Welcome to the Hardware Track for #InventAnything. Today we will dig into the Hardware Development Kit , and work together to build your very first bit and get you familiar with bitLab.
Getting Started with Hardware
Welcome to the Hardware Track for #InventAnything. If you’re looking to dig in to your Hardware Development Kit, you’ve come to the right place. We know that digging in to a new hardware project can be a bit intimidating, so here are a few friendly resources to get you on your way.
Meet your new friend, the Proto module.
The proto module is what littleBits engineers use to build and prototype new modules. Hack into existing modules or invent a brand new one by connecting to printed circuit boards or solderless breadboards. With the proto module, you have direct access to power, ground and signal lines needed to take measurements and connect to other instruments.
Watch the video below for some ideas on how to get started with the proto module.
Getting Started littleBits Proto Module
HDK Tips and Tricks. Step-by-step instructions on using the Proto module, the Perf board and bitSnaps. Fashion input & output modules, best practices for using breadboards and measuring the draw of your circuit.
What is your favorite bit made of?
- Take your favorite littleBit (@chloeatplay’s is the wire, @vanessa’s is random) and re-create it using materials from your Hardware Development Kit: your nifty Proto bit, breadboard and bitSnaps.
- Shoot a short video walking us through:
- which steps you took
- what surprised you
- your finished product
- Post your project-in-process below!
The bitLab™ is putting the power of making electronics in the hands of everyone. If you have an idea you can submit a module. If you see a module you like, you can vote for it.
Ideas, Inspiration and Support
The touch sensor is a powerful capacitive proximity sensor that sends a signal to the attached Bits as you physically approach it. The closer you get, the higher the voltage it sends out. Use an alligator lead with one end attached to the gold electrode on the touch sensor, then connect the other end to something conductive like tin foil, conductive foam, or even paint a square of Electric Paint. Once turned on, the touch sensor will automatically calibrate the material to create a custom capacitive sensor off of the module. Fine tune your proximity range using the included screwdriver and use it to detect a cookie thief with the Buzzer or have hands-free control of the Oscillator from the Synth Kit to drive some sweet audio!
This module is a 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. There is a 2 position slide switch to change between modes. For now, the design has “slope mode” and “tap mode” which are both shown in the YouTube video. I plan on implementing a “revolve” mode and “E=mgh” mode as well.
The Oscilloscope Module (or ScopeBit) is a small output module that displays the waveform of the signal going through it. It is based on the popular Xprotolab oscilloscope: http://www.gabotronics.com/development-boards/xmega-xprotolab.htm
The Oscilloscope Module is a one-channel oscilloscope with an input range of 0 to 5V and a maximum sampling rate of 2 Mega Samples / second.
Adafruit’s Tasty Hardware for bit’Spiration
Your Fellow bitsters
Maddy Maxey and Mari Kussman, The Crated
Maddy Maxey and Mari Kussman of The Crated love a good excuse to play with technology. They focus on developing wearable tech and enhanced apparel at The Crated, a New York-based product design studio.
They made the Tilt bit which we love!
Make bits react to color! Put red candy in YOUR bowl. Make sweet synth-tastic sounds with COLOR. Yeah, you can do that without any programming. The color sensor works great with crayons AND craft paint, plus a whole bunch of other stuff you already have around the house. Jack and I both make paintings, and this color sensor the result of a mash-up of our interests in color and technology.
Share your Project
Post photos or video of your bit-in-progress below. Make sure in your upload, you model a “reflective design process” and include:
- The specific bits you used in the project
- Reflect on what did you do 1st, 2nd and 3rd
- List the resources you consulted to help others in the future
Remember this is a community who loves sharing work in progress Don’t be shy to share your piece even if it is not finished yet and ask in the Project Buzz category in the forum for help.