CircuitPython Slithers Into 100th Board the OHS 2020 Badge
CircuitPython reached a major milestone last week as it welcomed its 100th board into the fold: the wristwatch form factored badge designed for the 10th annual Open Source Hardware Summit, which takes place March 13th in New York City. Although CircuitPython an open source derivative of MicroPython was born at Adafruit, more than half of the boards on this list were produced outside of the company. That just goes to show the strength of the community in support of the snake.
The OSHW 2020 badge joins a litany of familiar boards happy to drop you into a Python interpreter. Among them theres the Adafruit Feather ecosystem, the ItsyBitsy, specialized boards like the Edge Badge that was in some goodie bags at Supercon, and the CircuitPlayground that Swiss army knife of sensors which now comes in a Bluetooth version. The first 100 boards were rounded out in strong fashion with [Joey Castillo]s OpenBook e-reader and the Teensy 4.0.
Watch the Future of OSHW Begin
The board is based on the Nordic nRF52840 inside the Rigado BMD340 module. It has a ton of features including environmental sensors, a gesture sensor, and a 9-DoF IMU. To give you some scale, thats a 1.54 LCD on the front. Theres also a built-in LiPo charger and a Sparkfun QWIIC connector for easily interfacing other sensors, relays, etc over IC.
According to the IO page, contributors and comments are still welcome for this project, as the board is still in development. Unfortunately for many of us, the badge wont be for sale, but everyone who attends OSHW Summit 2020 will be handed one of these beauties. On the other hand, the open source nature of the project means if you really want one, you can assemble your own.
CircuitPythons Impact on Microcontroller Projects
The ease of CircuitPython makes it a good platform for beginners of all ages. Games are always a fun way to learn anything, and if youre new to CircuitPython, [dehipu]s PewPew Standalone puts a learning environment for game programming in your pocket. From the Shut Up and Take My Money department, CircuitPython lead Scott Shawcroft is working on a Game Boy-compatible cartridge for CircuitPython. Scott gave a talk at the 2019 Supercon 2019 about this very subject, which well be featuring in the coming weeks.
CircuitPython is a fork of MicroPython, which is built on C. CircuitPython works by parsing Python into byte code, which makes it powerful at both ends empowering to the programmer, who doesnt have to learn C, while taking advantage of Cs processing power. It also means you can move from one chip architecture to the next without having to relearn all the underpinnings of each specific system.
Theres a little something for everyone, so if CircuitPython hasnt snaked its way to your bench just yet, check out the list of officially-supported boards.