The British Invasion is here! No, not music...microcontrollers! New to the USA is the newest and easiest way to learn programming and electronics - the BBC micro:bit.
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 platform combines the 'bit, a pocket-sized coding device featuring several sensors and LEDs, with an awesome website full of coding examples and projects. Start out with the video tutorials, then check out the ideas page to get creative. From making your own games to taking selfies, the possibilities are endless!
This is an individual micro:bit with no batteries or cables. For the popular micro:bit Go Bundle which includes batteries, battery holder, and USB cable, click here.
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. You can use MakeCode/PXT blocks or micro Python to start your programming adventure. Advanced programmers can graduate to mbed for super-powerful C or C++ programming.
If you’re new to coding and hardware, then the micro:bit is a great place to start. It’s incredibly easy to use and a perfect platform to help you leapfrog onto other microcontrollers and computers such as Circuit Playground, Arduino, Feather, or even Raspberry Pi. If you're looking for a slightly bigger head start, check out the micro:bit Go Bundle, which includes some AAA batteries + holder and a micro USB cable.
For more information, visit http://microbit.org/