After several delays, BBC is now giving free Micro:Bit Bluetooth LE enabled boards to UK students with the goal of getting them interested in coding and electronics in a way that’s even easier and cheaper than using a Raspberry Pi board.
- MCU – Nordic nRF51822 Bluetooth SoC based on Cortex M0 core @ 16MHz with 16KB RAM
- 2x user buttons, 1x reset button
- 25x red user LEDs in a 5×5 matrix
- Connectivity – Bluetooth LE
- Sensors – Compass, magnetometer, accelerometer
- USB – 1x micro USB port for port and programming
- Expansion – 20-pin edge connector, 5x “rings” for 3V, GND, and 3 digital/analog I/Os
- Power – 5V via USB or battery port to connect two AAA batteries
- Dimensions – 4cm x 5cm
There’s currently now way to buy one of those yourself, but if you have kids in the UK, the BBC is giving the board directly to young students, i.e. they don’t belong to the schools, so you might be able to play with it at home. According to BBC News, some people have complained that the board can come to late for teachers to integrate them in the curriculum before the end of the school year, so we’ll have to see how it turns out. Some projects have already been showcased with a school sending a micro:bit at the edge of space.