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Adafruit’s STEM and wearables-focused circuit playground

11 July 2016

Mouser Electronics is now stocking the Circuit Playground from Adafruit, offering an easy platform to practice programming on real hardware without the need to solder components in place.

Adafruit’s Circuit Playground, available from Mouser Electronics, is a round electronics platform with 14 alligator-clip pads for easy access to power and inputs and outputs (I/O). The eight non-power pads can also act as capacitive touch pads, which designers can control by toggling a digital pin addressing the resistor as pullup, pulldown, or floating. This small but powerful board features an Atmel ATmega32u4 processor (just like Adafruit’s popular wearable platform, Flora), and incorporates programming based on the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) through its built-in USB interface, which allows designers to program the board directly through its micro-USB port. The Circuit Playground also offers built-in USB HID support, which means the board can act like a mouse or keyboard to attach directly to computers. 

The Circuit Playground includes a host of on-board components, including ten NeoPixels — tiny RGB LEDs with integrated driver — temperature and light sensors, and a MEMS microphone. The board’s triple-axis accelerometer detects tilt, gravity, and motion, as well as tap and double tap strikes on the board. The board requires an input voltage of just 3.3V, which offers designers a choice of power sources raging from USB, AAA battery pack, or rechargeable Li-poly batteries for portable designs, such as wearables. 

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