The BrainPad has a new face!

By now you are familiar with the now famous NETMF educational board, the BrainPad. For the last several months the BrainPad has been used by several institutions and we have been busy collecting their feedback and getting their opinions. We diligently sifted through all of the amazing feedback and suggestions, which has led to the new and improved BrainPad. I know what you are thinking, “How could the BrainPad get any better?” Well let me tell you!

First, we updated the firmware so that the BrainPad can be powered and programmed through the on-board USB connection, making it ideal for use with Scratch. Second, the BrainPad now officially supports Click Boards™ from MikroElektronika. If you haven’t checked recently, MikroElektronika has over 150 available Click Boards™ today with many more on the way!

And if you aren’t sitting down then you should! We are now bringing the BrainPad to a new platform…(drum roll please)… The BrainPad is now available for the Arduino community. Yes, you read that correctly, Arduino is now a supported platform for the BrainPad family of educational products. The BrainPad Duino will be available for purchase in December, just in time for the holidays.

We would also like to mention that recently GHI Electronics and MikroElektronika, have been discussing our passion for educating the next generation of makers. If you have had your head buried in work and you are not familiar with MikroElektronika, they are a renowned producer of development tools for various microcontroller architectures. Now I can’t quite spill the beans on these discussions but if I were you, I would stay tuned for some upcoming announcements!

We would like to give a quick “Thank you” to every teacher, student, contributor and to the community for their feedback and contributions.

BrainPad: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/536
BrainPad Support Page: https://www.ghielectronics.com/support/brainpad
MikroElektronika: http://www.mikroe.com/
Click Boards™: http://www.mikroe.com/click/

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Awesome! Great job!

Alright, so now it can be fully emulated. Are you guys at GHI willing to provide a project template for it? Including driver object, possibly-emulator and code examples?

Also, is it compatible with older Brainpad?

Yes sir.

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@ Simon from Vilnius - 100% compatible minus touch pads and a low volume option for the buzzer.

The same driver code works on both.

The new code is available online from the support page right now. Along with a few bug fixes, we added a SetVolume method to switch between loud and quiet volumes and moved TouchPad to BrainPad.Legacy. The names of the Expansion pins were changed to match the new board, though the old names are still available under Legacy. One thing to watch out for is the I2C pins. On the previous version, they were listed under Gpio and PwmOutput even though they are not usable as such because they are connected to the accelerometer. They have been removed from the new Expansion pinout and the Legacy one.

By the way, the initial preview driver for the BrainPad Duino is available at https://www.ghielectronics.com/downloads/BrainPad/BrainPadDuino.zip. In the latest version of the Arduino IDE, under Sketch > Include Library, click Add .ZIP Library and select the above file. Then in your sketch just include Wire.h, Servo.h, SPI.h, and BrainPad.h to get started. As with the NETMF version, everything is accessible under the BrainPad object.

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Awesome!

Is there scratch support for the display yet?

edit: Even if that’s not quite ready, I think what GHI had done is awesome. I have no doubt my 9.5 year old son is going to do some interesting things. And I’ll keep my phone handy for video. ;D

Fantastic!

Yay! This is what I’ve been waiting on. Just to be clear, this same firmware works with the original BrainPad?

@ ianlee74 - absolutely

Is this available somewhere now or is that coming in the next SDK release?

In the sdk coming very soon

mine has arrived in AUS so I’m starting to sweat on the SDK :slight_smile:

@ Brett - Im going to keep an eye on the mailbox :slight_smile: