Categories: News

BBC Micro Bit Opens Preorders to the Public

If you’re one of the million lucky year 7 students, you’ll already be very familiar with the BBC Micro Bit, but for the rest of us, the tiny computer has so far remained out of reach and restricted to educational purposes. While there are many other tiny computers out there for hobbyists – such as the vast array of Arduino units available – the Micro Bit may just be able to outshine them in the sheer amount of functionality and systems that the BBC have managed to cram onto a single circuit board which will soon be available to the public.

Back in March, the Micro Bit found its way into the hands of one million year 7 students across the country, developed and distributed with the goal of popularising STEM subjects and coding by letting them put their creativity to work with a tiny computer of their very own. A number of impressive projects were created with these computers, from racing cars to motion-based music composing, with one school even sending a Micro Bit into the stratosphere. All of this was made possible by the array of functions the Micro Bit is capable of, with each board carrying a number of LEDs, an accelerometer, compass, and a pair of buttons. It is incredibly easy to use, with the board programmed through a website, with code then uploaded to the Micro Bit using a Micro USB cable or even, impressively, over Bluetooth from a smartphone.

Now these impressive little computers are available for pre-order by the public, after finally catching up with the demand from schools for the devices. Each Micro Bit will come in at around £13, with some retailers offering packs that include not just the Micro Bit itself but a USB cable, two AAA batteries and a quick-start guide as well. Exactly how they will stack up to the existing Raspberry Pi Zero and Arduino systems at the cheap end of the spectrum remains to be seen, with pre-orders currently expected to be delivered by as soon as July and should allow more than just a small batch of schoolchildren learn about the joys of programming and electronics. More information about pre-ordering a Micro Bit can be found on manufacturer Element 14’s website.

Alexander Neil

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