Five hundred million years of evolution separates humans from the seafloor-scuttling octopus, an invertebrate that stores most of its brain cells in its eight arms. But over the past few years, marine scientists have been discovering some surprising behavior from octopuses: stealing fish from neighboring tanks and fishermen, identifying “nice” and “mean” keepers, and turning off lights by squirting water at overhead bulbs to short out the power supply.
So when Gül Dölen, a Johns Hopkins assistant professor of neuroscience, wanted to test some ideas about how neural circuits govern social behavior, she reached for an octopus—or rather seven of them—from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
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.