Dev Kit Weekly: CodeBug

December 23, 2022




Rome wasn’t built in a day — and neither are professional (or just experienced) programmers. Whether you’re 14 or 40, coding and programming can be a hobby, a useful skill to add to your resume, or something more. But you have to start somewhere, right? That somewhere could be this little CodeBugTM.

This tiny board is a super versatile programmable (and even wearable) device designed to provide an introduction to basic coding and programming. To help with all the wondrous possibilities, the CodeBugTM includes a Microchip PIC18F high-performance microcontroller, which features a C compiler-optimized RISC architecture and operates at 64MHz. The device can additionally be connected to a Raspberry Pi GPIO to further expand its capabilities.

To that end, when used in tandem with a Raspberry Pi GPIO, the CodeBugTM can be controlled and programmed using Python3. The device is outfitted with CodeBug Connect, an IDE and USB disk drive 1 MB of onboard storage space and enabled by Wi-Fi connectivity that allows developers to connect the device directly to a web browser for seamless file transferring and editing. CodeBug Connect documentation also includes other resources to help you get started such as sample code and guides on how to create your first program using remote deployment and instructions.

The 39mm x 47mm x 1.7mm CodeBugTM includes a Micro USB connector that can be used for serial programming, to tether the kit as a tablet or computer controller, and a 5V power source, though there’s also a slot on the back of the board for an optional 3V CR2032 coin battery. On the front of the device is a five-by-five LED grid that can serve almost limitless functions depending on how the CodeBugTM is programmed.

The CodeBugTM website is another source of resources and example projects, where there are courses like how create emotion displays and simple animations using the lights, plus a range of other activity modules targeting different skill levels such as conductivity experiments, debugging demos, motion sensing projects, and imaging with the Raspberry Pi camera.

Each activity module comes with a list of required materials, tutorials for setting up your hardware and writing your program, and additional steps you can take to further enhance your project. You can also explore popular projects from other users when you’re ready to branch out even more.

With the holidays right around the corner, CodeBugTM is a great gift for anyone interested in learning general-purpose programming. If you or someone you know could benefit from one of these, you can purchase one from Digi-Key for just $19.54. Of course, there’s also the option of entering this week’s raffle to win this CodeBugTM here for free — we’ll even ship it right to your door free of charge if you win.

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