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The Message System

The Message System

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The Microbit Message System

On Saturday 21st April, I ran a Micro:bit workshop called the “Message System” with CoderDojo at Kingston University – It was very hands on & I had lots of support from Ben & Val.

The objective of the project was to build a messaging system. It involved sending a text messages between two Micro:bits. One Micro:bit is used as the sender and the other one as a receiver.  On pressing button A the sender Micro:bit  transmits a code (which included the text message)  via radio to the receiving Micro:bit. This code triggers a servo motor, which in turn moves a cardboard puppet attached to it.  The servo is coded to start at 0 degrees – then go to 90 degrees – then back to 0 degrees – then to 180 degrees & then  back to 0 degrees. This  makes the puppet move from left to right. The moving puppet acts as an alert for the incoming message – and the text message is then scrolled across the LED screen of the receiving Micro:bit.

In preparation for the workshop, I collected bits of cardboard from different places, cut triangular shaped cardboard pieces to be used as stands and wrote the instruction sheet.

The equipment & materials used for this project were as follows:

Electronic materials:

  • Micro:bit x2
  • 1 x Servo Standard Servo, 180 degree rotation 
  • male to male jumper wires

Puppet making materials:

  • Cardboard
  • Paper Fasteners / split pins (13 or more)
  • Hot Glue Gun & blue tac
  • Scissors
  • Pencil, pens, ruler or other straight edge

For the code, the participants had the choice between Java Script Block and MicroPython using Mu. Mu is a simple code editor for beginner programmers. It is written in Python and works on Windows, OSX, Linux and Raspberry Pi. We had 10 participants for this workshop. 6 chose to code with Java script block and 4 with Micro Python on Mu.

 

I was very pleased that everyone was so focused and interested in the workshop! They did not hesitate to ask questions and I was very happy to help out!

I think the workshop went  well and I gained a lot from it. For example, next time, I would take more time at the beginning of the session to explain how the project works to the group (this would gain loads of making / coding time by not having to explain things individually). Also, my instruction sheet  did not tell the attendees that  they should all use a different radio channel – to avoid confusing the Micro:bits.

Overall, I am happy the way it went!

 

Avye

Hi, my name is Avye and I love making, coding, designing, exploring new technology and swimming! This site is about the things I get to experience, discover and enjoy. Welcome to my world!

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