BBC microbit – A tiny computer with On-Board Sensors

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BBC microbit - A tiny computer with On-Board Sensors - BBC microbit - A tiny computer with On-Board Sensors - BBC microbit - A tiny computer with On-Board Sensors - BBC microbit - A tiny computer with On-Board Sensors

BBC microbit – A tiny computer with On-Board Sensors

What is BBC Micro:bit?

BBC Microbit is a small pocket sized computer holds multiple sensors along with 25 LED Array as a display. It is a BBC’s most ambitious education initiative to inspire digital creativity and programming. You can bring your own digital ideas, art, games and Apps. The BBC Microbit can be programmed in different ways using JavaScript, Block builder, Microsoft’s Touch Develop and MicroPython. All the codes are converted into a HEX file that you can download and flash it to the microbit via a USB Cable. The flashing is lot more easily done with the Android app and don’t even need a cable to flash it. Just pair the microbit using Bluetooth and send the code. That’s it. It works like a charm.

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Microbit has officially launched in India on Tuesday, 19th September at DIDAC. Students and hobbyists who inspired to learn hardware and coding are more interested in it all over the world. As we analyzed some comments from YouTube we can able to understand a lot of students are interested in it and few of them talking about the color of the microbit they received.

Designed for next-generation students:

35 years after launching the BBC micro (Old Version) the microbit is equipped with multiple features and designed to support with current trending IoT boards like Arduino, Raspberry pi, Intel Galeileo boards and more. The BBC micro (Old Version) is cost around £235 for Model A, £335 for Model B as an introductory price which is too costly for students at this price range. Considering this the BBC Microbit is designed with all necessary sensors and provides support for multiple development platforms with extremely low cost and tiny. This helps students easily afford and can easily carry anywhere.

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Microbit is an Open-Source project that will ensure huge community developers to contribute it in many ways.

What can you do with MicroBit?

Microbit powers all the necessary sensors in it that you need. The rest is your creativity. You can make a scrolling display to a gesture control robot. If you are a teacher you can teach students by making some cool projects about magnetic fields, Acceleration, Stopwatch and more. If you are a student or hobbyist you might be interested in making Dice games, Wireless robot and even a simple Iron Man glove. Its possibilities are endless and trigger up your creativity level.

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Onboard Features:

The BBC Microbit has multiple on-board sensors and interfaces. It is powered by 32-bit ARM CPU with 16K RAM.

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Sensors:

  • Accelerometer
  • Compass
  • Photo Diode (It took me a little time to identify where it placed. Actually a few LED in the array act as a photodiode)
  • Two push buttons and a reset button
  • Temperature Sensor

Connectivity:

  • nRF Wireless communication by Nordiac Semiconductors
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • 23 pin edge connector with 5 ring connectors. Which includes Two or Three PWM outputs 17 GPIO pins, Six Analog inputs, Serial I/O, SPI and I2C.
  • USB interface for copying code as well as powering the Microbit
  • External battery connector for power supply

Display:

  • 25 Red LED Array which displays for scrolling texts and animations

 

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Students making micro:bit model rocket car competition in the UK – Source Microsoft News Centre

Microbit is changing the way of learning by empowering young students to learn electronics and programming. Compared to other boards like Arduino and Raspberry Pi it has additional sensors embedded in the board itself. We can expect more extension boards and shields in future that make it portable.

What people are talking about micro:bit?

“In my class room they were so happy and excited to use micro:bit. It is a perfect solution for student learn in an intuitive way” – said Apoorva kumar, Microsoft Hour of code, St. Pauls Secondary school, India. Source – Microbit

As Sinead Rocks, leader of the BBC Learning group said, “just as we happily give paint and paint to children when they are young and inexperienced – the same should be done with technology. The BBC micro: bit is all about young people learning how to express themselves digitally with their own equipment. It’s been our most ambitious educational project for over 30 years and as it is able to connect with everything – from smart phones to potted plants – the micro: bit might be to the Internet-of-things what BBC Micro has been for the British gaming industry .

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