The STEMTera Breadboard is a clever idea. The Arduino-compatible processor is built right into the breadboard. That gets rid of a whole bunch of wires and keeps a project much tighter and neater – that’s not bad for development, but is absolutely great in a classroom environment. The bottom of the board is a LEGO® compatible cover that enables LEGO bricks to be connected directly into STEMTera Breadboard without using special mounting or adapters. The bottom cover is the equivalent of a 10×14 LEGO base plate and that means you can easily incorporate it into a robotics project. It all works with a variety of programming environments including Scratch – there are some nice examples available to become inspired by. There are other features all laid out on the website.
All together this is a very neat bit of kit which could make prototyping simpler. In an educational environment it reduces the moving parts of get tangled and broken but also leaves the electronics exposed (nicely bucking the trend of hiding the magic in an effort to make things too easy).
JP Liew was one of the people behind MicroView which had a successful Kickstarter campaign a couple of years ago and then got sold to Sparkfun electronics. So he’s got the history to make this real and effective.
STEMTera Breadboard is now on Kickstarter. It’s already almost fully funded and there are 28 days to go on the project. The retail price of the board will be US$45 but there are the usual range of discounts and goodies for backers – including a range of delivery dates.
It’s wonderful to see another clever idea coming out of Sydney.