The British Invasion is here! No, not music… microcontrollers! The BBC micro:bit is one of the newest and easiest ways to learn programming and electronics.
Designed specifically for kids and beginners, the micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customize and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life. It’s a small, code-able device that is a non-intimidating introduction to programming and making – switch on, program it to do something fun – wear it, customize it, develop new ideas.
The micro:bit is based off of the nRF51822 microcontroller, which has built in Bluetooth LE radio. There are two programmable buttons that can be used to control games, send a radio message, activate the display, etc. The micro:bit can detect motion (using an accelerometer) and tell you which direction you are heading in (using a magnetometer/compass chip). On the bottom is an expansion port, with 5 alligator-clip friendly pads and additional card-edge contacts for 19 total I/O pins. Each of these sensors, inputs, and outputs, is completely programmable via easy-to-use software that can be accessed from a PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile.
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 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.