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The Spark

Igniting the imagination through cooperative learning

Electronics, Programming, & Prototyping

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

Electronics, Programming and Prototyping

Are you interested in programming and electronics development? Did you know in electronics prototyping is the development of a circuit to a theoretical design for testing and verification of functionality. Prototyping is widely used for concept validation or one may say it is akin to experiment and analysis steps of the scientific method.

The Spark has a collection of resources to explore electronic and software prototyping. From learning basic programming languages to designing circuit boards, soldering, and programming microcontrollers, the collection has a number of options for beginners to more advanced prototyping enthusiasts. Whether you are a future engineer or teacher, a beginner or an expert, we've got tools for you. At the Spark you can explore a wide range of ideas from building a robot, designing a circut board, building a new VR world, the ideas and possibilities continue to evolve and grow here at the Spark, all you need is a desire to explore and learn.

 

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

Arduino

Learn first-hand how to use Arduino, a tool that can transform the average desktop computer into a device that can interact with the physical world in a whole new way. Explore this cutting-edge technology with us and expand your software-writing horizons.

Arduino Esplora

Arduino Esplora

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: Game controller-shaped microcontroller board derived from the Arduino Leonardo. It has a number of built-in, ready-to-use sensors already on the board, for easy interaction. It's designed for people who want to get up and running with Arduino without having to learn about the electronics wiring first.
  • Info: Overview / Specifications |  Getting Started Guide

Included

  • Outputs: Onboard sound and light outputs
  • Input Sensors: Joystick, a slider, a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, a microphone, and a light sensor.
  • Connectors: Two Tinkerkit input and output connectors, and a socket for a color TFT LCD screen

Circulation Information

Arduino Mega 2560

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: The Mega 2560 is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega2560. It has 54 digital input/output pins (of which 15 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with an AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. The Mega 2560 board is compatible with most shields designed for the Uno and the former boards Duemilanove or Diecimila.​

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Arduino Uno boards (Multiple Copies)

Arduino Uno boards

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: Microcontroller board based on the ATmega328P (datasheet). It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz quartz crystal, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.
  • Info: Specifications 

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Arduino Starter Pack

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: This bundle is designed to get you started quickly and easily on your path of learning electronics. It's designed for everyone, even people with little or no electronics and programming experience. The starter pack has everything you need (except tools) to begin your Arduino journey!

Included

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Shields

Sensors

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

FPGA

A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit (IC) that can be programmed in the field after manufacture. FPGAs are similar in principle to but have vastly wider potential application than, programmable read-only memory (PROM) chips.

 

BASYS 3

BASYS 3

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: The Basys 3 is an entry-level FPGA development board designed exclusively for Vivado Design Suite, featuring Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA architecture. Basys 3 is the newest addition to the popular Basys line of FPGA development boards and is ideally suited for students or beginners just getting started with FPGA technology.
  • Info: Overview / Specifications

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The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

LittleBits

LittleBits are tiny electronics modules that are great for prototyping, K-12 pedagogy, art projects, music, and simple robotics. Simply snap together a color coded power module to an input source and  connect to one or more output modules. Your creations can be controlled manually, send wireless signals, and even hook into an Arduino controller, Korg synthesizer, or internet-based services via WiFi. Go a step further and pair them with creations from our replication services. Kits can be loaned for up to 7 days.

We strongly suggest you check out the LittleBits Lessons and Educator Resources for project ideas.

*All images and module information cards reprinted by permission, copyright 2016 by litteBits Electronics Inc.

LittleBits Pro Library (4 kits)

LittleBits Pro Library kit

Specifications and Info.

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Catalog Record: Check Availability / Place a Hold
  • Fines Rate: $10 per day late
  • Note: We've split the Pro-Library into 4 distinct kits to allow multiple concurrent loans. Each kit comes with at least one of each of the pro-library's input, logic, and output circuits, as well as several wires, boards, etc. If you need to use more than one module you will have to borrow multiple kits.
  • Inventory of Items: Please ensure that you make a complete inventory of items before checking in the Pro-Library kit.  Loss of components will lead to fines/fees and will limit the abilities of other library patrons wanting to use the tool. 

LittleBits Gizmos and Gadgets (2 kits)

Gizmo/Gadgets kit

Specifications and Info.

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Catalog Record: Check Availability / Place a Hold
  • Fines Rate: $10 per day late 
  • Note: The Gizmos & Gadgets Kit is a smaller kit with fewer components than the Pro-Library. Suitable for introductory projects in STEM-related fields.
  • Inventory of Items: Please ensure that you make a complete inventory of items before checking in the kit.  Loss of components will lead to fines/fees and will limit the abilities of other library patrons wanting to use the tool. 

All images and module information cards reprinted by permission, copyright 2016 by litteBits Electronics Inc.

LittleBit Modules

Blue Bits are power modules and are the first step to building a little bits project

Pink Bits are input modules and act as the buttons, switches, and sensors for outside stimulus. Some are simple on/off, other respond/adjust to levels. Inputs can respond to light, physical stimulus, auditory, and can be chained with other bit modules to form complex manipulations of signals. Many have secondary controls that allow for fine-tuning of speed, timing, etc. 

Orange Bits known as Wire Bits are connectivity modules and allow you to extend or branch out your creations. Send signals through traditional wires or through the air, split signals, control outputs with logic, receive signals from the internet, or pass along non-traditional and audio sources, and create new modules. 

Green Bits are output modules and often serve as the end-point for your circuit or are attached to real world objects in some way and are typically expressed as lights, sounds, movements, and numbers. You'll often be setting the signal strength, directionality, brightness and other variables related to the output further up the circuit chain.

 

 

  

How It Works

There are a few simple "rules" to littleBits that provide the foundation for your learning experiences.

Snap 'Em Together Bits snap together with magnets so it's impossible to make a mistake. No wiring or device required -- just easy and intuitive snapping! All our Bits can be combined and reconfigured to create brand new inventions.

Color-Coded: Each Bit is color-coded by its function. There are four colors:

It all starts with BLUE: The blue Bits are power. Connect a power Bit to a battery or computer so that electricity can run through your circuit.

Add a GREEN: The green Bits are outputs, which do something...like light up, move or make a sound.

Control with a PINK: Maybe you don't want your circuit to just be "on" all the time. Simply add a pink between your power and output Bits to add a control. Inputs can be buttons, dimmers, sensors -- things that receive direction from you or the environment.

Extend or add smarts with an ORANGE: Orange Bits let you build your circuits in new directions (like with a wire or a fork) or connect to other systems (like coding on a computer).

Order Matters: Power Bits (blue) always come first. Input Bits (pink) only affect the output Bits (green) that come after them.

 

Info. Courtesy of littleBits Electronics Inc

Power Bits Input Bits Wire BIts Output Bits
Power Bits

LittleBits are color coded and Blue Bits are Power modules and supply power to the project.

Power P1 bit from Little Bits

Power

Connects to a 9 volt battery to supply power to your creations.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card
Circuit Diagram - PDF

 

image of coin battery for little bits

 

Coin Battery

Rechargeable power module. Depletes quickly, refresh by plugging into USB power source.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Circuit Diagram - PDF

 

 

USB Power

Power creations from a usb source (no data transfer).
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card
Circuit Diagram - PDF

USB Power Cable

Wall charger and cable plugs into USB power bit.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Mounting Boards

Press the feet of bit modules to these boards to secure them together on a level surface, mount vertically, upside down, etc.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Motormate

Connect wheels, 1/8 inch rods, lego shafts, paper/cardboard, or other attachments to the DC Motor module
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

InPut Bits

Input modules are color coded pink and act as the buttons, switches, and sensors for outside stimulus. Some are simple on/off, other respond/adjust to levels. Inputs can respond to light, physical stimulus, auditory, and can be chained with other bit modules to form complex manipulations of signals. Many have secondary controls that allow for fine-tuning of speed, timing, etc. 

 

Audio Related InPut Bits

image of coin battery for little bits

 

Delay

Takes incoming audio and repeats. Can set time between and number of repetitions.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Envelope

"Shapes" audio input. Control the "attack" and "decay" of the signal.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Filter

Alter the 'timbre" of sound by setting the cuttoff and peak of specific audio frequencies.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Keyboard

A 13 note musical keyboard. Onboard controls for sustain and octave.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Microphone

Acts as a simple microphone or line-in for audio sources.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Micro Sequencer

Outputs voltage from four "step" knobs. Controls for speed and step rate.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Mix

Combine two inputs into one output. Each source has its own volume control.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Mp3 Player

Reads mp3 file from SD card. Multiple controls/options.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Circuit Diagram - PDF

Oscillator

Often paired with keyboard or sequencers to create audio. Adjustable pitch and tune knobs, switchable waveforms.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Sound Trigger

Torn on/off signal based on surrounding noise level. Sensitivity is adjustable.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Sensors / External Sources

Button

A simple on/off button for making/breaking a signal path.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Bend Sensor

Increase/Decrease electric signal with this 4" flex-sensative sensor.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Dimmer

A knob to turn up/down signal strength.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Light Sensor

Measures incoming light. Can set light/dark mode and sensitivity.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Motion Trigger

A sensor that detects movement within ~ 10 ft. Output is active for 3 seconds.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Pressure Sensor

Touch/weight sensitive pad use to control signal strength.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Pulse Sensor

Send a regular, repeating stream of ON signals. Adjustable speed setting.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Remote Trigger

Point most any IR remote control at this input and turn on/off your signal.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Roller Switch

Turn off/on signal as external force rolls past trigger.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Slide Dimmer

Adjust signal on a sliding scale. Can act as a dimmer for lights, fader for sound, etc.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Slide Switch

A simple on/off sliding switch.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Temperature Sensor

Senses temperature between 0 and 99 (switchable between Fº or Cº) and converts to a percentage power output.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc

Toggle Switch

On/Off Switch.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Everything Else

Random

Outputs either random "noise" or voltage.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Sequencer

Control direction, random distribution, speed, step, and other variables of up to 8 outputs in a sequence.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Threshold

Compares incoming signal to adjustable gate. If signal is greater than threshold it is allowed through.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

Timeout

Adjustable timer. Reversible on/off or off/on. Usually paired with other manual control inputs.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

Wire Bits

Orange Bits known as Wire Bits are connectivity modules and allow you to extend or branch out your creations. Send signals through traditional wires or through the air, split signals, control outputs with logic, receive signals from the internet, or pass along non-traditional and audio sources, and create new modules. 

 

 

Audio Related Wire Bits

Control Voltage (CV)

Connect bit modules with analog synthesizers and control littleBits outputs or sync to your syntch gear.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

MIDI

Send/Receive MIDI messages to/from bit modules.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

USB I/O

Record digital audio to a computer or send digital playback from computer source to bit modules.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Logic and Wire Bits

Branch

Send the signal from 1 source in 3 directions.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Double AND

Logic gate with 2 inputs, 1 output. Output sent only when both inputs are ON.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Double OR

Logic gate with 2 inputs, 1 output. Output sent if either input is ON.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Fork

Connect single input source to up to 3 others.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Inverter

Turn an "on" signal into an "off" signal.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Latch

Store input source as 'memory'. Use it to store state, as an on/off switch, trigger, etc.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

NAND

Logic gate with 2 inputs, 1 output. Output sent UNLESS BOTH inputs are ON.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

NOR

Logic gate with 2 inputs, 1 output. Output sent when neither inputs are ON.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Split

Send a single input out to two wired outputs.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

Wire

A chainable wire ~9" long.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

XOR

Logic gate with 2 inputs, 1 output. Output sent when signal received from either input, BUT NOT both.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

 

Wireless & Internet Connectivity

Cloudbit

Connect to a wifi source and control creations from, or send outputs to the web. Requires external power and some setup, not compatible with all wifi networks.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Tips, Tricks, Setup Instructions | Troubleshooting
Info Card

 

Wireless Receiver

Paired with the transmitter, can receive signal from ~100'. 3 channel output.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Wireless Transmitter

Paired with one or more receivers, can send signal ~100' to 3 channels.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Prototyping and Advanced Programming

Arduino

Code you creation with advanced programming using this powered module. 3 littleBit inputs/outputs + advanced onboard I/O options.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
Info Card

 

 

Makey Makey

Control your littleBits modules by touching/interacting with everyday objects (paper, bananas!).
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.
More Makey Makey Resources

 

Perf and Bitsnaps

Prototype your own modules by inserting a perfboard into the bit-chain.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Proto

Build/Prototype new bit modules or hack existing ones.
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

O

OutPut Bits

IGreen Bits are output modules and often serve as the end-point for your circuit or are attached to real world objects in some way and are typically expressed as lights, sounds, movements, and numbers. You'll often be setting the signal strength, directionality, brightness and other variables related to the output further up the circuit chain.

 

Lights

Bright LED

Linearly responsive 1/2 watt super bright (white) LED.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

IR LED

Emits infrared light
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

LED

A green-shaded LED bulb.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

Light Wire

4 foot LED wire (soft blue light).
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

Long LED

Similar to the standard LED light, but on a short wire.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

RGB LED

LED bulb with adjustable color using 3 color channels.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

 

UV LED

Outputs Ultraviolet light.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

 

Motion

DC Motor

Rotates when power is received. Adjustable direction.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Fan

Small electric fan.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Servo

Adjustable motor. Turns based on external input, or in "swing" mode, back and forth.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Vibration Motor

Vibrates attached surface.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

 

 

Sound

Synth Speaker

A small audio speaker with volume control and headphone jack.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

Buzzer

Does just what you think. Makes a buzz sound.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

 

Numbers

Bargraph

Shows signal strength of input using 5 different color led lights.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

 

Number

In "values" mode, outputs 0-99 depending on percentage signal strength. In "volts" mode, outputs actual volts: 0.0 - 5.0.
Info Card
More from littlebits.cc. projects, replacement costs, etc.

 

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

Makey Makey

The MaKey MaKey uses high resistance switching to detect when you’ve made a connection even through materials that aren’t very conductive (like leaves, pasta or people). This technique attracts noise on the input, so a moving window averager is used to lowpass the noise. The on-board ATMega32u4 communicates with your computer using the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol which means that it can act like a keyboard or mouse.

 

MaKey MaKey Standard Kit (Multiple Copies)

makey makey standard kit

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: The MaKey MaKey is an invention kit that tricks your computer into thinking that almost anything is a keyboard. This allows you to hook up all kinds of fun things as an input.
  • Info: Specifications

Included

  • 1 kit (1 MaKey MaKey HID Board
  • 1 alligator clip pack
  • 30 jumper wires (various colours)
  • 1 mini-USB cable cable
  • 1 Makey Makey guide booklet)
  • In a box 15 x 14 x 9 cm.

Circulation Information

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a versatile, interactive small computer that allows users to explore the ins and outs of computing, including programming with Scratch and Python. Use it for any of your digital maker projects, as it can be used for anything from music machines to weather stations. 

 

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (Multiple Copies)

Raspberry Pi Model B Starter Pack

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is the newest Raspberry Pi computer made, and the Pi Foundation knows you can always make a good thing better! And what could make the Pi 4 better than the 3? How about a faster processor, USB 3.0 ports, and updated Gigabit Ethernet chip with PoE capability? Good guess - that's exactly what they did! The Raspberry Pi 4 is the latest product in the Raspberry Pi range, boasting an updated 64-bit quad core processor running at 1.5GHz with built-in metal heatsink, USB 3 ports, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless LAN, faster Gigabit Ethernet, and PoE capability via a separate PoE HAT. This version comes with 4 GB of RAM, but we also have versions with 1 and 2 GB if you like. You can still use all your favorite Raspbian or PIXEL software with this update. You MUST make sure to upgrade your Raspbian operating system install to the latest version so that the firmware can support the new chips! Old SD cards from previous releases will not work without a upgrade! The dual-band wireless LAN comes with modular compliance certification, that's the metal tin in the corner of the Pi, with the logo stamped on it. This allows the board to be designed into end products with significantly reduced wireless LAN compliance testing, improving both cost and time to market. Please note, the Pi 4 is a significant redesign and Raspberry Pi 1/2/3 cases and power supplies will not fit unless you have an adapter.

Circulation Information

Raspberry Pi Model B Starter Pack (Multiple Copies)

Raspberry Pi Model B Starter Pack

Specifications and Info.

  • Description: Get everything you need to start with the Adafruit Starter Pack for Raspberry Pi. It's the perfect accompaniment to your new Pi, everything you need to boot up your Pi Model B and get going. We pre-assemble the Cobbler for you, no soldering required.
  • Info: Specifications

Included

  • 512MB Raspberry Pi model B
  • Wifi adapter
  • 8GB preloaded SD Card
  • USB power supply with micro USB cable
  • Black plastic case
  • HDMI cable
  • Breadboard
  • 32 jumper wires
  • GPIO ribbon cable
  • GPIO to Breadboard Interface Board
  • 1 RGB LED, 2 blue LED, 2 red LED, 2 yellow LED, 2 green LED
  • 16 resistors
  • 2 push button switches
  • Resistor color table card
  • Guide

Circulation Information

Raspberry Pi Zero Starter Pack

Raspberry Pi Zero Starter Pack

Specifications and Info.

Included

  • Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3
  • 8GB MicroSD Card with NOOBS 1.9
  • Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter
  • USB OTG Cable
  • 5V 1A Power Supply & USB A/Micro B Cable OR 5V 2A Power Supply w/ Micro USB Cable
  • Assembled Pi T-Cobbler Plus
  • 2x20 Male Header
  • 2x20 Female Header 
  • 2x20 Female Header (right angle) 
  • USB Console cable 
  • Adafruit Raspberry Pi Zero Case 

Circulation Information

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

Robotics

The Spark Makerspace collection includes a number of educational robotic systems that are generally reserved for events or course reserve/classroom use. 

The Systems we have are:

 

Beyond our educational robotics systems, if you are interested in learning how to build and or interface with simple robotics here is a collection of projects ideas

Arduino Robotics Projects

 

Intel Galileo Board Robotics Projects  
LittleBit Robotic Projects  
Makey Makey + Hummingbird Robotics  
Raspberry Pi Robotics Projects  

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

Birdbrain Technologies Robotic Systems

Member Logo

BirdBrain Technologies of which we have both Finch and Hummingbird kits.


 

The Finch: A Robot Designed for Computer Science Education

The Finch is a small robot designed to engage students in computational thinking and computer science from k-12+. The Finch has support for a wide range of programming environments, including icon-, block-, and text-based options. Icon-based coding works well for pre-readers in grades K-2. Blocks environments allow students to explore all of the conceptual complexity of computer science, without overloading them with syntax, APIs, or IDEs. Finally, support for Python, Javascript, and Java ensures students can practice coding the Finch in industry-standard languages.

 

Specifications and Info.

  • Device Info: The Finch is designed to support an engaging introduction to the art of programming. It has support for over a dozen programming languages and environments.
  • Info: 
    • Accelerometers
    • Motors
    • Buzzer
    • Full-color beak LED
    • Light, temperature, and obstacle sensors
    • Pen mount for drawing capability
    • Plugs into USB port - no batteries required!
       

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Circulation Allowed: Course Reserves/Class Use 
    • Outreach or Teach the Teacher resource

Media

Hummingbird Duo Classroom Kit

BirdBlox - Apps on Google Play

The Hummingbird robot system is designed to be able to build a 'robot' using craft supplies to make the project personally meaningful for the designer or class. Truly designed to allow them to be adaptable to a wide range of topics and ideas. 

 

Specifications and Info.

  • Info: The Hummingbird Duo classroom kit is designed for the classroom. Parts are housed in a durable plastic organizer tray, and in addition to Hummingbird components the kit also includes a printed teacher guide, four USB flash bands, four Hummingbird pens, and a copy of the book Invent-To-Learn. One classroom kit is sufficient for a small class or group of 8-12 students; a regular classroom will probably require two or three kits.
  • Note: Kit includes: 
    • Four Hummingbird Duo controllers
    • Power supply, USB cable, terminal tool, snap-in stand-offs for each controller
    • Three each of red, orange, yellow, and green single-color LEDs
    • Eight tri-color LEDs
    • Ten hobby servos and six servo extension cables
    • Four gear motors with wheels and plastic block adapters
    • Four vibration motors
    • Four each of light and temperature sensors
    • Two each of distance, sound, and rotary sensors
    • Packaged in reusable plastic tray organizer
    • Program in everything from Scratch to Java!

    •  

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Circulation Allowed: Course Reserves/Class Use 
    • Outreach or Teach the Teacher resource

Media

 

CoDrone Pro

 

World's First Programmable Drone: CoDrone - A drone you can easily program  to do whatever you want: follow you, engage in laser battles, go through a  maze and more!By Application gallery | Clever


CoDrones Pro

CoDrone Pro Set of 10 Kits | Robolink

Specifications and Info.

  • Device Type: Programmable Drone
  • Info: Specifications 
    • Suitable for Middle-school and above
    • Integrate with Arduino for buildable remote
    • Can be programmed with Blockly or Python

 

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Circulation Allowed: Course Reserves/Class Use 
    • Outreach or Teach the Teacher resource

Media

Resources

 

LEGO Mindstorm Robotic Systems

Welcome to the LEGO® Education Community - LEGO Education

Lego Mindstorms Kit(s) (Discontinued/Retired by LEGO)

Lego Mindstorms Kit

Specifications and Info.

  • Device Type: Robotics Kit
  • Included: 4 sets that each include an EV3 Core and EV3 Expansion set + additional Infrared Beacon.
    • Programmable Brick
    • Sensors: Color, Gyro, Touch, Ultrasonic
    • Infrared Beacon
    • Motors - Various
    • Technic parts, wires, & 100s of bricks/components.
  • More Info: Manufacturer Website

Science & Programming

  • Connect to our Vernier Probeware for more options
  • We have a single license for the EV3 software available on a workstation in the Spark
  • Additional software, mobile apps, and resources available from the manufacturer.

Circulation Info

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Circulation Allowed: Course Reserves/Class Use 
    • Outreach or Teach the Teacher resource
  • Kits include multiple small parts.

Media

Mindstorms Reference Books 

Sphero Robotic Systems

Sphero Education | STEM & STEAM EdTech Company: Sphero


Sphero BOLT (Coming Soon)

New Sphero Bolts in Action! | RSD Learning

The Sphero BOLT is Here and Ready for Pre-order! – Eduporium Blog

The Sphere mini is a compact robot, coded through an app with a variety of features for beginning coders and fun for all. Equipped with a gyroscope, accelerometer, and colorful LED lights, this educational coding robot is more than a robot toy.

Specifications and Info.

  • Device Info: Programmable Educational Device / Gaming Device.
  • Info: Power pack case

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Circulation Allowed: Course Reserves/Class Use 
    • Outreach or Teach the Teacher resource

Resources

Sphero Mini

Sphero Mini, Golf & Soccer Official Brand Assets | Brandfolder

The Sphere mini is a compact robot, coded through an app with a variety of features for beginning coders and fun for all. Equipped with a gyroscope, accelerometer, and colorful LED lights, this educational coding robot is more than a robot toy.

 

Specifications and Info.

  • Device Info: The Sphere Mini is a ping pong size robot ball that can be programmed to conduct a variety of activities. 
  • Info: 
    • Sphero Edu App (For Learning): Students code using Draw, Blocks, or Javascript. Access 1000s of activities and manage your classroom. Chrome, Mac, PC, iOS, Android, Kindle

      Sphero Play App (For Fun): Kids use Block Drive for an intro to programming with colorful blocks. iOS, Android, Kindle

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Circulation Allowed: Course Reserves/Class Use 
    • Outreach or Teach the Teacher resource

Resources

Birdbrain Technologies Robotic Systems

Resources | Innovation First International, Inc.

 


 

VEX IQ Robotics

picture of robotics kit with multiple parts

 

VEX IQ is a snap together robotic system that is designed to a range of STEAM challenges from building to coding. The system is flexible enough to allow for beginner success but also deliver challenges for a more experienced coder. VEX IQ Competitions are an exciting opportunity to further challenge students. The VEX IQ Robotics Competition fosters student development of the teamwork, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills required to prepare them to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

 

Specifications and Info.

  • Device Type: Robotics Building Kit.
  • Info: About | Resources
    • Suitable for high school and above.
    • Basic drive base can be used for many different projects.
    • Includes programming software options.
    • Pieces snap together, no tools required.
    • Accommodates 24 learners.
  • Note: Set includes:
    • 12 "Super Kits" 
    • 2 "Cube Kits"

Circulation Information

  • House Location: WILLIS
  • Circulation Allowed: Course Reserves/Class Use 
    • Outreach or Teach the Teacher resource

Media

Resources

The Spark Artmark with a black background and images of various technologies including a microcontroller, soldering iton, spool of thread and needle, and a camera

Soldering

What is Soldering? 

According to makerspace.com Soldering is the process of joining two or more electronic parts together by melting solder around the connection. Solder is a metal alloy and when it cools it creates a strong electrical bond between the parts. Even though soldering can create a permanent connection, it can also be reversed using a desoldering tool.

At all three Spark locations Soldering resources and tools are available for in space use. Safety ad soldering training is required before anyone is allowed to use the soldering tools.


Digital Genuine Hakko FX-888D

Digital geniune Hakko FX-888D

Specifications and Info.

  • Kit Contents: Include soldering iron, a fume extractor (which is required to be used), a third hand, a solder sucker and safety eye wear and gloves. Solder & wire cutters as needed.
  • Info: Specifications / Manual /Instructions.
  • Notes: Soldering iron that heats up in 30 seconds, with a calibrated temperature control knob gives precision heat to minimize cold solder joints.

Circulation Information

tool being used for soldering
tip cleaner
soldering tip
tool soldering circuit board

Rework Station

rework station

Specifications and Info.

  • Info: Specifications / Manual /Instructions.
  • Notes: Quick 9570W input 110VAC
    • Closed-loop sensor, large power, precise and stable temperature.
    • Auto cooling, prolongs the lifetime of the heating element, and protects the rework station.
    • Imported DC motor, soft vortex air, stepless adjustable.
    • Various applications, such as shielding case, connectors, plastic components, etc.
    • Sensor inside the handle, start working when the handle is picked up, stops working when it is put on the holder.
  • Specifications:
    • Display: LED (Resolution 1°C)
    • Power Consumption: 580W
    • Pump: Soft vortex air (Brushless fan)
    • Air Volume: 100L/min (Max)
    • Temperature Range: 100°C - 450°C

Circulation Information

 

Additional Links

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