the most advanced, widely available microprocessors on the market today.
Background and Objective
Since 2010 the Arduino Uno has been the standard in prototyping electronics due to its wide variety of functions, ease of programming, and cost. However, much like any other piece of technology it is becoming outdated by faster, smaller and cheaper microprocessors such as the pro-trinket model released in 2014. (A previous article I wrote linked here highlights the key advantages of the Trinket over the Uno.) Fast forward to early 2016 to the release of adafruits most current line of development microcontrollers, called “Feathers” with a host of companion shields referred to as “Featherwings“, where these processor boards now come integrated with certain features such as WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth, LoRa radio and Shields that allow for RTC data logging, Ethernet connectivity and various display interfaces. The Objective of this article is to discuss the two major types of processors used within the Feather line of microprocessors.
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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.