Did you ever want to share your love of electronics and programming with younger kids, but found it was too messy and time consuming to set-up a breadboard with an interesting experiment?
The Kiduino line is being developed with the intent of engaging younger kids in the basics of Arduino, with the help of their parents/mentors. It's not intended that these boards & shields are something that young kids could work with by themselves, but more a way for adults and older teens to share the fun of Arduino in an engaging way.
This version of the Kiduino shield is an "everything but the kitchen sink" approach that includes the an amazing array of features.
Note that since that the Arduino boards based on the ATmega 8/168/328 have a fairly limited number of available I/O lines, not all features can be used at the same time. The board is set-up to allow easy switching between various displays and I/O uses.
The shield features:
- Seven-LED smiley-face to demonstrate simple LED interactions
- "Traffic Light" with Red-Yellow-Green high-intensity LEDs for fun games
- 2x8 backlit alphanumeric LCD display that is directly supported by the Arduino IDE.
- 2-digit seven-segment LED display (Note: due to the limited I/O on the Arduino, the LCD and LED share the same I/O lines, so only one can be used at any given time. A switch between them toggles either one on/off.)
- Peizo buzzer for sound output.
- Hall-effect (magnetic) sensor for no-contact "magic switch" demonstrations.
- Standard tactile pushbutton switch for simple input experiments. An easy to solder 2-pin PCB header position is also included to connect wires for an off-board switch.
- QRE1113 IR reflective object sensor for proximity testing and ambient light sensing, providing an infinitely variable analog input signal, ranging from Vcc to ground.
- Four analog/digital (A0-A3) connections for external sensors or servos, using the standard 3-pin servo pinout. (Signal/Vcc/Gnd)
- OPTIONAL: Two dual-channel motor drivers to directly drive four motors!
Since most users probably wouldn't get around to using them, the motor driver ICs, two sockets, and switches were left as an option to reduce the cost. The motor driver inverter-logic is included on the board, so it's a simple though-hole soldering job to add the motor drivers.
The motor-driver option kit is available here: Kiduino FunShield-Max! Motor-Driver Option Kit.
Here's a few simple Arduino sketches that cover most aspects of the FunShield, such as; Magnetic Hall-effect sensor, LCD display, Seven-Segment LED display, LED smiley-face, Sound output and the Traffic light.
NOTE: This is the only Cal-Eng product that won't fit into a bubble-envelope, so the mail cost is significantly higher, but still as low as possible!