There are two, micro:bit based robotic building kits that I have looked at recently. The micro:bit is a $20-$30 micro-controller, depending on where you buy it (adafruit). One is the Brown Dog Gadgets Bit Board Rover. The other is Elecfreaks 32in1 Wonder Building Kit. I bought my BDG on kickstarter and my Elecfreaks on amazon. BDG & Elecfreaks both have a variety of nice items for STEM/coding & robotics.
They both have tutorials/instructions for building and coding different contraptions (BDG ; Elecfreaks) (let me know which one you think has better instructions).
Elecfreaks has a makecode extension (extra set of blocks) specifically for their expansion board. Brown Dog Gadgets uses the basic makecode set, but you need to get extensions when you use the distance sensor and neopixels.
Brown Dog Gadget
|Continuous servo (2)||Motor (2)|
|Servo (9g – 270 degree)||Servo (2kg – 360 degree)|
|IR line following sensor||IR line following sensor|
|HCSR04 distance sensor||HCSR04 distance sensor|
|8 neopixel strip|
|Water level sensor|
|Brick adapters to connect I/O devices to Lego|
|207 Technic parts||400 Technic parts|
|Bit Board expansion board with AA batt pack||Wukong expansion board with Li batt|
-I like that BDG included neopixels & thumbstick & a pen holder for drawing.
-I don’t love the water level sensor in the Elecfreaks, but can understand them wanting a variety of ideas beyond things that move in various ways.
-The BDG brick adapters (3D printed and laser cut) are nice , Elecfreaks includes some screws to help with this
-Number of parts can be misleading because there could be lots of tiny connectors, but that is not the case. Elecfreaks definitely has more parts.
-I think the servo and motors in the Elecfreaks kit are supposed to be stronger, but I have not played enough to tell.
-The expansion boards are both about $30. I like that the Wukong has a rechargeable Li battery. The BitBoard is neat that it connects to Lego and you can use makertape laid on the Lego nubs to make circuit connections (you could also use alligator clips). They have some differences in their features that need further explored.
Which do you like?
I was waiting to mention.
One kit costs $90 and the other $180.
By the way, I am always a fan of buying things individually to get what you want…if the price doesnt get too outrageous. Buy the board you want, buy the I/O devices you want,, find the building pieces you want…buying in bulk (for a class/lab set) can brings prices down.
Or sometimes you buy a kit, then augment. For example, I would like another servo or two and a neopixel ring/strip and a thumbstick or IR distance sensor (slightly different than the line followers) for the Elecfreaks kit. For the BDG kit I would add another servo and IR distance sensor. I also like OLED and 1602LCD for displays and arcade buttons for inputs. Sometimes I shop amazon, sometimes China (with long lead times)