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CircuitPython-compatible & Bluetooth-enabled STEM Electronics Kits --- ScoutMakes

by: Nov 12,2020 1962 Views 0 Comments Posted in Activities

ScoutMakes CircuitPython Bluetooth STEM Electronics Kits radio robot

ScoutMakes is an open source, circuitPython-compatible and bluetooth-enabled STEM electronics kits. The whole kits are all certified open hardware and all source files are available on GitHub

The ScoutMakes FM Radio Kit and the ScoutMakes Robot Kit are provided. And each kit comes with all necessary mechanical hardware.

ScoutMakes Bluetooth Fun Kits

ScoutMakes Azul

At the heart of these kits is our ScoutMakes Azul board, which is an open source development platform that allows you to add Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capabilities to any project. Featuring the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 (nRF52840) processor from Nordic Semiconductors, it conforms to the AdaFruit Feather form factor, runs CircuitPython or Arduino, provides native support for USB Type-C, and includes a built-in 128 × 32 pixel OLED display.

Pre-programmed with a UF2 bootloader, the Azul board that arrives with your kit will be ready to run your code right out of the box! To test your code—or the sample code we provide—simply pair your ScoutMakes Azul board with AdaFruit’s Bluefruit application, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. Bluefruit includes a color picker, an eight-button controller, and the ability to pass along sensor measurements (including quaternion, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and GPS data). It uses BLE to transmit instructions from your mobile device to the Azul board’s nRF52, which is then responsible for interpreting those instructions, whether you’re cranking up the volume on your radio, sending your robot careening across the room, or issuing commands to a creation of your very own.

Azul Features & Specifications

  • Powered by an ARM Cortex M4F (with hardware floating point acceleration) running at 64 MHz
  • 1 MB flash and 256 KB SRAM
  • Native open source USB stack, pre-programmed with UF2 bootloader
  • BLE-compatible 2.4 GHz radio
  • Up to +8 dBm output power
  • Built-in 128 x 32 pixel OLED display
  • NeoPixel LED
  • USB type-C connector
  • Built-in battery charger and 100 mAh LiPo battery
  • 1.7 to 3.3 V operation with internal linear and DC/DC voltage regulators
  • 21 GPIO, six 12-bit ADC pins, and up to 12 PWM outputs (three PWM modules with four outputs each)
  • A red LED for general-purpose blinking (pin #3) and a NeoPixel for multi-color visual feedback
  • A power switch
  • A reset button
  • Four mounting holes
  • Works out of the box with FeatherWing add-on boards

ScoutMakes FM Radio Kit

To make our FM Radio Kit as accessible and easy-to-use as possible, the RDA5807M chip has been chosen, which is a broadcast FM stereo tuner with a fully integrated synthesizer and a powerful low-IF digital audio processor—and we baked it into a PCB that complies with the Adafruit Feather standard. The chip is programmable by way of a CircuitPython library.

The ScoutMakes FM Radio Kit can also receive and process Radio Data Service (RDS) content. RDS is a communications protocol for embedding small amounts of digital data within conventional FM radio broadcasts. Examples include the time, the station identification, and programming information. (If you have a modern car stereo, you’ve probably seen RDS used to display the name of the song that is playing.)

FM Radio Kit Features & Specifications

  • RDA5807M single-chip FM receiver
  • Controllable over BLE using an iOS or Android app
  • Powered by the LiPo battery in the Azul board
  • High-quality stereo audio output
  • Built-in volume and bass control
  • Received signal strength indicator (RSSI) information
  • Station scanning and presets are supported in code
  • Radio Data Service (RDS) information available for display
  • Adafruit CircuitPython library
  • SparkFun Qwiic connector for easy, solderless attachment of other I2C devices
  • User-assignable push-buttons for control
  • 3.5 mm audio jack

ScoutMakes Robot Kit

With the ScoutMakes Robot kit, you will create a simple, wheeled robot while developing a familiarity with concepts like mechanical assembly and motor control. This kit also includes a piezoelectric buzzer and NeoPixels that allow your robot to play sounds and glow while it’s moving around.

And, thanks to the included Azul board, you’ll be able to send instructions to your robot, over BLE, from an app on your iOS or Android device. To control it, you can simply tilt your device in the direction of travel.

Robot Kit Features & Specifications

  • Quick and easy assembly (includes an assembly guide and all necessary mechanical hardware)
  • Controllable over BLE using an iOS or Android app
  • A piezoelectric speaker allows your robot to make sounds
  • Powered by the LiPo battery in the Azul board
  • Four NeoPixels on the robot board provide illumination
  • Modify the source files for the robot chassis and 3D print your own designs
  • Quality, N20 motors with metal gear boxes and rubber tires

The ScoutMakes STEM Education Kits is designed by TinkeringTech, and it is currently in the crowdfunding stage in CrowdSupply. Go to support it if you are interested in it!

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