Magicbit is a wire-free, modular STEM education platform (Crowdfunding)

Magicbit ESP32

Magicbit board joins other ESP32 platforms for the STEM education market such as the Crowbits Master Kit or ESP32-based Micro:bit clones with visual programming and Arduino and/or MicroPython support, a mobile app, and training materials such as project tutorials and online courses. Magicbit is designed to be wire-free with the hexagonal board offering four module’s connectors, an OLED display, buttons, a buzzer, and more. You can still use cables if you’d like with six crocodile clip holes and an expansion connector. Magicbit hardware specifications: Wireless module based on ESP32 dual-core processor @ 240 MHz with 520kB RAM and 2.4 GHz WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2/5.x LE connectivity, plus 4MB flash storage Display – OLED display Audio – Buzzer USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming Expansion 4x module expansions Motor driver Misc – Reset button, 2x user buttons, potentiometer, light sensor, LEDs Power Supply – 5V via MicroUSB […]

An ESP32-based BBC Micro:bit clone – Meet Mbits

A few years ago, we noted a BBC Micro:bit clone based on ESP32 WiSoC with Banana Pi ‘s BPI:bit board with an array of 25 RGB LEDs and WiFi & Bluetooth LE connectivity. There’s now another such clone with Elecrow Mbits designed in a way that resembles the BBC Micro:bit v2 board, but replacing the Nordic Semi nRF52833 2.4GHz/BLE SoC with the ESP32 dual-core wireless chip with support for both WiFi and BLE. The specifications between Elecrow Mbits and BBC Micro:bit v2 are close enough, although ESP32 is a more powerful processor, and the MBits board comes with more memory and storage. Power consumption of the BBC Micro:bit v2 should be much better, so if anything needs to run on battery for an extended period of time, it may be a better choice, or you’re gonna need a bigger battery.  The GPIO pinout looks different too, so not all Micro:bit […]

RasPad 3 Review – Part 1: Raspberry Pi 4 “tablet” specs, unboxing and assembly

RasPad tablet kit for Raspberry Pi 3B+ and other SBC’s was introduced in 2018, but Sunfounder has recently introduced an update, RasPad 3 that supports the more powerful Raspberry Pi 4 SBC. After seeing my review of CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 education laptop, the company asked me whether I’d be interested in reviewing Raspad 3 as well. So here we are, and I’ve received a sample of the tablet kit. As usual, I’ll do a two-part review, with unboxing and assembly of the kit. Since I previously missed the RasPad 3 announcement, I’ll start by listing some of the specifications. RasPad 3 specifications Compatible board – Raspberry Pi 4B with Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor, up to 8G RAM Storage – MicroSD card socket Display – 10.1-inch touchscreen IPS display with 1280×800 resolution, 10-point touch Video Output – Full-size HDMI output Audio – 3.5 mm headphone jack, stereo speaker Connectivity […]

MyCobot robotic arm is offered with Raspberry Pi 4 or M5Stack ESP32 modules

Elephant Robotics’ MyCobot robotic arm was introduced last year with M5Stack Atom & Basic ESP32 modules with 6-degrees of freedom, a 250 grams max payload, available now for $599. The company has launched a new $699  version – MyCobot-Pi – with most of the same features, except for an upgrade to Raspberry Pi 4B which offers more performance and flexibility. Both versions of MyCobot arm robotic arm support accessories such as a gripper and a suction pump attachable through a LEGO connector, but while the original version – MyCobot-M5 – relies on Arduino programming, the new MyCobot-Pi runs Debian/Ubuntu and ROS operating systems with image recognition algorithms that can work with a variety of cameras. Since we’ve missed last year’s announcement, we’ll cover both models in this article. MyCobot Robotic Arm Despite the mechanical parts being the same, the specifications for MyCobot-M5 and MyCobot-Pi differ quite a lot: Controller MyCobot-M5 […]

Made in Thailand CorgiDude RISC-V AI board aims to teach machine learning

There’s a relatively small but active maker community in Thailand, and we’ve covered or even reviewed some made in Thailand boards including ESP8266 and ESP32 boards, a 3G Raspberry Pi HAT, and KidBright education platform among others. MakerAsia has developed CorgiDude, a board based on the version of Sipeed M1 RISC-V AI module with built-in WiFi, and part as a kit with a camera and a display used to teach machine learning and artificial intelligence with MicroPython or C/C++ programming. CorgiDude board specifications: AI Wireless Module – Sipeed M1W Module with Kendryte K210  dual-core 64-bit RISC-V RV64IMAFDC CPU @ 400Mhz with FPU, various AI accelerators (KPU, FFT accelerator…),  8MiB on-chip SRAM Espressif ESP8285 single-core 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 SoC plus IPEX antenna connector Storage – MicroSD card slot Camera I/F for 2MP OV2640 sensor up to 1280 × 1024 (SXGA) @ 30 fosm SVGA @ 30 fps, or CIF @ […]

Crowbits Master Kit Review – Part 1: A first look at the ESP32 based education kit

Crowbits STEM education kits comprised of magnetic modules launched on Kickstarter a couple of weeks ago. There are five kits increasing in difficulty with the Hello Kit just requiring the student to connect modules to get started, i.e. no programming required, to the Crowbits Master Kit based on a battery-powered ESP32 module suitable to create your own phone, portable game console, radar tower, etc… Elecrow sent me the latter for evaluation, and in the first part of the review, I’ll unbox the kit, see how modules mechanically fit together, and have a quick look at the user manual, before trying one or two projects from the manual in the second part. This is the second STEAM product from Elecrow that I review, as I reviewed CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 laptop last year. Let’s open the package. We have a total of six modules with two joysticks, an ESP32 module with […]

Crowbits magnetic blocks for STEM Education work with Arduino, Micro:bit, ESP32, and Raspberry Pi (Crowdfunding)

Elecrow develops and manufactures electronics products for the maker market, and in recent years entered the STEM education market with products such as CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 education laptop that I reviewed last year. The laptop integrates plenty of electronics modules, and students can learn Scratch visual programming as well as Python programming with the educational software running on the laptop. The company has now launched Crowbits magnetic electronic blocks for STEM education, and compatible with Arduino, ESP32, Raspberry Pi, and Micro:bit boards. There are over 80 programmable electronic magnetic modules and Lego bricks, with three different sizes ( large, middle, and small modules) of different colors with blue used for power control and logic control, green for output, yellow for input, and orange for advanced programming. Out of the 80+ modules, around 30 can be used without programming at all. Elecrow provides 5 kits to let users learn basic […]

Maker Pi Pico STEM board mini review with CircuitPython

In my early list of third-party Raspberry Pi RP2040 boards, I shortly mentioned Cytron Maker Pi Pico baseboard for Raspberry Pi Pico that exposes all pins via female headers, includes LEDs for all GPIOs pin, six Grove connectors, three user push-buttons, one RGB LED, a piezo buzzer, an audio jack, a MicroSD card, and an ESP-01 socket to add WiFi connectivity. The beta version sold for $5, and at the time I missed that included Raspberry Pi Pico board as well, so basically you got a free baseboard. The Malaysian company has now sent me a review sample to play around with, so let’s have a closer at the hardware and code samples for the board. Maker Pi Pico Unboxing and Specifications I received the board in Cytron package together with a pinout diagram for Raspberry Pi Pico, and we can see the latter is already soldered to Maker Pi […]