Everything that You Should Know About MicroBit and Its Application

Everything that You Should Know About MicroBit and Its Application

BBC MicroBit is open-source hardware.

It is an ARM-based embedded system designed by the BBC to initially promote Computer Science and programming Education in the UK.

It is the size of a credit card. MicroBit was distributed for free in UK Schools, but programming enthusiasts can find it anywhere.

The BBC MicroBit was built on an ARM Cortex-M0 processor.

It comes with a built-in MagnetoMeter, Accelerometer, and 25 LEDs arranged in a 5 x 5 grid to display numbers and shapes.

The two buttons, A and B, in the program code help provide user input.

The newer version of MicroBit has a Touch sensor which adds to the input facility provided on the board, and a USB port to transfer programs from the PC to its 256 KB of Flash memory. It has 16 KB RAM, but the newer version has flash, and the RAM was increased to 512 KB and 128 KB.

Programming Languages Used for Microbits

The three primary programming languages for the BBC micro bit are JavaScript Blocks, JavaScript, and MicroPython.

But apart from that, programming can also be performed using C and C++.

Microbits has its custom IDEs, and the visual nature of JavaScript blocks makes it an ideal first programming language for younger coders.

The blocks can click together as they look like jigsaw puzzle pieces. It is a wonderful way by which kids can learn the fundamentals of programming.

Python is a prevalent programming language for both education and professional development.

A code written in Python is far more readable to a novice than the same code written in JavaScript.

Technically, the Python available for the BBC MicroBit is a variant of Python explicitly designed to be used with microcontrollers and, more appropriately, called MicroPython. JavaScript is a flexible, lightweight, and cross-platform language.

One can run JavaScript on various computers, from powerful servers to BBC MicroBit.

Applications of BBC Micro Bit

Steps Counter

Steps Counter is a wonderful application. The name itself describes the working of the application. This application will help you keep track of your steps, along with helping you get used to MicroBit programming. You need a BBC MicroBit, a battery, and something to help attach the MicroBit to your body.

The MicroBit’s Accelerometer is the backbone of this project, and you need to monitor the changing value of the accelerometer. Based on the changes, you have to increase the steps. You can also add a few reset steps and use the LED panels to display the count of the steps.

Motorbike Simulator

Imagine converting a random handlebar into a Motor Bike handle and using it to simulate a bike racing game’s movements; doesn’t that sound interesting?

BBC MicroBit can do this, and for that, all you need is a long enough USB cable connected to your personal computer or laptop where the game is installed. Simply fix the MicroBit on the handle.

The main idea is to use an Accelerometer built on the BBC Microbit and a python module called “input”. Simply write the program that would convert the Accelerometer values into Keyboard commands.

The laptop or PC would think it is receiving input from the Keyboard. However, it would receive the information because of the changing value of the accelerometer as the handle moves in a particular way. An if statement will be fulfilling the conversions of keyboard inputs.

Temperature Reader

It is possible to build a temperature reader with the help of BBC MicroBit and a TMP36. The TMP36 is a low voltage, precision centigrade temperature sensor. You need to connect three pins of the TMP 36’s voltage, ground, and Analog output to the I/O pins of the MicroBit with the help of crocodile clips.

The rest is just the coding part. You just need to configure the MicroBit, to read from its input pin. So, accordingly, you just have to code the program and burn it into the flash drive of the BBC Micro Bit. Once done, just display it on the LED panel of the MicroBit, and your Temperature Sensor will be ready.

Combination Lock

It would be awesome to have the customizable combination lock to safeguard your house and valuable stuff. This can be achieved by using a BBC MicroBit. All you need is copper tape and crocodile clips. For the final implementation, you will need a bit of MicroBit programming.

The main function here is to write a program that continuously checks whether the circuit is open or closed. The task remaining is to code the buttons of the MicroBit. You need to take numbers as input on the MicroBit LED panel.

The circuit will open up if the combination of numbers is entered correctly. The Alarm or Buzzer attached to the box goes off. For this, you need a simple If-else loop program.

Conclusion

These are only a few MicroBit projects that can help you learn more about coding and programming through MicroBit. If you find this process fascinating, go and get your MicroBit Telec version today.

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