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18 May 2014

Start Coding: Maker Projects

Maker projects are typically a blend of software development and hardware hacking. For some the desire to become a maker is a strong incentive to write coding.

Electronic circuit construction and interaction with external devices add a new dimension to coding. As a maker you'll acquire skills in circuit board design, soldering and prototype hardware construction techniques.

Home automation, remote control, and robotics are just a few of the possibilities. Websites like Adafruit's Learning Centre have a wide range of project ideas, kits and step-by-step tutorials.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the Raspberry Pi is an excellent maker-centric platform. But there are a number of other options.

While Arduino boards may not offer the same flexibility as the Pi, they are an excellent choice for hardware hacking projects. Arduino technology aims to simplify the construction of programmable interfaces to a wide range of digital and analogue components. The popularity is demonstrated by a highly active Arduino community, who've constructed an amazing diversity of devices and gadgets.

The LEGO Mindstorms delivers a straightforward introduction to robot construction and programming. The latest EV3 kit comes complete with remote controller, motors, sensors, bricks and over 550 Lego Technic components. And the Mindstorms community is a great source of ideas and assistance, with regular maker challenges.

A sign of the worldwide interest in hardware hacking is the popularity of Maker Faire events. These gatherings simply buzz with innovation from an eclectic mix of participants spanning all age groups. One of the biggest is the New York Maker Faire, while the UK has its own Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire.

Raspberry Pi ProjectsStart Coding SeriesLearning Resources

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