The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customise and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life. With 25 red LEDs to light up, simply switch it on, code it, light it up and tell it what you want it to do. Create anything from games, animations and scrolling stories - all you need is imagination and creativity. Other features include a built-in compass, motion detector, BLE and rings to connect sensors, so you can plug the BBC micro:bit into your life.
The BBC micro:bit is a powerful handheld, fully programmable, computer designed by the BBC and a number of partners. It was designed to encourage children to get actively involved in technical activities, like coding and electronics. It features a 5x5 LED Matrix, two integrated push buttons, a compass, Accelerometer, and Bluetooth. These features make it a great introduction to the world of programmable components and the wider internet of things.
Write your code using one of the easy to use editors provided on the micro:bit Foundation website. Then, connect your BBC micro:bit to your computer via USB and press the compile button in the editor. Finally, drop the downloaded file directly onto your BBC microbit and run your program. There are also Apps for Android and iOS devices for coding and for control over Bluetooth, such as our free Move Android App.
Wirelessly connect and interact with the world around you. Use Bluetooth to connect to mobile phones and tablets, take a selfie or drive the music in your playlists. You can also code the microbit to interact with other micro:bit's using the radio blocks in the Microsoft MakeCode Editor. All of this in a device only 5cm wide!
We have seven different BBC microbit buying options available to order. Everything from single boards to Classroom packs, and to a BBC micro:bit bundled with a Kitronik Inventors Kit. To help you get the most from your microbit we have produced an extensive list of learning resources. You can find these resources on our BBC micro:bit - Kitronik University. You can also find lots of great project resources on microbit website.
Most consumer electronics heavily rely on LEDs, as LEDs are a great way of providing instant visual feedback for the user. As useful as adding LEDs to projects can be, adding strings of individually addressable LEDs that can be controlled by a single serial bus is infinitely more so. With traditional LEDs, if you want to alter what they do, you usually have to redesign the entire circuit. With our ZIP LEDs it can be done with a quick code edit.
Kitronik ZIP LEDs are individually addressable RGB LEDs. The name is a nod to the ZIP postal codes used in the US. Each LED can be controlled independently and all LEDs are connected using the same three wire bus. Each LED can produce a full spectrum of colours, independently of other LEDs on the same bus. Our ZIP LED range contains; Arcs, sticks, circles, and of course the ZIP Halo.
ZIP LEDs are based on the WS2812B part. They are often referred to as NeoPixels (which is an Adafruit trademark) and are compatible with Adafruit NeoPixel and other WS2812B driver code. They can be coded for the microbit in both MakeCode Blocks and Python.
The onboard sensors, programmability, and connectivity options (Direct,
Radio) of the microbit make it ideal for your Robotics projects. There are
several other viable options but the microbit, and the
that support it have a much shallower learning curve than any other option.
This all puts robotics projects easily within reach of the novice.
The microbit can be used to control everything from
to sensors and lighting, and much more besides. Create
robot arms, buggies, and all sorts of automated robotic systems. The code them to
be fully autonomous or to be controlled remotely via Bluetooth/Radio. We have recently developed a number of
applications for the microbit and we have much more still in development.
We also have a new robotics category that contains all of our micro:bit
robotics products and also a growing list of supplementary lines. You will
find everything from wheels to motor/servo control boards and buggy chassis
As we developed more robotics products that could be controlled remotely,
having an in-house made Bluetooth App made sense. Thanks to the diversity
of design and development talents we have at Kitronik we were able to do
just that. It offers a standard D-Pad style interface, making it a perfect
way of controlling your microbit powered robots and buggies over Bluetooth.
Almost the instant the first home computers became available to buy, the
gaming industry also sprang into being. Computers and games have gone hand
in hand ever since. If it can run code, process input, and display the
result you can bet that someone has written a game to play on it. So, it's
no surprise that the same is true for the BBC microbit.
At Kitronik we're also partial to some gaming, especially when we have
to code them first! Since the micro:bit was released, we've been coding
games and designing and sourcing products to make gaming more enjoyable.
More recently, we have designed a handheld gaming platform for the micro:bit that
is loaded with cool features, including an onboard 8 x 8 LED display.
we don't just enjoy developing the products, we also enjoy designing and
building cool and functional enclosures for them too. Whenever we do, we
almost always turn them into
and include our designs as free downloads. The same is true for our
:GAME ZIP 64
handheld gaming console. We've spent quite a few enjoyable hours designing,
making, and playing with a number of different designs. Some of which we'll
produce learning resources for.
If you want to get more involved in the making aspect of producing a gaming
solution for the micro:bit, we have plenty of options to choose from. We're
always on the lookout for new additions to our range to help you realise
your own designs.
The main I/O rings can be used as outputs to control
and much more. Also, as inputs to connect external
sensors and switches. The main rings are large enough that young people can easily connect
to them with
Inventors Kit, you will learn how to build circuits to perform useful functions. You
will also learn how to code the microbit to control and process input from
those circuits. When we released the Inventors Kit it shipped with 10 great practical experiments included that introduce you key electronics and coding concepts.
Since release, we've created two new experiments and created online resources
that contain videos
and code examples.
Whilst the main five rings enable you to connect the microbit to external
devices and components using crocodile clips, accessing the rest of the
pins requires something a little more precise than a clip. An
edge connector breakout board
allows you to conveniently access every pin on the BBC micro:bit. Just
slot the microbit into place and you can use either
jumper wires to connect the breakout board to your circuit/breadboard.
Although the microbit has been designed with connectivity in mind, the
amount of current that can be drawn from it is quite limited. In order
to connect the microbit to things like motors, a
motor driver board
is required. This will allow you to drive two motors with full forward
and backwards control. Additions such as Motor Driver Boards and
Servo Driver Boards
expand the possibilities of the microbit's connectivity, paving the way
to such things as Robotics.
As the micro:bit measures less than 5cm x 5cm it lends itself perfectly to any application where discretion is key. E-textiles is one such application where a small microcontroller can allow you create more imaginative wearable electronics. Plus, with the microbit, you also have the 5 x 5 LED matrix and its buttons that you can incorporate into your designs.
We stock an extensive range of sewable electronics and conductive threads. This includes many components exclusive to Kitronik that we have released under our own Electro-Fashion brand. These can allow you to bring your clothing and accessories to life with much more than just LEDs. We also have the E-Textiles Kit for the BBC microbit which contains all the components you need to get started immediately with e-textiles.
Users can code the microbit to fully interact with sewed circuits. You can easily create code that processes changes in light, sound, movement or temperature. You can then convert that to an action within your circuit and/or the microbit LED matrix.
The small size of the microbit lends itself to mobile projects that are
away from the classroom/workshop. Once you leave the safety of indoors,
powering and protecting the microbit become important considerations.
We stock a number of products specifically designed for your mobile projects.
for the BBC micro:bit fits directly to the BBC micro:bit and provides
power via a coin cell battery and sound via a piezoelectric buzzer. All
this fits onto a board the same size as the microbit.
Whenever you leave the classroom/workshop with the microbit the risk of
damage increases significantly. No matter what the project, we have a case
option to keep your microbit safe and sound. The
MI:pro protector case
allows access to the microbit buttons and edge connector and the
2xAAA Battery Cage
can be fixed to the rear of the case. There is also a
mountable version, the
MI:power case, that allows you to fix the microbit to your project. We also have a
case that will protect a microbit that is powered by a
for the BBC micro:bit.
The micro:bit is now a few years old and the list of projects and products that are available for it is continually growing. We are far from the only ones working to produce new and exciting products and projects for the micro:bit. The micro:bit has spread across the world and as such, new things are popping up daily.
We like to check out as many of these new things as we can and sometimes we like things so much that we want to stock them too. Our aim is to make Kitronik a one-stop shop for all things microbit, and with a little help from our friends, we are getting closer and closer.
The microbit has always been for education, and the classroom is it's natural habitat. It was always imagined that the micro:bit would grow much farther past the million given away by the BBC. It was designed to be used by schools to prepare children for the world that they would inherit. A world filled with machinery, artificially intelligent systems, and billions of connected devices, smart and otherwise. The microbit was designed as an answer to the question; 'how do you get young people ready for all of that?'
As great as the micro:bit is, it was always going to need help to meet the needs of an ever changing educational landscape. It would need resources, things to connect to, and assets to assist Teachers as they prepare children take on the world. As one of the original 29 BBC partners, Kitronik has been there every step of the way. We've created 100's of free guides and resources, loads of devices and accessories, and self contained educational kits, as well as detailed lesson plans and schemes of work for teachers. Examples of some of these can be found in the list below.
Who knows educational requirements better than Teachers? That's simple, no one! That's why we've also worked with award winning Teachers to devise complete lesson plans that can be taken straight to the classroom. Written by Teachers and road tested in real classrooms with real students. We have kits and resources designed specifically to help Teachers deliver the Curriculum, across a range of challenging subjects. From Science to Design, we've put together lesson materials that can be taken straight to the classroom.
All of these things ensure that the micro:bit can scale up from primary and all the way through to the end of secondary education. You can create simple programs to display an emoji, more complex physical computing systems, and everything in between. It can be used for teaching electronics, code, science, design and technology and more.