Our new range of compact control boards for the BBC micro:bit sees us take our most popular boards and improve on them. We pulled our motor driver board, 16 servo control board, and our all in one robotics board back into the lab for a rework.
All three boards have proved to be hugely popular and have helped people create everything from buggies to robots and more. As good as they are, we knew we could add value to them.
The Boards Are:
- Compact Robotics Board for BBC micro:bit
- Compact 16 Servo Driver Board for the BBC micro:bit
- Compact Motor Driver Board for the BBC micro:bit
Let's find out what we changed and why.
New Compact Control Boards For micro:bit:
The title of this post gives up the game a little as it reveals at least one of our design aims. We wanted the redesign to deliver the following things;
- A reduction in physical size.
- Improved user experience with additional useability features.
- Full backwards compatibility especially when coding.
- A cost-saving for the user.
I don't want to say that we nailed it, but we nailed it. Let's take a look at the four design aims in a little more detail to see if it was a worthwhile venture.
The Devil Is In The Details:
Reduction in physical size - That it's smaller means you can make your project smaller and save on construction materials. Despite the discreet sizes, the boards retain all of the original features and connectivity.
Additional features - Each of three boards now come with an on/off switch and a power status LED. You can now tell at a glance if the board is powered up. You can also turn the board off, saving the batteries and also saving the time it would take to remove all of the batteries. I can see this being a huge boon in the classroom.
Full backwards compatibility - We decided we wanted to re-invent the cart rather than the wheel. We wanted the user to be able to switch seamlessly from old to new. No learning curves and no need to rewrite old code. You connect to them in the same way, use them in the same way, and our original MakeCode blocks can be used in the same way.
Cost-saving - Despite the extra features, we were able to produce the board for less. This was largely due to the reduced footprint of the actual boards. What is really exciting is that we were able to pass this saving onto our customers. With a saving of £'s per board, how much farther will your budget stretch this year?
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