A wonderful collaboration has begun that I think will usher in a whole new group of young makers. Adafruit, Cartoon Network, and Microsoft MakeCode are joining up to inspire people to make projects based on their favorite cartoons. There are a few really cool aspects all coming together at the same time that make this something that I think will do quite well.
Believe it or not, some companies freak out in a negative way when people make DIY projects based on their intellectual property. There are tabletop gaming studios out there who will literally sue people for publishing projects inspired by their stuff. Cartoon Network is taking the opposite approach here, encouraging people to make things with the characters and places they love. Just look at those lamps above? What’s not to enjoy about some Adventure Time?
Microsoft’s contribution here is MakeCode, which allows for incredibly easy programming. You place blocks in a visual manner that people find incredibly easy to understand, and that is dropped onto the board of your choice. MakeCode allows people to pull off things that would be completely unintelligible to them if they had to look at the code itself, allowing for projects to happen from folks maybe don’t intend to ever even be coders at all. Not everyone needs to be an expert to make some stuff!
For these projects they are using the Adafruit Circuit playground. I’ve been telling people how great these boards are for beginners for a while. They’re really hard to beat as far as ease of use and value goes. A single board has so many features on it that often, you don’t even need to design an additional circuit for your project. Again, this is perfect for people who are more interested in dipping their toes into making something, and less interested in circuit design.
I’m so happy these three have collaborated in this way. I hope to see more of this in the future, it can only be good for the maker community.