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Arduino was conceived as an open source microcontroller for artists, designers, and others who aren’t necessarily techie/programmer types. Of course, all sorts of makers have flocked to this technology because of its versatility. But in spite of its relative ease of use, there’s still a barrier to entry for new users. Like kids. For that reason, BirdBrain Technologies‘ Hummingbird looks promising. They call it “pre-Arduino.”

The custom controller is sold as a kit that can be used to operate sensors, motors, and lights (included in the box). BirdBrain designer Tom Lauwers says it’s designed for “students and kids who have never touched electronics or programming before.” The Hummingbird costs $199, a bit steep for a kids’ kit, but there are reportedly plans for a lower priced version.

Here’s the device in action. The cardboard robot looks kinda fun.

Anyone had experience with the Hummingbird?

[via Endgadget]

Stett Holbrook

Stett is a senior editor at MAKE with abiding interest in food and drink, bicycles, woodworking, and environmentally sound human enterprises. He is the father of two young makers.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

Contact Stett with tips and story ideas on:

*Food
*Sustainable/green design
*Science
*Young Makers
*Action sports


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