Micro:bit v2 Finally Launched in India : New Possible Projects


The micro:bit V1, normally called the micro: bit, was a huge success, which helped many kids, teenagers, and new geeky people learn to program and work with sensors. I like the micro:bit boards that are very compact, easy to use & cheap compared to the sensor and feature it offers.

It became a board used by many schools & universities to teach their students. It helped in bringing interest in programming to the new generation. It also helps understand hardware, sensor & how electronics works.

Why Delayed Launch?

The product launch was delayed. As everyone knows, the product was supposed to launch around November in India. Honestly, after hearing the feature and specs it offered, I was amazed that they fit all the things again in the same form factor, which is astonishing. I was waiting to make videos and articles about the new possibilities of the board, but unfortunately, it got delayed for almost seven months. Now the board has come in June in India.

If you are a parent who wants your kids to get some interest in coding or electronics, this is the way to start with. It has a block coding structure, which a computer can do easily & even a phone. The make code editor is easy to work with. They have made the documentation, videos & setup of the things so easy that even kids around 8-14 years can start with it without hassle.

Coming to the delay point, the main reason for the delay was silicon shortage, which happened due to increasing demand for PC & vehicles due to Corona lockdown worldwide. Even the bitcoin hype and increase in miners worldwide for mining caused the shortage due to the increase in demands for graphic cards. The shortage of silicon thus created a delay.

Possible projects

Sound emotion badge

  • The micro:bit v2 with a built-in speaker can play new expressive sounds. This project plays a happy sound when you press input button A to match the happy icon on the LED display output.
  • It plays a sad sound when you press button B to match the sad face icon.
  • When you press the touch logo, it plays the ‘spring’ sound to match the surprised face on the LED display.

Clap hearts

  • When the microphone detects a loud sound, like a clap, it shows a large heart on the LED display.
  • If it detects a quiet sound, for example, after your clap has finished, it shows a small heart.
  • This effect is to create a simple heart animation that responds to claps or strong beats in music.

Spirit level

  • The micro:bit’s accelerometer can measure tilt angles in two directions: up and down (pitch) and side to side (roll). This project uses this to show when the micro:bit is level on the LED display and making a sound, which could be useful when hanging a picture or making a work surface.
  • A loop keeps the program constantly measuring the micro:bit’s angle.
  • If the accelerometer measures an angle of tilt between +5 and -5 degrees of both pitch and roll, the micro:bit must be reasonably level. It then shows a tick on the LED display output and plays a musical tone.
  • To hear the tone attach headphones or a speaker to pin 0 and GND, or if you have a new micro:bit, you will hear it on the built-in speaker.
  • If either the pitch or the roll is outside the range +5 to -5 degrees, it shows a cross on the LED display and stops the sound.

Sound logger

  • The new micro:bit’s microphone measures sound levels in numbers between 0 and 255, just like the light sensor.
  • A loop constantly compares the current sound level with a variable maxSound storing the loudest sound. If the current sound is louder than the loudest previous sound, it resets maxSound to the new loudest sound value.
  • Inside the loop, an if statement checks if you have pressed button A. If you have, it shows the sound level number on the LED display output. You can use this to monitor how loud it gets in different places over time.
  • Reset the maximum value by pressing the reset button on the back of the micro:bit.

Conclusion

Microbit v2, like the older one, comes with the same form factor and a couple of improvements on it. It is well designed to teach the new generation about sensors and code.