The BBC Microbic is a small ARM based, user friendly, micro controller targeted towards computer education in the UK. It has been developed by the partnership of a long list of organisations including Microsoft, Element14, Nordic, NXP and many more. (Click here for the wikipedia link)
The intended audience is school children and there are four official ways to write programs for the BBC Micro Bit. They are.
- Microsoft Block Editor, based on Blockly;
- Microsoft TouchDevelop;
In addition to these, it is possible to really go deep with mBed at mbed.org for access to the underlying runtime and system code. For the most part, the TouchDevelop Editor from Microsoft is a good balance between programming language and user friendly IDE.
Element14 was kind enough to provide me with one of these boards and I though I would do something with the board beyond the blinking LED. So the simplest mechanical project I could think of was a simple line follower robot. The objective is to have a machine follow a line- thats it! In part one, I start with introducing the BBC Micro bit and then making a small circuit that can be used to detect a black line on a white flat sheet. This is accomplished using some IR LEDs and photodiodes.
We go on ahead and write a small piece of code to read the sensors and then display the movement direction on the matrix display. Here is the video for a more in detail lesson.
In part two, I will be adding the actual robot to the line follower and concluding it with a test run.
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Thanks and happy hacking.