$19.50 BPI:bit ESP32 Board is Inspired by BBC Micro:bit, Compatible with Webduino and Arduino IDE

BBC micro:bit board for education was first unveiled in 2015, before starting to be given away to UK students, and later sold for about $19 in 2016. The board supports Bluetooth connectivity, includes an array of 25 LEDs, as well as a specific 20-pin edge connector also featuring 5 large holes (rings) for 3 I/Os and power.

So far I had not seen any clones or alternative boards inspired from the design, as we see for Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards. But SinoVoIP (Banana Pi) has changed that with their BPI:bit clearly inspired from the Micro:bit, but offering both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity via an ESP32 module.

Hardware specifications:

  • Wireless module – ESP-WROOM-32 module with WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity
  • LEDs – 25x RGB LED array
  • Sensors – 2x light sensors, thermistor, 9-axis accelerometer / gyroscope / compass (MPU-9250)
  • Expansion – 3 digital/analog I/O rings, 3V/GND ring, 20-pin edge connector (same as Micro:bit design)
  • Debugging – USB to UART micro USB port
  • Misc – 2x user buttons, reset button, buzzer
  • Power Supply
    • 3V via power rings (3V/GND)
    • Battery connector
  • Dimensions – 68 x 53mm or 50 x 50mm depending where you look in the docs… (Micro:bit: 50 x 40mm)

SinoVoIP also targets the educational market (STEAM), but based on their previous error-prone documentation for Banana Pi boards (case in point with dimensions above), it might prove to be a challenge, unless a large enough community forms around the platform. They do appear to focus on the Chinese market first (mainline China + Taiwan), so maybe the Chinese version of their document is usually better.

The board supports Webduino (Blocky) to develop programs in a web browser using a visual editor, as well as the Arduino IDE or PlatformIO (See short demo below).

More information can be found in Github with document in English and/or Chinese.

BPI:bit board can be purchased on Aliexpress for $19.50 plus shipping. The latter appears to vary a lot depending on the destination country, as in my case the cheapest option is $19.08 via EMS (total: $38.58), but Time4EE reports shipping is only $7 for him.

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10 Comments
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itchy+n+scratchy
itchy+n+scratchy
2 years ago

Hmmmm is it just me or is this price incredible?

Anonymous Chicken
Anonymous Chicken
2 years ago

incredibly.. bad.

Garoux
Garoux
2 years ago

dunno what would be so incredible about the price. The ESP32-WROOM on it is $3.80 which leaves $15.70 for the rest. If you just happen to need exactly the (rather strange) choice of components provided here, then that’s okay, but personally there’s lots of other boards these days that i find way more interesting from a bang/buck point of view.

banana pi
2 years ago

please check our hardware spec , 25 LED (chip inside),MPU9250….. , not only ESP32 cost.

amazed
amazed
2 years ago

i love it, in for 2

theguyuk
theguyuk
2 years ago

The original BBC Micro Bit is a training aid for children. Not sure which market Sinovoip see this for, unless China wanted their own clone to profit from, rather than buy the original?

Chinaman
Chinaman
2 years ago

No, China businessman always wants to earn money as soon they see a little potential and chance. Nobody in China cares about STEAM or anything else or anyone but they only cares about their own pockets.

lionwang
1 year ago

Not all products are only for money, and we’ve given away a lot of free BPI in China :bit board, supporting STEAM education in China

lionwang
1 year ago

BPI:bit for Webduino Education version (Web:bit)Support offline installation and use
http://forum.banana-pi.org/t/bpi-bit-for-webduino-education-version-web-bit-support-offline-installation-and-use/9089

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