This is a short 2-minute video explaining what is the Tinusaur project about, who is it good for and what you could do with its microcontroller and shield boards.
The Tinusaur is a small microcontroller board with a tiny chip on it.
The Tinusaur board is powered by the popular Atmel ATtiny85 microcontroller. It comes as an assembly kit: a small package with parts – you get the chance to learn how to solder it. Don’t worry, it isn’t that complicated. This circuit is so simple that there are very few things that could go wrong.
Once your mainboard is ready you could start learning by making and playing using our shield boards.
Our shield called LEDx2 has 2 LEDs – Green and Red. It comes also in parts, so you have to assemble it yourself. You can make its LEDs to blink. For example: like the traffic lights.
Want to do more?
We also have the EDUx4IO shield designed primarily for education. It has 4 different components on it: LED, Buzzer, Button, Photoresistor. With the LED and the Buzzer, you have 2 ways to output digital and analog signals. With the Photoresistor and the Button, you have 2 ways to input digital and analog signals.
There is also temperature sensor built into the ATtiny85 microcontroller chip.
Well, in most cases you won’t need a breadboard and the reason for that is the way the Tinusaur Board has been designed with 2 2-row headers that give you enough pins to do some prototyping directly on the board.
The 2 outer rows are alwaysGND while the 2 inner rows are always signal (except when they duplicate the GND), and the Vcc is inner as well. On the newer version of the board, there is also e separate 2-pin (female or male) external power connector. The board could be powered by a coin cell battery as well or directly through the USBasp programmer. So, with 18+2=20 pins in total, it is more like a tiny breadboard where you can stick some wires or even some parts. Pretty neat, isn’t it?
If you’re not ready yet to prototype your own circuit you can use some of the shields we’ve got. To learn how to make a LED blink you could use the Tinusaur Shield LEDx2 or the upcoming Tinusaur Shield LEDx3. For more advanced topics you could use the Tinusaur Shield EDUx4IO that can help you learn how to work with buttons, produce sounds with a buzzer, read analog data such as light intensity using a photoresistor, and many other things.
We’ve not been idle waiting for the parts from our suppliers.
We’re prototyping a new shield that we called Shield LEDx3 that has 3 LED – green, yellow and red. As you may have guessed already it is similar to the traffic lights. That will be a great new shield to play with. We expect to have it in production in about a month or so.
As you may already know last week we announced the Tinusaur Shield LEDx2 – this is very simple add-on board that you put on top of the Tinusaur Board. It has just 4 components: 2 LEDs and 2 resistors for each LED – there is no much to solder.