Get out your credit/debit card and back this great project on Kickstarter. It's a great way for children to get their hands dirty with physical computing and have a cheap platform that will grow with them.
My good friend Andrew Robinson has recently launched this great hardware / software platform that grows with the user. Starting with a block based language, similar to Scratch / Blockly the user can build wearable projects, add buttons, switches, sensors etc to make their own great projects. When the user is more confident they can switch to Python and continue using the Codebug platform as a basis for more advanced projects. Here are some excerpts from their press release.
Portions of the press release have been reproduced with kind permission of the Codebug team
The programmable wearable that anyone can learn to use. Program CodeBug using easy to use blocks online to create your own badge, game, card, clothes or whatever wacky invention you have in mind!
CodeBug is fun to play with but more than just a toy, it is designed to be easy to learn in minutes and to be used to teach the fundamentals of programming, physical computing and electronics.
- 25 LEDs in a grid
- 2 buttons
- 6 crocodile clippable pads (4 input/output, power and ground)
- Micro USB socket
- Expansion port for I2C, SPI and UART
- Blockly based online programming interface*
- The online platform also hooks into social networks so users can share, edit and remix projects; allowing more people to discover the joy of making and building a community to help each other.
- CodeBug emulator for checking code before downloading
- Online project storage and sharing
- Tethered mode for computer/bug interaction with user programs
- Step‐by‐step walkthrough guides with error checking
So what can I do with it?
New shiny tech is all great, but the biggest question is always
What can I do with it?
Well the team explain
One of the introductory activities creates an attractive fabric owl badge, personalised with a scrolling message. Once users have got to grips creating a simple flashing badge, they can clip additional switches and accessories to CodeBug’s legs to make interactive clothing. They can go on to make CodeBug respond to how the wearer is feeling, their health, lifestyle or environment.
More experienced users can program in Python and other languages or make CodeBug interact with the Internet or online games such as Minecraft. CodeBug has something to enchant, entertain and educate everyone, no matter their level of experience.
So why do I like this project?
- It's cheap
- It's expansive using cheap electronic components
- It's multiplatform (Linux, Windows and Mac)
- It's grows with the user
- It's easy to start using Codebug
I've put my money behind this project and I can't wait to make my first project using Codebug. So follow the link at the top of the page and help to make this great project a reality.