Buzz and his friends, The Pi Pals, live on Planet M and they are makers. Through their adventures, they learn about different materials and technologies, solve problems, and explore new ideas.
- Buzz is easy to build for all skill levels, especially beginners.
- Buzz encourages exploration and play.
- Buzz can be used to learn other skills, such as programming.
- Buzz is fun.
- Buzz is educational and builds S.T.E.A.M. Skills.
Buzz is simple to assemble and interactive when complete. Buzz works with his Brain Board, Arduino, and with Raspberry Pi. Buzz is ready for adventure and he needs your help make it possible.
Designed to Make Learning Easy And Fun
Many electronic kits do not offer anything more than a battery and a LED. Once completed, those kits end up in a drawer, never to be used again. At the other end of the spectrum, there are electronic kits that are really interesting but have so many parts and instructions that they are intimidating. That is why we designed Buzz and the Pi Pals to be simple to assemble, easy to use, and to be compatible with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and dozens of other platforms.
Builds S.T.E.M / S.T.E.A.M Skills
Buzz is designed with these STEAM foundations in mind. Buzz builds on skills sets and grows from an instructional electronics kit, to a soldering skill builder, to a tool to learn (or teach) programming with.
Over the past year we have worked with many educators in order to ensure what we are doing with the Pi Pals is on the right track. The response has been overwhelmingly positive that the Pi Pals are on the right track.
Parents, educators, and makers are using the Pi Pals to help young makers grow and learn.The Pi Pals take away the intimidation of learning electronics by focusing on project based learning.
The Brain Board
From customer feedback, the Brain Board was born. Ken Olsen over at Makers Box suggested we pair the Pi Pals with a programmable base that makers could easily build and program the pixel Pals with. Ken built a prototype and sent it to us and we were hooked. Ken shares the same passion for inspiring new makers that we do. Working with Ken, we are proud to introduce The Brain Board.
The Brain Board is an ATTINY85 microcontroller board you build yourself and has a USB interface and uses the familiar Arduino IDE to program. Plug Buzz into the Brain Board, connect it to your computer, and program away. The Brain board also has built in touch and light sensors that adds interactivity to your Pi Pal. When not connected to USB it can work off a single coin-cell battery.
The Brain Board is Open Source Hardware and we are committed to sharing it’s design with the Open Hardware Community.
The Brain Board has a header, just like you on an Arduino that you can plug Buzz, or any Pi Pal, right into. The ATTIny85 comes pre-loaded with the Micronucleus Bootloader which is designed for AVR ATtiny microcontrollers. This bootloader allows the Brain Board to be programmed just like you would an Arduino board.
The Brain Board comes as a kit and in a few minutes you can solder it together and start programming. It is an excellent skill builder and a next step after building your Pi Pal.
Arduino and Raspberry Pi Compatible
The Arduino and Raspberry PI are excellent next step to work on larger projects and to dive deeper into the world of circuits and hardware. Just as with all the Pi Pals, Buzz grows with you in your skill and interest level and plugs into Arduino and with the Pixel Pi Adapter, plugs into Raspberry Pi as well.
When you plug Buzz into a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino, you can control his eyes and his sounds with programming. Buzz is an excellent way to get kids involved in Computer Science and take part in the Hour of Code initiative. We already have Arduino and Raspberry Pi tutorials online for Chip and with your support we will have the Buzz tutorials available shortly.
Buzz’s Brain Pack Includes:
- Buzz Kit: Buzz PCB, Male Right Angle Header, (2) 10mm Blue LEDS, (2) 10mm Red LEDS, (2) 10mm Green LEDS, (2) 10mm Yellow LEDs, (1) 3-volt Coin-cell Battery
- Pi Pal Pi Kit: PCB, (2) Female Headers (allows connection to Raspberry Pi)
- Brain Board Kit: PCB, AtTiny85, IC Socket, Battery Clip, CR2032 Battery, Photo Transistor, DPDT Slide Switch, 10 uf Cap, .1uf Cap, 5MM Led, USB Connector, 1n4001 Diode, (2) 3.6v Zener Diode, 1.5k Resistor, (3) 220 Ohm Resistor
Tutorials for Buzz & The Brain Board:
- Buzz Overview
- Brain Board Overview