After Raspberry Pi, the very famous board created for educational purposes in the United Kingdom, but which was then also used in many other areas, the time has come for the introduction of BBC micro:bit.he BBC, the company that has always been in the forefront of education and learning, has invested in this project, thus introducing itself into this new world of IoT and embedded electronics.In this article we will know in detail this small card, its features and some applications.
The BBC micro:bit board was designed and implemented in the UK in 2016 as an educational platform for kids. Born from the collaboration between the BBC and 29 other companies, today it is considered as the most ambitious and innovative project of the BBC, a company which is always in the forefront in the field of education and learning.
This board is available in a different colors. Its dimensions are really small (4×5 cm) but it is certainly not to be underestimated.In fact, many integrated modules and sensors are integrated within it, including:
- LED matrix
- 2 buttons
- USB port
A 5×5 LED matrix has been installed on the back side of the BBC micro:bit board. Using this feature you can display display scrolling messages, create games and combinations of light.Also there are two programmable buttons to manage the event of their pressure.
Instead on the upper side of the board are integrated several sensors, including an accelerometer that combined with the compass sensor, allow you to detect any type of movement of the card in space.
You can also see a USB port, a power connector and a reset button.
As for the pinout, this board has five hole on the circuit as connections, corresponding to as many input and output (I / O) ports and among them many other pins.
Finally, the most important technology for this card is Bluetooth Smart Technology, which allows it to connect to all devices that implement this technology, such as smart phones, tablets, PCs, televisions, DVD players and other home appliances.
Programmable in a few seconds
The BBC micro:bit board is born for educational purposes and therefore it is designed to be easy to use and to make learning faster and more fun.
So its programming must also be made in order to satisfy all the needs at all levels.So there are different programming systems depending on the levels (and certainly on the age) of the user.Therefore, various development environments have been developed in this regard:
- Microsoft MakeCode
- Arduino IDE
At a higher level there is MicroPython, another IDE that uses Python as language for programming the BBC micro: bit board.
The latest development environment is Arduino IDE. This environment is not officially supported by the BBC, but Adafruit has developed several tutorials showing how to use it, install it and connect it, along with a long series of ready-made sample sketches. For this programming, however, it is necessary to use the NRF5x board. All information on this can be found on the Adafruit website ( see here).
In this article you have seen a quick overview on the BBC micro:bit board proposed by the BBC. It is still at the first approach, since it was only released last year in the United Kingdom and it will be available for the italian market maybe the next week of this month (December 2017). We will see in the following year if it will be successful and taken on the public.