We just uploaded on Youtube video for eduArdu features and how to install and use the Arduino examples from GitHub

eduArdu update

eduArdu

I blogged about eduArdu the EUR 15 educational Arduino based board at the beginning of October, the plan was to have prototypes in 2 weeks which unfortunately didn’t happen, anyway now we have first prototypes built and work on the software support.

eduArdu2

We are preparing Arduino libraries for all features:

  • scrolling text and writing images on the LED8x8 matrix
  • playing single tone and multi tone sounds on the buzzer
  • measuring the temperature with the on-board sensor
  • measuring the light with LDR
  • detecting movements with the PIR sensor
  • reading distance to objects with Ultrasound sensor
  • reading the Joystick status
  • driving servo motors connected to the two  connectors
  • reading audio signals via microphone
  • driving RGB and the red LEDs on board
  • reading resistance on the 6 GPIOs to implement Makey-makey
  • receive IR remote commands and transmit IR codes to control air conditions, TVs etc.

TuxCon is preparing free Arduino day in “Prof. Asen Zlatarov” school in Parvomay on December 15th, where volunteers will teach students how to program in Arduino and make the first steps in programming and electronics.

TuxCon is non for profit organization and does all events free of charge aiming to spark interest in kids for IT technologies. If you want such event to be provided in your school please write in TuxCon facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/tuxcon.mobi/

Scratch gets lot of attention for enabling even very small kids to program with visual blocks. We though it would be good eduArdu to support it and add blocks to Scratch which to allow embedded board programming with Scratch.

I’ve tested Scratch 1 many years ago, it was relatively easy to add hardware board support at that time via Python web server running jango and communicating with Arduino fermata. It’s obsoletenow and in maintenance mode i.e. no bug fixes and developments.

Scratch 2.0 was re-writen in Action script and uses Adobe Flash technology for animation, really bad choice as we did try to use it several times with Linux and never succeed. This version is also in maintenance mode now.

So we moved to test Scratch 3.0 which is re-written in HTML5 and looks great, but unfortunately they closed the extensions for boards and now support officially just Microbit and Lego. Probably this is their way to get some money for their efforts. There are issues open from people who use other boards and wanted to migrate their old projects to 3.0 posted almost year ago without any action, so we really are puzzled after all this popularity they got, this is the best way to shoot themselves in the leg.

Fortunately there are many alternatives to Scratch, like Snap

It’s totally open for adding blocks and has tens of GitHub projects adding blocks for different robot platforms, Arduino, Raspberry pi etc embedded stuff.

So we will add support for eduArdu in Snap too.

eduArdu is new Open Source Hardware educational board targeting kid’s digital education

eduArdu

Few weeks ago we got contacted by Digital Kidz an non for profit foundation which goals are to support digital literacy and innovative education in the schools. They needed hardware board, which to be easy to use and to allow entry level programming with Scratch and Arduino for beginners. They were ready to pay for the development, but we liked the idea and decided to design one such board for free and release it as Open Source Hardware.

The result is here:

eduArdu-explained

The design is based on ATmega32U4 which is easily programmable with Arduino IDE. We named it “eduArdu” as this is educational board programmable with Arduino.

eduArdu has these features:

  • USB connector for programming and power supply
  • red LED matrix 8×8 which allow text and small image animations
  • X-Y Joystick with push button for navigation
  • Microphone for Audio sensing and interactions
  • Speaker for Audio output
  • Light sensor with LDR
  • Digital temperature sensor
  • RGB LED
  • Status LED
  • IR remote control LED and receiver to talk to other boards, TVs, Air conditioners, etc.
  • PIR motion detector up to 6 meter range
  • UltraSound distance measurement sensor
  • Two SERVO motor connectors (to build easily two wheel robot car)
  • LiPo charger so the whole board may work on LiPO power
  • 6 Makey-Makey style buttons
  • UEXT connector for additional modules

eduArdu-front

The board is shaped like Game console. The first prototypes will be ready in 2 weeks.

Target sale price is EUR 15.00