micro:bit and Calliope: quality in pocket format
The mini modules from micro:bit and Calliope are made for you if you are looking for extra compact and easy-to-use microcontrollers for your project. The Calliope mini 2.0 is so easy to handle that it is often used as a teaching tool in schools - under adult supervision, of course. Previous knowledge is not necessary; programming skills are learned in a playful way. Simple projects such as a self-programmed blinking LED or self-propelled robots can be realised in no time. All that is needed is a connected computer and a few codes - and the Calliope immediately shows what it can do. The microcontroller is equipped with two programmable buttons, a position sensor with motion sensor and a compass. A radio module is used for communication with other Calliope modules. Programming is done with the help of various free editors such as Open Roberta Lab.
What is a Calliope?
Calliope is a single-board computer platform developed by Calliope Mini GmbH. It is a small, portable device that can be used by students and teachers to introduce them to programming and electronics. The Calliope Mini has a microcontroller, several sensors and actuators, a screen, and a keyboard. With it, students can learn how to write programs and control electronic devices.
A pleasant advantage of the Calliope mini 2.0 over its predecessor, the Calliope 1.3 mini-icon: the new model comes with flash memory. As a result, you can store up to 25 programmes on the board at the same time and select them at any time - even offline. Meanwhile, you get practical accessories with the Full Starter Set, which was put together especially for the Calliope Mini 2.0. This includes a battery holder with high-quality batteries, a USB cable, a housing, two pin headers and a booklet for various applications.
What is Micro:bit?
Micro:bit is also a single-board computer platform developed for use in educational institutions. It was developed by the BBC in collaboration with various partners and is capable of a wide range of interactive projects. The micro:bit has a microcontroller, several sensors and actuators, a screen and a keyboard. It is often used to teach students programming and introduce them to the world of electronics.
With the micro:bit, you can easily put your tech projects into action and even programme apps and games - let your creativity run wild! The micro:bit is equipped with multiple inputs, two buttons, an accelerometer and a magnetometer - and all these features can be programmed individually! You can also connect it to your Raspberry Pi or Arduino.
About the individual features: The 5x5 LED matrix with its 25 red LEDs is there to display animated patterns, alphanumeric symbols or text messages. After appropriate programming, the buttons can also be used to control the music on your smartphone or as controllers for gaming sessions. The smart device is even capable of reading values from sensors and controlling robots or motors in this way. Also useful for working with the micro:bit is the Bluetooth Smart technology. With this, you can connect your mini controller with other micro:bits, but also with your smartphone, tablet or camera.
What is the difference between Calliope and micro:bit?
The main difference between Calliope and micro:bit is the way they were developed and the companies that support them. The Calliope Mini was developed by Calliope Mini GmbH and the micro:bit was developed by the BBC in collaboration with various partners. However, both platforms are intended for use in educational settings and offer similar features and opportunities for learning programming and electronics.
What can I use Calliope and micro:bit for?
Calliope and micro:bit are single-board computer platforms designed for use in educational institutions. They are capable of a wide range of interactive projects and are therefore ideal for teaching students programming and introducing them to the world of electronics.
With Calliope and micro:bit, pupils can learn how to write programs and control electronic devices. For example, they can learn how to use sensors and actuators to collect and process information, how to use the device's screen to display information, and how to use the keyboard to receive input from users.
Calliope and micro:bit are also suitable for creating games, controlling electronic devices, creating musical instruments or collecting environmental data, for example. They are also suitable for use in schools and other educational institutions and offer an easy way to teach students programming and deepen their knowledge of electronics and computer science.
What do I need to consider when buying?
If you want to buy a Calliope or micro:bit, there are a few things to look out for:
1. The operating system:
Calliope and micro:bit use different operating systems. Make sure that the operating system you choose is suitable for the projects you want to create.
2. The available sensors and actuators:
Calliope and micro:bit have different sensors and actuators. Again, you need to select the device that has the sensors and actuators you need for your projects.
3. Compatibility with other devices and software:
Make sure that the device you have selected is compatible with other devices and software you want to use.
It is important to think about what you need from the device and what features it should have. This way you can make sure that you have bought the right device for your needs.
Our tip: In addition to a micro:bit, the low-cost micro:bit Starter Kit also includes a manual for getting started and for developing your first projects. To ensure that you are equipped with the essentials for the beginning, we recommend additional accessories such as a battery holder with two high-quality AAA batteries and a USB cable to connect the micro:bit to your computer. Practical: You can also find all this in a set that is available under the product name micro:bit go.