About this project
While our Modkit Micro Kickstarter campaign is now over, you can still support Modkit and receive early access to our latest features and products through the Alpha Club. Get involved and see where we're headed next!
What's Modkit Micro?
Modkit Micro is a graphical programming environment for microcontrollers. Microcontrollers allow programmers and engineers to add behaviors to everyday objects and electronic gadgets. We created Modkit Micro to bring the world of microcontroller programming to the masses. Modkit Micro helps almost anyone to make almost anything smarter through a simple, yet powerful visual programming interface.
How does Modkit Micro work?
We designed Modkit Micro to be as intuitive as possible, while still retaining the power and flexibility of a real programming environment. See the workflow below to get an idea of just how intuitive Modkit Micro is:
This looks like Scratch, how is it related?
Modkit Micro is based on years of research at the MIT Media Lab including the popular Scratch project, so it will look familiar to the over 1 million kids and novice programmers who have already been introduced to Scratch.
What Hardware does Modkit Micro Support?
We developed Modkit Micro to be flexible enough to support many different microcontroller platforms and boards. See the list below for our currently supported boards:
If you are looking for hardware that we currently don't support, make sure to check out the FAQs at the bottom of this page for info on requesting additional board support.
Is Modkit Micro for kids?
Yes. We recommend Modkit Micro for kids of all ages — from 6 to 106!
Modkit Micro is really for anyone who wants to add interactivity to their everyday lives — without dealing with the obstacles associated with traditional programming. This includes artists, inventors, kids, designers, engineers, educators, students and everyday makers. We've tested Modkit Micro with these diverse audiences in workshop settings, Maker Faires and our Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn educational program.
Here are some clips from a short 40 minute workshop for elementary school students at TEDxKIDS Brussels. Participants made a tangible version of the standard "Hello World" project by tracing their hands on paper and programming servos to wave at their command:
Why is this important?
Over the last few years, the DIY/Maker communities have pushed to make electronics and microcontrollers more accessible. As a result, microcontrollers are no longer just for engineers — anyone can now pick up an Arduino board at their local Radioshack! Now that microcontrollers are even easier to find and buy, they should be just as easy to interact with and program. Modkit Micro works to make microcontrollers accessible to anyone, regardless of their particular background or skill set.
Now that the DIY/Maker communities have helped move microcontrollers to the mainstream, it is important to support projects like Modkit Micro that help to democratize programming. By supporting Modkit Micro, you are supporting a tool that will enable the Maker mindset and culture to reach a much wider audience, including schools, community centers, art spaces, and basically anyone else with the desire to create.
We're launching Modkit Micro on Kickstarter to produce copies of the desktop version on a flash drive and to provide early access to the online version to our supporters. Unlike most Kickstarter campaigns, we wanted to give our supporters something before our campaign is even finished. Support Modkit Micro at any level that includes early access to the online version through the Alpha Club and you'll be able to redeem that part of your reward by June 1st.
Yes! We funded some of our earlier development through a successful Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2010: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modkit/modkit-electronics-arduino-for-everyone We're excited to have come full circle and our now using Kickstarter to launch a product that we initially funded on Kickstarter!
We learned a lot from this first experience and have grown along with the Kickstarter community. We see crowd funding as an alternative to traditional angel/seed funding and believe that if crowd funding will truly replace traditional funding, we will need to be able to go back to our funders for additional rounds after making substantial progress. So here we are and expect us back again in the near future!
If you were one of our original Kickstarter backers, make sure to check out our latest update to the original campaign as it has some important information about additional rewards if our new Modkit Micro Kickstarter is successful.
What's the difference between the free, Modkit Micro online editor and the paid desktop editor? Which version is right for me?
Modkit Micro's desktop editor is a stable standalone program suitable for those who desire a consistent Modkit Micro experience that’s usable offline. Educators typically find these features appealing or necessary if their schools have policies that restrict internet use.
We will frequently update Modkit Micro's free, online version to include our most recent releases. Although most features will be Alpha Club tested, testing from the wider user base typically uncovers minor issues - making the releases more agile yet less stable than a desktop version. Features that make it into our desktop editor have been tested more extensively than those released in the online version. The desktop editor’s release cycle will be slower than online updates, but more stable. Desktop versions will also make the most sense for users who don’t have consistent access to internet connections.
With Modkit's Alpha Club, you will get access to early, unreleased Modkit Micro features. By being part of the Alpha Club, you will be a key supporter of Modkit's development and will have the chance to give us feedback on our latest experiments! We periodically move features that test well in Alpha Club to the publicly available Modkit Micro and release a new set of up-and-coming features to Alpha Club members.
When your Alpha Club membership expires, you can choose to renew it for a fee or start using the publicly available (non-Alpha) version of Modkit’s online editor or the desktop editor (that you received for supporting the Kickstarter campaign). If you don’t renew, there’s a chance that the features you tested early in Alpha Club will make it to a public Modkit version, but you would have to wait longer for the latest and greatest.
Modkit Micro is based on the Wiring Framework so the first step is making sure that Wiring supports your board. In addition to Wiring's own boards, most Arduino compatible boards are also supported. If Wiring does not yet target your microcontroller platform you may be able to port it.
Assuming Wiring already supports the board in question, you can request that we add the board by posting a comment on the top of this Kickstarter page. We can only promise the supported boards mentioned above will be available in the initial release of Modkit Micro, but if enough supporters request a particular board, we'll see what we can do.
We are releasing Modkit Micro’s desktop editor on a flashdrive for numerous reasons. We know that some Kickstarter supporters still get a kick out of receiving physical mail - so the flashdrive reward is right up their alley. We hope that users with access to high bandwidth connections (enough to download the desktop editor) will make use of our online editor. They can access the same new Micro features without waiting for shipping.
Another reason for shipping Modkit Micro on a flash drive relates to the DIY/Maker culture. Many makers purchase hardware and other physical components. We believe that offering software on a flashdrive that can be conveniently distributed alongside devices will introduce Modkit Micro to a larger audience (with the goal of benefiting more people). We aim to be as integrated into the DIY/maker culture that we know and love in as many ways as possible.
The Modkit Micro desktop version will support Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OSX 10.5+, and Linux (Ubuntu).
Stay tuned for updates relating to boards in the pipeline.
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