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The micro:bit drone. Build, code and fly!
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186 backers pledged NOK 275,403 to help bring this project to life.
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NOK 275,403

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Want to learn how to build and code a drone? Micro:bit and the Makecode platform is already one of the easiest way to learn how to code. Give your micro:bit wings and master the inner workings of a quadcopter!

A crafty drone kit with many options

Not sure what to choose? You find the content of the different rewards below the remote control-section. 

Easier than ever

The micro:bit was originally released in UK back in 2016 to teach coding and hardware in schools. The mini computer was designed to be simple and powerful at the same time. All coding can be done in a web browser or on your iPhone/iPad. Air:bit is utilizing micro:bits many features like the long range Bluetooth radio, accelerometer and multiple input and outputs. Control the drone using another micro:bit and its motion sensors, an iOS unit, or our open source Android App. While having a lot of fun, you will understand the inner workings of a drone, from physics to programming and telemetry.

Learn programming

Beginners ranging from 11 to 111 years (8 years with a parent) will master the block programming easily, following our illustrated instructions and movies and using the free Microsoft Makecode platform. Want to go further? Just convert your code to Javascript directly and boom - you have taken your first steps into a new programming language. Air:bit also support Python. And if you fail to make the code right, don´t worry, just download the ready made codes.

Air:bit in education

Air:bit is a true STEAM learning tool. As a teacher you can dive into following subjects:

  • Physics: Electronics, electromechanics, aerodynamics, acceleration and gravity
  • Math: Geometry, functions, scale factors and vectors
  • Technology: Bluetooth, telemetry, data logging, lithium battery technology
  • Arts: Design a drone frame using materials like wood or 3d-printing. Invent your own flying machine.
  • Programming: Blocks, Javascript or Python

 STEAM is: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics. 

Air:bit is also perfect to conduct experiments where data logging is needed. You can collect data like temperature, battery voltage and acceleration in real time and store it for analysis in spreadsheets. Data logging can be done using the Android App or another micro:bit.

In the press:

Read more on makekit.no

You are in control

Choose between 3 methods to pilot Air:bit:

  • iOS app: Use the micro:bit app for iPhone or Ipad 
  • Android app: Use our Android app, made with MIT App Inventor 
  • Another micro:bit: Use another micro:bit and its motion sensor, buttons and screen to remotely operate your Air:bit using ergonomic motion.
Choose how you control the Air:bit

Crafty and repairable

Air:bit is made with heart towards the environment and the long traditions of using wood in the Nordics. Our frame is made from the highest quality Koskisen Birch plywood from Finland. The frame is bio friendly, paintable, and virtually unbreakable. We were tired of broken toy drones that couldn´t be fixed. Therefore, with Air:bit, you can replace any part - no soldering or special skills required.

Advanced features

We love to play with technology. Therefore, Air:bit supports to kinds of camera: Analog FPV camera, or a digital WiFi-camera that streams to your mobile. For navigation and autonomous flights, Air:bit supports distance sensors like the GY-53 laser rangefinder, the US42 sonar and the BMP288 barometer.

Servos are small motorised arms that can be connected to one of the Air:bits 3 servo ports. They can change the angle of a camera, release a hook or maybe even be a part if your newly invented seed planting drone.

For the experts, the Air:bit control board has I2C, serial or PWM inputs. Using these inputs, a wide range of sensors can be used (3,3 volts compatible). Keep in mind the sensors should be small and not more than 5 gram, and that the use can require extensive coding - let´s develop this together!

Extensively Tested

Thanks to the brilliant Talent program at the Norwegian Science Centers, Air:bit and its learning material has been tested by approximately 200 kids and adults across Norway.

Tech Specs 

  • Usage: Indoor and outdoor, not colder than 15 degrees celcius
  • Size: about 120x110x30 cm
  • Weight: about 90 gram (take off weight)
  • Frame materials: Birch plywood, nylon screws
  • Flight time: up to 7 minutes on each battery
  • Operating range: 50-100 meter (Bluetooth long range)
  • Altitude: Max 50 meter recommended
  • Remote control: Android App, iOS app, or another micro:bit
  • Telemetry: Acceleration, battery voltage, temperature and more
  • Sensor support: TOF (distance), Sonar, Barometer* (*soldering might be required)
  • I/O Ports: Serial, I2C,PWM, Analog Voltage
  • Programming languages: Makecode blocks, Javascript, Python, MIT App Inventor blocks
The Air:bit explained
When using another micro:bit as remote controller

Which reward should I choose?

Do you want to use a 3D-printer or laser cutter to make your own frame, or do you already own a frame? And do you have a micro:bit? Then pledge:

  • Air:bit Frameless Early Bird

This reward have essential parts and Air:bit flight controller, but not the Air:bit frame, or micro:bit.

Do you want a kit including frame and everything except a micro:bit? Then pledge:

  • Air:bit Kickstarter Edition

Do you need the kit to come with everything including one micro:bit? This will be everything you need to fly using an app on a phone/tablet.

  • Air:bit Christmas Special (Arrives before Christmas 2019)
  • Air:bit Early Bird +
  • Air:bit Kickstarter Edition +

Do you want the "whole package" including two micro:bits, extra battery, spare parts, sensors and more then pledge:

  • Air:bit Ultimate Package

What is in the box?

The Air:bit basic kit and kickstarter special edition includes:

  • Air:bit multi:bit control board with sensors, motor drivers, I/O connectors and built in charger
  • 8 propellers (4 spares)
  • 4 dc high power coreless motors
  • Lithium Polymer battery
  • Koskisen birch plywood frame
  • Remote control plate to convert a micro:bit into a remote control
  • All necessary nuts, bolts, fasteners and rubber bands
  • Digital instructions and video howtos in english language
Air:bit base kit

Multi / speed charger and propeller protection comes with some of the kits, please see the reward list.

Please note: The micro:bit mini computer with micro USB and battery box is not included in the basic kit. You will need at least one for the Air:bit to work. If you need to buy, you can find them on our webshop or pledge a kit that includes one or two. 

Also note: The frameless pledges does not come with any frame, but you can download and print it yourself!

The Air:bit sensor kit includes:

  • 1 GY-53 Time of Flight sensor with pwm output, 0-2 meter measuring range (no soldering)
  • 1 US42 Sonar, 20-700 cm measuring range (no soldering)
  • 1 1.7 gram Micro servo (no soldering)
  • BMP280 Barometer (might be subject to soldering)

The Air:bit rescue kit includes:

  • 2 spare motors (one clockwise, one counter clock wise)
  • 8 spare propellers
  • Nuts, bolts and rubber bands

Camera will be available for purchase after the end of this campaign October 12.  

Shipping, please note: All rewards are ex. VAT. and import charges. Norwegian customers don´t have to pay any duties as those packet will be shipped from Oslo directly.


Why we made the Air:bit

When the founders of MakeKit went to school they didn't find the education to be relevant and the motivation to learn was sometimes non-existing.  

We were also tired of all those broken toy drones. We believe in the right to repair, modify and understand new technology. That´s why we created the Air:bit.


Production and development

The development of Air:bit started in march 2017 when creator Henning Pedersen first started to explore the micro:bit. He had been developing drones for 5 years already including a Guinnes World Record drone. He quickly discovered that the micro:bit´s radio was incredible simple and flexible. The next step was to find out how a remote control consisting of only one micro:bit could work. Using a combination of accelerometer and buttons, he was able to control four out of the five parameters for drone control: Pitch, Arm, Roll and Throttle. The fifth parameter is called Yaw and together they are the PARTY-rule. The Acronym was first coined by a student in Bergen, Norway during one of the initial workshops. The next step was to implement a steady control algorithm. It turned out that the micro:bit was limited to 3 pwm outputs and without a gyro sensor, it would not be able to do the stabilisation natively. The solution came in an external flight controller that would handle sensor fusion, stabilisation, motor control and power regulation. The micro:bit on the other hand, would take care of transmitting and receiving signals, monitoring battery and auto landing, providing graphics for the display and have back-up algorithms for lost signal or crash.

Basic operation of a drone controller

It became clear that we needed to design our own flight controller. We didn´t have a clue on where to start so we looked around for people that could help us, but such expertise is not something you find easily.

Enter Mr. Cleanflight

Dominic Clifton Aka mr. Seriously Pro aka Mr. Cleanflight

It was one of the best days for Air:bit when this guy came sliding on a surf board. Not only is he one of the coders behind the world´s most popular drone controller, he happens to be a world leading expert on designing flight controllers. Dominic´s contribution has been just as pro as the name "SPracing" suggest. He even has a PCB assembly at his house in Spain! This is how he designed and assembled the first 20 prototypes. The PCB has almost 80 components and some of them are less than 1mm wide! Very impressive indeed.

The next step is the most important part that you, the backer is enabling us to do: The main batch of the Air:bit control board. We choose the Norwegian PCB assembly Hapro and we need to raise money for an inital batch of units 100 units, then another 900 for the price to be low enough.  

Steinar and Henning at factory visit to Hapro

On the following picture you can see one of the inspection posts where the amount of tin paste is being inspected with a close up 3d scanning.

Jens Arve Martinsen at Hapro

About MakeKit

MakeKit is an edTech company that makes kits for creative explorations, understanding technology and programming.

Our goal is to provide every kid with the tools for they need for creating their own fantastic inventions.
                                Our products and kits shall inspire and are made for creative exploration.

Therefore, the MakeKit mantra is: The joy of creating 

The MakeKit Team

Risks and challenges

As of now the Air:bit is ready for mass production. The first drones will be delivered before Christmas.

If we succeed in getting funded, we guarantee that the first shipment will go out no later than desember 2019. We are committed to meeting your expectations, without any delay in production or delivery. We rate the risk of unexpected delays as being very low as we are doing much the production locally.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 45 or more About US$ 5

    Support us

    Support MakeKit and our quest to make technology accessible and repairable! Virtual hugs and thanks fly out to you!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 135 or more About US$ 15

    Air:bit Support + MakeKit Keyring

    Support MakeKit and our quest to make technology accessible and repairable!
    You will receive a unique MakeKit keyring made from the highest quality Koskisen Birch plywood.

    Includes:
    • MakeKit Koskisen Birch Keyring
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 808 or more About US$ 89

    Air:bit Frameless Early Bird

    You save 51$
    This is the perfect reward for you who already have ordered an Air:bit frame or have access to a 3D-printer or laser cutter and want to make your own frame.

    Includes:
    • Air:bit Frameless
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 1,180 or more About US$ 131

    Air:bit Early Bird +

    You save 71$
    Air:bit with 1 micro:bit

    Includes:
    • Air:bit basic kit
    • Micro:bit start kit
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    Limited 44 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 1,195 or more About US$ 132

    Air:bit Kickstarter Edition

    You save 35$
    The limited Kickstarter edition will come with a green and blue painted frame to memorate the launch of the world's first drone made for the micro:bit.

    Includes:
    • Air:bit kickstarter colors limited edition
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    Limited 11 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 1,395 or more About US$ 154

    Air:bit Kickstarter Edition +

    You save 39$
    The limited Kickstarter edition will come with a green and blue painted frame to memorate the launch of the world's first drone made for the micro:bit. This reward also includes one micro:bit.

    Includes:
    • Air:bit kickstarter colors limited edition
    • Micro:bit start kit
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    Limited 7 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 1,549 or more About US$ 171

    Air:bit Christmas Special

    You save 35$
    Want to get the Air:bit in time for Christmas?
    This is the reward for you!

    Includes:
    • Air:bit basic kit
    • Micro:bit start kit
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    Limited 16 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 2,995 or more About US$ 330

    Air:bit Ultimate Package

    You save 90$
    In this reward, you get everything you need and more. If you want the possibility to expand and use the maximum potential of the Air:bit, this is the reward for you!

    Includes:
    • Micro:bit start kit
    • Air:bit kickstarter colors limited edition
    • Extra battery
    • Rescue Kit: Spare parts
    • Sensor Kit
    • Propeller protection
    • Koskisen Birch Black frame
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    Pledge NOK 5,995 or more About US$ 661

    Makerspace Kit: design your own Air:bits

    You save 218$
    We made this reward, especially for maker spaces. It includes everything you need to start building your own Air:bit drones. You will need at least one micro:bit for each drone.

    Includes:
    • Air:bit Frameless
    • Extra battery
    • Ultra Power fast charger for 6 batteriers (110-240V)
    • Koskisen Birch plywood frame
    • Rescue Kit: Spare parts
    • Propeller protection
    • Digital learning material and videos in English
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    Limited 2 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 5,995 or more About US$ 661

    5x Air:bit early bird with 2 micro:bits

    By request: Simply 5x Air:bit early bird kits. This is everything you need to fly 5 drones with one micro:bit at the drone and one at the transmitter.

    Includes:
    • Air:bit basic kit
    • 10× Micro:bit start kit
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge NOK 12,995 or more About US$ 1,431

    Class Kit 12 Air:bits

    You save 455$
    This reward is made especially for schools. It includes everything you and your students need to elevate STEAM education in your class. The micro:bit is not included in this reward.

    Includes:
    • 12× Air:bit basic kit
    • 12× Propeller protection
    • Extra battery
    • Rescue Kit: Spare parts
    • Ultra Power fast charger for 6 batteriers (110-240V)
    • Digital learning material and videos in English
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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NOK 545 or more About US$ 61

    Air:bit First Seconds Early Bird - 60%

    You save 91$
    A reward for the first five to support our campaign.

    Includes:
    • Air:bit basic kit
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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NOK 630 or more About US$ 70

    Air:bit Frameless Super Early Bird 50%

    You save 69$
    This is the perfect reward for you who already have ordered an Air:bit frame or have access to a 3D-printer or laser cutter and want to make your own frame.

    Includes:
    • Air:bit Frameless
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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NOK 995 or more About US$ 110

    Air:bit Super Early Bird 50% +

    You save 118$
    Air:bit with 1 micro:bit

    Includes:
    • Air:bit basic kit
    • Micro:bit start kit
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    Reward no longer available 30 backers
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Funding period

- (24 days)