Getting Started with littleBits: Prototyping and Inventing with Modular Electronics

Getting Started with littleBits: Prototyping and Inventing with Modular Electronics

by Ayah Bdeir, Matt Richardson


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littleBits are electronic building blocks with over 60 modules and trillions of combinations. With littleBits, anyone can harness the power of electronics, microcontrollers, and the cloud--regardless of age, gender, technical ability, or educational background. You can combine these simple, snap-together, magnetic bricks to make simple electronic circuits, or build robots and devices that combine sensors, microcontrollers, and cloud connectivity. This book, co-authored by littleBits founder Ayah Bdeir, along with top-selling author Matt Richardson (Getting Started with Raspberry Pi), teaches you just enough electronics to start making things with littleBits and takes you on up through connecting littleBits to the cloud and programming with its Arduino-compatible module.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781457186707
Publisher: Make Community, LLC
Publication date: 05/07/2015
Pages: 194
Sales rank: 1,141,172
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 11 - 17 Years

About the Author

Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an award-winning library of electronics dubbed "LEGOs for the iPad generation." Bdeir is an engineer, interactive artist and one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement. Bdeir's career and education have centered on advancing open source hardware to make education and innovation more accessible to people around the world. She is a co-founder of the Open Hardware Summit, a TED Senior Fellow and an alumna of the MIT Media Lab. Bdeir was named one of Inc. Magazine's 35 Under 35, one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business and one of Popular Mechanics 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream. littleBits was named as one of CNN's top 10 Emerging Startups to watch. Originally from Lebanon and Canada, Ayah lives in New York City.

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and contributing editor to Make: Magazine. He's the owner of Awesome Button Studios, a consultancy focused on blending creativity and technology. After graduating with a Master's from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in 2013, he continued his work there as a resident research fellow. Matt is the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone and Getting Started with Intel Galileo.

Table of Contents

Foreword by the Founder vii

Preface ix

1 IittleBits Basics: Inputs and Outputs 1

The Bits 1

Power (Blue) 3

Output (Green) 9

Input (Pink) 11

Wire (Orange) 17

Other Accessories 21

Project; Night Airplane 28

Project: Coffee Table Ground Effect Lighting 30

A Quick Overview of littleBits Resources 31

2 Control and Logic 33

Inverter 34

Pulse 36

Project: Flashing Sign 38

Latch 41

Timeout 43

Project: Midnight Snack Light 45

Threshold 48

Logic Bits 49

Double AND 50

Double OR 53


NOR 57

XOR 59

Going Further 61

3 Music and Motion 63

Synth Kit 63

Oscillator 64

Random 68

Keyboard 69

Micro Sequencer 72

Sequencer 74

Mix 75

Envelope 76

Filter 77

Delay 78

Project: Synthesizer With the Works 79

MP3 Player 80

New from KORG: MIDI, CV, USB i/o 81

Making Motion 81

Vibration Motor 82

DC Motor 83

Servo 85

Project: RC Car 87

4 Wireless and Cloud Communication 95

Wireless Transmitter and Receiver 95

Project Tutorial: Remote Control Facetime Car 99

Remote Trigger 100

IR Transmitter and AC Switch 101

CloudBit 102

Getting Set Up 103

Cloud Control 108


Project: The Game is On! 114

Project: Thinking Of You 115

Going Further with the cloudBit 117

5 Programraing with the Arduino Bit 119

What is Arduino? 120

Getting Set Up 122

Arduino Sketch Basics 127

PinMode 128

DigitalWrite 129

Delay 130

Arduino Inputs and Outputs 130

DigitalRead 133

AnalogWrite 133

AnalogRead 136

Keyboard and Mouse Control 137

Variable Scope 139

Mouse Functions 140

Project: HelloRun Game Controller 141

Keyboard Emulation 145

While 145

Using the Arduino Bit with Scratch 146

6 Making Your Own Bits 147

Proto Module 149

Creating an Output 151

Creating an Input 153

Perf Module 156

Input and Output 156

What Can You Make? 159

Index 163

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