littleBits Arduino Module Unveiled

littleBits Arduino Module Unveiled
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The snap-together electronics platform littleBits just became a bit more powerful thanks the new Arduino module, which will be released this weekend at Maker Faire Bay Area. The tiny board sports an ATmega 32U4 chip (like the Arduino Leonardo) and is programmable through the Arduino IDE.

“This is the first time we have a programmable littleBits module,” said Paul Rothman, Director of R&D at littleBits. “It’s something that our community has been asking for for a while and it’s something we’ve been really interested in providing, but wanted to do it in the right way.”

The Arduino module works with the rest of the bits in the littleBits platform and features have been added to help with compatibility. For instance, two of the outputs can be switched between a pulse-width modulation mode and an analog voltage mode. Serial connections are broken out so that multiple modules can communicate together. And there are solder pads, allowing you to access more IO pins, I2C, or ICSP if you’re an advanced maker.

“The partnership with littleBits is exciting and moreover logical,” said Massimo Banzi, Arduino’s co-founder and CEO. “We work together in the same direction, to make electronics easier for everyone, artists, designers, makers, students and other do-­it-­yourself enthusiasts.”

The new module will be available online and at Maker Faire for $36. A bundle containing 9 modules, including battery and power ­will also be sold for $89 so that new users have everything they need to get started right away.

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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