Codebug with Dr. Andrew Robinson

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We’re talking to Dr. Andrew Robinson about the CodeBug – a cute, programmable, light-up wearable for everyone.

Andrew is the project leader for CodeBug  a director of an engineering consultancy and part time lecturer in Manchester, where previously he completed his PhD in low power embedded processors. Andrew is passionate about education and engineering and can trace his enthusiasm for electronics and computers back to building a working model lighthouse aged 5. His work was also used as the prototype of the BBC micro:bit that defined a new class of device.

Image: (c) OpenLX SP Ltd. – used with permission

Originally kickstarted in 2015 and released in 2015, the CodeBug is a fun, cute, engaging, entry-level introduction to coding and physical electronics. 

Just visit the website, create your own program via block-based programming, then plug in the CodeBug via USB to program it. That’s it! No complicated setup, no downloads. 

Images: (c) OpenLX SP Ltd. – used with permission

If you know the BBC micro:bit or similar devices, you’ll recognise the shared heritage and have no problem getting started with CodeBug either. The CodeBug features a micro USB socket for power and programming, 2 pushbuttons, a 5×5 LED matrix, several well-spaced crocodile clip connectors, an expansion port at the bottom and a built-in coin-cell battery holder on the back which allows it to run independently of the micro usb power supply. The brain of the CodeBug is a Microchip PIC18F processor.

The first designs of CodeBug had radio onboard but this was dropped as at the time the technology was too expensive and wasn’t mature enough.

From the start, the project set out to make learning computing accessible to all, so it was important to keep costs low, – CodeBug, like Micro:bit, can also be had at about 13 EURs when I checked online. 

Via the CodeBug website, parents/teachers and students can find a lot of activities for beginner/intermediate/expert levels so you are guaranteed to to learn and have fun for a long time.


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