SparkFun - a company with education mission!
SparkFun was founded in the United States in 2003 and its main motto is to transform innovative technological ideas into real projects. The main goal is therefore to educate users and expand their skills in the field of modern technologies. This is a response to a phenomenon where there are more and more technological innovations, but at the same time there is a lack of experienced engineers who are able to program and work with all those complex tools. Therefore, the company's mission is to show that everyone can discover their the passion for technology, robotics and automation, and then pass the knowledge further on. The company proclaims openly that spreading knowledge and mutual learning of technological skills is the main goal of it as a brand. SparkFun has not patented its products, so that all users are able to work with them and process them freely. This approach has won the company a great deal of recognition, especially among students and instructors.
SparkFun boards compatible with Arduino – see what do we offer!
One of the best ways to learn automatics, robotics and programming is to acquire practical skills from the very beginning. That's why it can be beneficial to choose kits, where you start by building simple devices and then modify and experiment with the resulting projects. Therefore, we present a RedBot construction kit, which contains all the necessary elements to carry out a complete project. Sparkfun has created this kit especially for beginners, so that they can focus on the most important issues while saving money - as it costs less than buying all parts separately. The created robot (linefollower) moves on a designated line. The big advantage of the kit is that it comes with detailed documentation, which includes installation, use instructions and a general user guide. The kit includes an Arduino compatible board, an accelerometer, end sensors, line tracing sensors, buzzer, encoders, connection cables, two DC motors, chassis with wheels, screwdriver and USB cable.
MP3 player that you can build!
One of the very interesting propositions offered by American producer Sparkfun is the possibility to create your own music player. You can build it yourself, using all the necessary components such as power supply, housing and others. In addition, you can use the created circuitry for a larger project. The device works on ATmega328pm microprocessor, which is compatible with Arduino platform. The device uses VS1053B audio decoder, which allows to play many music formats. The sound quality is also enhanced by the stereo effect amplifier, which improves the overall experience while using the device. The player is equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack port, which is compliant with general standards. In addition, it comes with a lithium-polymer battery charger (MCP73831 with 3.7V). Connection to the device is possible with five analog, serial and I2C pins. To sum up, such a project shouldn't be complicated, therefore it's perfect for beginners and can bring a lot of fun at the same time.