Creative and Interactive Robotics Chat

Ladyada will be discussing Adafruit's newest kit, CRICKIT, an add-on for creative robotics appplications

Friday, June 22, 2018 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Ladyada will be hosting the Hack Chat on Friday, June 22, 2018 at noon PDT.

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Sometimes we wonder if robotics engineers ever watch movies. If they did, they'd know that making robots into slaves always ends up in a robot rebellion. Why even go down that path? We are making robots our open source friends!

Ladyada will be discussing CRICKIT, a Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. There will be a giveaway in this chat!

CRICKIT is an add-on to Adafruit's Circuit Playground that lets you Make a Robot using CircuitPython, MakeCode, Arduino, etc.. robotics, arts, crafts, audio animatronics, sensors, agriculture/robot farming, physical computing, kinetic sculptures, science experiments, telescope control...

Ladyada is the founder of Adafruit. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit has grown to over 100+ employees in the heart of NYC with a 50,000+ sq ft. factory.  Adafruit is a 100% woman owned company with no loans or VC funding and does open-source hardware and software.



Learning guide, diagrams, code, and more:


Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 388.05 kB - 06/14/2018 at 19:00


Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 376.96 kB - 06/14/2018 at 19:00


Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 264.99 kB - 06/14/2018 at 19:00


Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 218.32 kB - 06/14/2018 at 19:00


Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 341.21 kB - 06/14/2018 at 19:00


  • CRICKIT transcript

    Sophi Kravitz06/22/2018 at 20:07 0 comments

    welcome @limor and @pt !

    pt3:01 PM
    live vid is here folks'

    Prof. Fartsparkle3:02 PM
    hah. the talking heads are cute

    awesome, thanks

    limor3:02 PM
    thank you @Sophi Kravitz  and the hackaday community for having me on this hackchat about creative robotics!@

    limor3:04 PM
    its a robot roadshow!

    Stephen Tranovich3:04 PM
    The robot co-hosts are SO GOOD

    oh yeah... let's start!!

    Limor, can you intro yourself to all of us?

    limor3:05 PM
    of course

    limor3:05 PM
    so i’m the lead engineer and owner of adafruit

    limor3:05 PM
    thats our open source software and hardware factory here in nyc

    limor3:05 PM
    in soho!

    limor3:06 PM
    so the machines are running you can even hear them on the livestream and maybe see some people loading up the feeders

    yeah those machines sound loud

    and happy

    limor3:06 PM
    clean and well oiled machines are happy machines

    this chat feeds my ADD- video and text both in two locations!!

    limor3:07 PM
    we're here for a half hour! hit me up with the Q's!

    Morning.Star3:07 PM
    Hey hey. :-) I'm back. Well fed machines too :-)


    give us the lowdown on how CRICKIT works
    Rob Ray joined  the room.3:07 PM



    yessss hardware details

    limor3:08 PM
    crickit started as a project fcalled seesaw

    limor3:08 PM
    basically we see so many different chips on the market which is great

    limor3:08 PM
    but some like the esp8266 don’t have, say, analog in

    limor3:08 PM
    and some don’t have a lot of timers or pwm like the raspi

    limor3:08 PM
    i was seeing people want to build animatronics, creative bots

    limor3:09 PM
    but got hit with "ugh this hardware i using doesnt have 5 PWMs or ADC or the ability to drive neopixels"

    limor3:09 PM
    so seesaw was the solution for that

    limor3:09 PM
    its a i2c -> anything concerter

    limor3:09 PM
    now you can buy i2c counters, like ADCs, DACs, PWMs etc

    Morning.Star3:09 PM

    limor3:09 PM
    but by the time you add em all up, it’s like $4 BOM

    limor3:09 PM

    limor3:10 PM
    its waaay cheaper to have a cortex m0 that HAS ALL THIS STUFF FOR FREE
    kevin forsythe joined  the room.3:10 PM

    limor3:10 PM
    and then you just write a transport

    limor3:10 PM
    so we did

    limor3:10 PM
    NOW we can do robots

    limor3:10 PM
    because i wanted to keep the price low enough that you aren’t spending hundreds of $ - you can take advantage of seesaw and then pair it with your fav micro

    limor3:10 PM
    whether that be esp82, esp32, raspi, microbit, teensy, feather etc

    limor3:10 PM
    cause its just I2C

    limor3:11 PM
    and everything every in the history of everything has I2C master

    Paul Stoffregen3:11 PM

    Prof. Fartsparkle3:11 PM
    I always wondered why these dedicated ICs are often so expensive even though they are less complicated than the MCU which does the same and more

    Michael Welling3:11 PM
    voice to text anyone?

    Morning.Star3:11 PM

    ðeshipu3:11 PM
    except for the ESP8266

    limor3:11 PM
    phil and i went to dimsum

    Orlando Hoilett3:11 PM
    @Michael Welling  nah. this is way cooler

    limor3:11 PM
    and we decided lest make a robot platfor for all his awesome ideas!

    Orlando Hoilett3:11 PM
    Watching the broadcast as well as paying attention to the chat is pretty hilarious. Lol.

    limor3:11 PM
    we literlly sketched on a napkin

    Frank Buss3:11 PM
    some PICs don't have hardware I2C either

    limor3:12 PM
    adn came up with the octogon

    limor3:12 PM
    you can bitbang i2c it isnt the end of the world

    limor3:12 PM
    you just need to have open drain pins

    limor3:12 PM
    if you dont - seesaw is not for you

    Frank Buss3:12 PM
    right, but then you can't do much else with a small PIC :-)

    limor3:13 PM
    frank, dont use a PIC 12C509

    limor3:13 PM
    we've got more chips now ;)

    Frank Buss3:13 PM
    lol, I know

    Paul Stoffregen3:13 PM
    haha, not 1995 anymore!

    limor3:14 PM
    ok any more Qs

    Boian Mitov3:14 PM
    So do you want it also programmable with Visuino ? ;-)

    hi Paul!

    Michael Welling3:14 PM
    bitbang all things


    how do you manage power?

    limor3:14 PM
    Boian, sure! we hvae code in C/C++ and python

    limor3:14 PM
    (and typescript/makecode)

    Orlando Hoilett3:14 PM
    What's the driver current on the platform?

    what @Orlando Hoilett said

    limor3:15 PM
    ATMakers - Bill Binko joined  the room.3:15 PM

    limor3:15 PM... Read more »

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