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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)