Thursday, 13 June 2013

DuinoKit - Educational Arduino Electronics Kit

DuinoKit is an educational electronics kit and prototyping board with some interesting features. It's currently a KickStarter campaign.

The DuinoKit is a board with lots of common electronics components built in. Each component has connection ports. To create new projects you just use jumper wires to connect the components in the desired configuration.

This is an excellent approach to simplifying the procurement and organization of electronics components, particularly in an educational environment.

When you start out learning electronics it can be time-consuming to source all the components you need and then you need to store them so you can find the right bits when you need them. This gets harder in a classroom context when it's hard to manage lots of little parts.

As you might have guess from its name, the DuinoKit uses as Arduino microprocessor as the brains of the board. This makes the board programmable so you can add intelligence to electronics projects as you learn to program. Arduino is widely used for prototypes, hobby projects and educational purposes so this leads to valuable skills.

The larger version of the kit will also come with the book 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius by Simon Monk. The DuinoKit is being updated to support the projects in the second edition of this book.

This makes for a powerful combination to learn electronics and Arduino programming in a hands-on but somewhat structured way.

Of course students can then go on to create their own projects. The board has some nice features like pairing up LEDs with matching resistors so there's less chance of damaging components. Once you have prototyped a project and got it working then you can recreate it using standard components and solder.

The board includes a really good set of component for building interesting projects, there are lots of LEDs including an 8x8 matrix, LCD display, accelerometer, buzzer, bar graph display, buttons, potentiometers and more.

The board is powered via USB or a battery for when you need portability.

This video gives you the idea of the kind of project that can be built using the DuinoKit.

Dan Alich, the designer of the board is a teacher and electronics enthusiast.

All-in-one electronics training kits are not new - education kits of this form have been around for some time. But this one brings things right up to date.

View / Pledge: DuinoKit Kickstarter

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