Using Pico:ed V2 board as a replacement for BBC Micro:bit

Pico:ed V2 BBC Micro:bit Alternative

We’ve received a sample of the Pico:ed V2 board developed by ELECFREAKS and will show how to use it as a replacement for the BBC micro:bit in a project using CircuitPython. We’ve already covered the board in detail with specifications, block diagram, and pinout diagram before, and it’s basically a Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040 board with BBC Micro:bit form factor including a 17×7 Dot Matrix LED display, some buttons, a buzzer, but no wireless connectivity, relying only on USB instead. CircuitPython firmware installation on the Pico:ed V2 board The board supports C/C++, MicroPython, and CircuitPython programming languages, and for this review, we’ve decided to download the CircuitPython UF2 firmware. Press and hold the BOOTSEL button after having downloaded the firmware file… … and connect the board to your computer using a USB cable before releasing the BOOSEL button on the Pico:ed V2 board, which should then show up as the […]

Wokwi – An Arduino, Raspberry Pi Pico, and ESP32 board simulator

WOKWI Arduino Raspberry Pi Pico ESP32 simulator

Wokwi is an online simulator for Arduino, Raspberry Pi Pico, and ESP32 boards, or even your own custom microcontroller board designed to learn programming without the actual hardware. My girlfriend’s daughter has just attended a free 5-day online course about AI, IoT, ESP32, MicroPython, and more organized by King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) and IMAKE Innovation, a STEM education company in Thailand. I was told they had some homework for ESP32 as part of the course, so I asked her whether she wanted an ESP32 board. But she said no need. So then I asked how to program the ESP32 without the board, or do they have a simulator? And indeed I was sent the screenshot below along with a blurry video showing the LED display updated as the program runs in the web browser. Considering ESP32 boards are so cheap and external modules or a breadboard are […]

Cytron CM4 Maker Board review – Part 2: NVMe SSD, RTC, Buzzer, Grove modules, ChatGPT…

Cytron CM4 Maker board Review

We’ve already checked out Cytron’s CM4 Maker Board kit with a Raspberry Pi CM4 system-on-module and booted the system with the included 32GB “MAKERDISK” Class 10 microSD card preloaded Raspberry Pi OS in the first part of the review. For the second part of the CM4 Maker review, I’ve mostly used the 128GB NVMe SSD provided by the company and played with other features of the board including the RTC, the buzzer, some Seeed Studio grove modules, and even got help from ChatGPT for one of the Python programs I used. Booting Cytron CM4 Maker Board with the “MAKERDISK” NVMe SSD I connected several Grove modules with GPIO and I2C interfaces, a Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3, an Ethernet cable, two RF dongles for a wireless keyboard and mouse, an HDMI cable to a monitor, and finally inserted the provided 5V/3.5A USB-C power adapter. The MAKERDISK SSD comes with Raspberry […]

M5Stack CM4Stack – A tiny Raspberry Pi CM4 Linux computer with an integrated 2-inch display

CM4Stack mini PC Raspberry Pi CM4

M5Stack CM4Stack is a tiny Arm Linux mini PC based on Raspberry Pi CM4 that measures 59 x 44 x 46mm and integrates a 2-inch touchscreen display for information and control, as well as the usual ports you’d expect from a mini PC such as HDMI, USB 3.2 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and so on. We’ve previously written about M5Stack Core and Atom controllers based on ESP32 microcontrollers, an optional 2.0-inch display, and a few GPIOs. The company has now decided to provide a similar solution with a jump in performance and interfaces with the CM4Stack development kit. CM4Stack specifications: SoM – Raspberry Pi CM4 (CM4104032) with SoC – Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor @ 1.5 GHz System Memory – 4GB RAM Storage – 32GB eMMC flash Wireless module with 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 Integrated display – 2.0-inch LCD with ST7789V2 controller, touchscreen function Video Output – HDMI […]

CM4 Maker Board review – Part 1: specifications, unboxing, and first boot

CM4 Maker Board Review

Cytron CM4 Maker Board is a carrier board for the Raspberry Pi CM4 or CM4 Lite system-on-module with plenty of I/Os, support for one M.2 NVMe SSD, and RTC backup battery, a buzzer, and various LEDs for GPIO status that makes the board especially well suited for the education market and prototyping. The carrier board also comes with the usual Gigabit Ethernet and full-size HDMI port, four USB 2.0 ports, five Grove connectors, one Maker port, the omnipresent 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header, and support power input from 7V-18V DC jack or 5V via a USB Type-C connector. CM4 Maker Board specifications Cytron CM4 Maker Board specifications: Supported SoM – Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 or Compute Module 4 Lite Storage microSD card slot M.2 PCIe 2.0 socket for NVMe 2232/2242 SSD Video Interfaces Full-size HDMI 2.0 port MIPI DSI display connector Camera – MIPI CSI connector connector Audio – […]

Review of micro:bit XGO Robot Kit – An educational robot dog with a Bluetooth joystick

micro:bit XGO robot kit review joystick

ELECFREAKS micro:bit XGO Robot Kit is a robotic dog designed for robotics education. It moves realistically and acts like a real pet dog, and can help teach various technology concepts related to mechanical engineering, electronics, programming, and artificial intelligence (AI). The kit support both the BBC Micro:bit V1 and V2 boards which can be programmed with Microsoft MakeCode, Python, the Arduino IDE, and other languages. The XGO robot is compact and can be easily used on a desk or table. The robot is made of aluminum metal coated with a beautiful anodized finish. Each leg has 12 high-quality digital servos moving each joint, 3 on each side, totaling 12, helping the robot dog to move smoothly and flexibly. The robot can be controlled with apps, a joystick, and up to 19 ready-made postures, such as holding hands, looking for food, sitting down, squatting, etc… Content of the XGO robot kit: […]

FOSSBot open design 3D printed educational robot is made with Raspberry Pi and off-the-shelf parts

DIY open design robot Raspberry Pi SBC

FOSSBot is an “open design” 3D printed educational robot comprised of a Raspberry Pi SBC and various off-the-shelf modules, as well as open-source software that can be used for education purposes. The FOSSBot DIY robot has been developed by the Harokopio University of Athens and the Greek Free and Open Source Software (GFOSS) community, and builds upon the “GSOC 2019 – A DIY robot kit for educators” with the main goal being to have a platform to “familiarize teachers with modern education models based on the S.T.E.A.M approach. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)”. FOSSbot key components: SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi 3, or Raspberry Pi 4. Mechanically and electrically compatible Raspberry Pi alternatives could be an option too although part of the software would have to be modified Storage – 32GB MicroSD card Expansion board – Adafruit Perma-Proto HAT for Pi – No EEPROM to connect sensors […]

XGO 2 – A Raspberry Pi CM4 based robot dog with an arm (Crowdfunding)

XGO 2 robot dog with arm

XGO 2 is a desktop robot dog using the Raspberry Pi CM4 as its brain, the ESP32 as the motor controller for the four legs and an additional robotic arm that allows the quadruped robot to grab objects. An evolution of the XGO mini robot dog with a Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor, the XGO 2 robot offers 12 degrees of freedom and the more powerful Raspberry CM4 model enables faster AI edge computing applications, as well as features such as omnidirectional movement, six-dimensional posture control, posture stability, and multiple motion gaits. The XGO 2 robot dog is offered in two variants – the XGO-Lite 2 and the XGO-Mini 2 – with the following key features and specifications: The company also says the new robot can provide feedback on its own postures thanks to its 6-axis IMU and sensors for the joints reporting the position and electric current. A display […]

EDATEC Raspbnerry Pi Industrial Computers