The BrainPad has arrived!

Are you looking to teach the next generation of technology moguls? Or perhaps your child will think of the next invention that changes the world? If so, then please keep reading (and watch the video below)…

The educational field is full of ways to teach kids programming, robotics and electronics. However, most are taught utilizing specialized software that is only suited for a specific age or task. So the question becomes, how does an educational institution incorporate curriculum that is both easy to use and scalable based on the skill level and age of the student? The answer is quite simple and we call it BrainPad.

The BrainPad clearly and graphically shows the student how they can collect and use information from the physical world, and how they can share that information. Arrows are used to show the flow of information, from the collection of informational inputs, such as a light sensor and sharing that information via outputs, like a display.

Key Features:

[ul]The microcontroller (the brain) with a USB connection to connect to a PC, to deploy programs to the BrainPad and control the microcontroller.
Small Red, Yellow and Green lights, in the shape of a traffic light. These lights can be used individually, for non-traffic-light uses.
A graphical display.
A buzzer that can generate sounds at different frequencies, for use as an alarm or playing melodies.
Servo Motor connection. Typical servos are used to move to a specific degree, not for rotation. A robotic arm would use a servo motor for example.
DC motor connection.
Temperature sensor.
Light level sensor.
Three axes accelerometer.
Touch pad. These pads can be wired to any object and use that object as a touch senor. This object can be an hot dog! Students can touch the hot dogs to play sounds on the buzzer for example.
Expansion port, for wiring components to the BrainPad. This port includes digital pins, analog inputs, PWM outputs and also includes I2C, SPI and UART serial busses. These ports can be used to extend the BrainPad with new sensors and also to show students how to wire components directly to the microcontroller.[/ul]
BrainPad Partners

This program will allow GHI Electronics to work closely with interested parties to build and optimize the teaching materials. If you think you can help in building the courses, or simply trying the courses with potential students, please join our mission. Inquiries can be sent to brainpad@

Things you (the partner) can help with:

[ul]For local schools, allow time for GHI Electronics and its partners to try the materials with students of different ages.
Try the material with your own children, friends and coworkers.
Help in making the BrainPad object easier for the younger students.
Help in building the teaching materials, from organizing and grouping the material in specific classes to building new materials.
Spread the word! We all want the next generation to understand embedded devices better. Very soon, and almost today, every “thing” around us will have a tiny processor inside. Billions of these devices will be connected to the internet, building the era of the Internet of Things.[/ul]
BrainPad Class Code:


Great idea! Is it a click socket upper left?

@ njbuch - it’s a expansion header so that if someone wanted to build a shield or wire something up.

No VB coded samples? :snooty:

@ iamin - I won’t accept your headshake, however we will accept your VB contribution. :whistle:

1 Like

Let’s not start this war all over again please. Everyone is welcome to join and help steer the product to its best potential :wink:

1 Like

@ Gary - I was under impression that @ Gus is learning VB and is writing some code for this product.

@ Gus - “war”? What war? When did we start it last time?

@ iamin - you mean code like this. ;D

@ Gary - Yes :slight_smile:

@ iamin - VB vs C# comes up every while and the discussion gets too hot sometimes.

Cool Job


@ Iamin- In that case, don’t yell at Gus, we decided to go with C# so that we could get the board out there and start getting feedback. We have plenty of time for the VB version along with something else we are working on…but I will save that for later.

Ok I’m in. I have history as a technical writer and a trainer, and my brother in law is a school teacher. Contact me when you need something that involves those two things please.

@ Squeebee - you should shoot us an email and get a free board :wink:

Just a note to everyone that @ scardinale has already ported the C# code to VB, we will be testing it on Monday and let everyone know. As soon as it is tested we will post a link to the code. So the BrainPad now has a complete C# class and VB class. Make sure and +1 @ scardinale’s next post. ;D


will there be collateral material available with the board? a manual and/or PowerPoint presentation?

I have moved into an active adult community where there are lots of retired people from the technical world. I am thinking about organizing a club where residents could learn how to program, and then play with the board.

I’m not sure if you’re using bitmaps to drive the screen, but if not you can use my Lucid code. I opened it up a couple of years ago so MS Cambridge could use it as a teaching tool.

@ Mike - everything we and the community create will be public.

Does @ scardinale know COBOL?

Is Cobol what you are contributing :wink: