Kits for Learning MicroPython
This section review several kits for learning MicroPython. Most of them use the RP2040 chip, but there are some that also use the ESP32 when wireless communication is needed.
There are several types of solderless connectors used in these kits. They connect sensors and motors to these kits without the need for soldering. They are ideal for student labs that don't want the fire-hazards associated with soldering or where solderless breadboards and hot-glue is not flexible enough.
These are usually 3 and 4-wire connectors that support analog and digital input and output as well as I2C bus and UART communications. They are typically designed to carry about 1 amp of current.
- Grove Connectors - popular with Seeed and Cyton kits. See the manual here
- Qwiic - SparkFun I2C connector
- Stemma and Stemma QT - Adafruit connectors are built around standard JST PH 2mm spacing connectors.
The following list is not design to be an exhaustive list of all MicroPython development kits available on the market. We focus on value-based kits that will help our students have fun learning computational thinking.
- Basic Kit - Our standard labs use a $4 Raspberry Pi Pico on a $2 solderless breadboard. You will also need some 22-gauge wire or a jumper wire kit.
- Maker Pi RP2040 Kit - this is a $9.90 kit from Cytron that features a single board with many features for small robots. It is an ideal low-cost starter kit.
You can also use the MicroPython "tag" to search all the kits on the SparkFun site:
Here are kits that we have seen but have not yet evaluated:
Waveshare PicoGo Robot
PicoGo Mobile Robot is a $43 robot based on Raspberry Pi Pico.
- SKU: 20380
- Part Number: PicoGo-EN
- Powered by 2x 14500 Li-ion batteries. NOTE! We don't recommend these for classroom use since they are a fire hazard.
- Battery protection circuit: over charge/discharge protection, over current protection, short circuit protection, reverse proof, more stable and safe operating Recharge/Discharge circuit, allows programming/debugging concurrently while recharging
- 5-ch infrared sensor, analog output, combined with PID algorithm, stable line tracking Onboard multiple smart robot sensors like line tracking, obstacle avoidance, no more messy wiring
- 1.14 inch IPS colorful LCD display, 240 x135 pixels, 65K colors
- Integrates Bluetooth module, allows teleoperations like robot movement, RGB LED display color, buzzer, etc. by using mobile phone APP
- N20 micro geared motors, with metal gears, low noise, high accuracy
- Line following sensors
Getting Started Kits
Vilros Getting Started Kit
This kit includes:
- List price is $44.99
- Raspberry Pi Pico with soldered headers
- Includes printed Vilros Get Started with MicroPython on Raspberry Pi Pico booklet
- USB Type-A to micro cable - 1 meter
- 3AA battery pack with micro USB connector
- 30 × Jumper wires
- 12 LEDs: 3x red, 3x blue,3x yellow and 3x green
- 5 Push-button switches
- 10 330 Ω resistors
- Piezoelectric buzzer
- 2 10 kΩ potentiometers
- HC-SR501 PIR sensor
- I2C 1602 character LCD module
- WS2812B LED strip
- Clear hard plastic box for small part storage
- Neoprene case With pocket
- Raspberry Pi Pico pinout guide
The only problem with the parts is the lack of connectors for the potentiometers don't work well directly on the breadboard. You will need to solder wires to use them on the breadboard.