Get Started Using Microcontrollers with a Makey Makey Drum Kit
One of the many topics kids at Launch camps and classes learn about is microcontrollers! Watch the video below for instructions on a fun, DIY project with Makey Makey, where your child can learn how to make and program their own electronic drum kit.
Makey Makey is a microcontroller, which means it's what powers IOT devices. These are devices that allow you to turn on your robovac with your cell phone, or speak to your digital assistant and turn on your lights.
Why should kids learn about this?
This technology is going to explode over the next decade, and Makey Makey (as well as Arduino and Raspberry Pi) are a great first step in learning about these technologies. Soon, cars, stoplights, homes and more will all be communicating, and learning to program them is a valuable skill to have!
What is a Microcontroller?
A microcontroller is what allows devices like lights and speakers that use electrical impulses to communicate and be programmed by a computer. You can take any input, such as the brightness of light, temperature, or sound, and create responsive outputs such as lights, sounds, and screens
How does it work?
Them microcontroller allows you to wire up and communicate between several components on or connected to the board. Some send electrical signals (also known as analog signals) and others can communicate with computers and be programmed because they use digital (101001001) signals.
What comes next?
Makey Makey is a simple version of a microcontroller, but Launch also has a more advanced course in the works, using the Arduino microcontroller to interact with lights, photosensors, LCD screens, audio input, and more. The possibilities are astounding!
Examples of what you can make with microcontrollers
Fun wearables that light up when you talk, or animal ears that move along with sounds.
Smart windows that open and close according to the weather.
Cars and traffic lights that communicate to make traffic flow more smoothly.
And so much more! Kids are so creative, who knows what they will be able to come up with!