Birdbrain Technologies Hummingbird Duo Robotics Kit
Arduino is built right into the controller of Hummingbird Duo, allowing the user to immediately move to that next step. The Duo controller will be the core of all new Hummingbird kits.
BirdBrain bills the Hummingbird Duo, which is the second generation of its STEM kit, as “a robotics kit for ages 10 to 110.” The Hummingbird Duo is essentially two boards in one, operating as either an original Hummingbird controller or as an Arduino Leonardo with an integrated motor/servo shield and improved connectors.
BirdBrain sees the original version of Hummingbird, which was discontinued in November 2014, as “pre-Arduino” as it helps build the skills and confidence that makes it easier to use Arduino. With the Hummingbird Duo, Arduino is built right into the controller, allowing the user to immediately move to that next step. The Duo controller will be the core of all new Hummingbird kits.
The kits will include various additional components as well: motors, servos, vibration motors, LEDs, and sensors. All kit components are soldered with 24” braided wires and terminate in bare, tinned wire to prevent wire fraying. Securely connecting them to the Duo controller is easy due to Duo’s clear labels and spring-loaded terminal blocks.
Part of the fun of building a robot with the Hummingbird kit is that we are building material agnostic: use anything you have lying around! The kit comes with no included building materials.
Hummingbird supports programming environments that range from very easy to get started with to advanced and powerful. Everything is free, open source, and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux:
CREATE Lab Visual Programmer. The CREATE Lab visual programmer is the original way to program the Hummingbird: it was designed as part of the same research program, Arts & Bots, that led to the development of Hummingbird. The Visual Programmer employs a novel storyboarding concept to programming robots that is fast to learn while still allowing programming of complicated robot behaviors.
Scratch 2.0 and Snap!. Scratch is a tile-based visual programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT. It is an excellent first programming environment for children. Snap! retains’ Scratch’s look and feel, but adds higher level computer science concepts; it is even used in UC Berkeley’s Beauty and Joy of Computing course! We provide software that allows Hummingbird to work with these two great environments.
Arduino IDE. Download code to the Duo and unplug it from the computer! You can optionally use our Hummingbird library for Arduino to simplify using standard kit components in Arduino programs.
There are more advanced ways to use Hummingbird Duo as well. In tethered mode, we provide Java and Python APIs, for Windows/Mac/Linux and Raspberry Pi! Or you could write your own firmware for Hummingbird Duo in AVR GCC.