Hummingbird Bit: BirdBlox Lessons

1 Connecting Electronics

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Steps 1 2 3 4 5
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Step 1

This module will show you how to plug LEDs, Position Servos, and a Light Sensor into your Hummingbird Bit.

Step 2

Find LED Port 1. Plug the color wire (green, orange, red, or yellow) into the positive (+) terminal and the black wire into the ground (-) terminal. Repeat this process for LED Port 2. When positive and ground are connected, you have a completed circuit. A circuit is required for electricity to flow.

Step 3

The four wires of the tri-color LED are red, green, blue, and black. The black wire should be connected to the ground terminal. The red wire should be connected to the ‘R’ terminal, the green to the ‘G’ terminal, and the blue to the ‘B’ terminal. By mixing red, green and blue light, you can create almost any color.

Step 4

When plugging in the servos, make sure the brown wire is aligned to ground, the red wire to positive, and the yellow wire to “S”. S stands for signal. Positive and ground provide the servo power, while the signal tells the servo which direction to turn.

Step 5

Like the servo, the light sensor has 3 wires. Red and black plug into positive and ground to provide power, while the yellow wire plugs into “S”. Sensory information travels from the light sensor into the Hummingbird through the signal wire.

Step 1

This module will cover how to connect to the Hummingbird Bit and start programming in Snap!.

Step 3

Insert a micro:bit into your Hummingbird Bit Controller, and connect it to the computer with the USB cord. The Hummingbird also needs a source of power, so connect it to the battery pack or AC power adapter.

Step 4

Download this file and drag it onto the micro:bit (you will need a computer with a USB port for this step). Your device should start to flash three letters on its display.

Step 5

Remove the USB cord. You won’t need it to use BirdBlox!

Step 1

In this module you will learn how to wirelessly connect your device to your Hummingbird Bit.

Step 2

Open BirdBlox.

Step 3

Tap New to create a new program. Give it a descriptive name.

Step 4

Tap the Hummingbird Connect button. Select Connect Device.

Step 5

Tap the name of your device. To identify your device, look at the initials flashing on the micro:bit connected to the Hummingbird Bit. Match these to the Bit name on tablet.

Step 6

When you connect to the Bit, you will hear the connection tone, and the initials will stop flashing. On the tablet screen, the dot on the Hummingbird Connect button will turn green, and the blocks for the Bit will turn teal.

Note: If you lose the connection to the Hummingbird, the initials will start to flash, the dot on the Hummingbird Connect button will turn red, and the blocks for the Bit will turn gray. If this happens, tap the Hummingbird Connect button, select Disconnect Device, and then reconnect.

Step 7

If you are using a battery pack to power to the Bit, the battery indicator will tell you when you need to change the batteries. If it is yellow, you need to change your batteries soon. If it is red, you need to change the batteries immediately.

Step 1

In this module and the next, you will learn to use the lights, which are also called light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. The Hummingbird kit contains single color LEDs and tri-color LEDs. Single color LEDs have two wires, while tri-color LEDs have four wires. The surface of the micro:bit contains 25 tiny LEDs that you can use to make pictures and patterns! This module will show you how to use the single color LEDs and the micro:bit LED display.

Step 2

Every program should begin with an event. An event is an action the computer can recognize. We will start our program by tapping the green flag in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Step 3

The Hummingbird Bit blocks are on the Robots menu in BirdBlox. The Bit Display block lets you pick which LEDs should be on and which should be off.

Step 4

Tap the green flag to run your first program!

Step 5

The wait block stops the program for a number of seconds.

Step 6

Add another Bit Display block to display a different pattern.

Note: The video shows one pattern, but feel free to create your own!

Step 7

Tap the green flag to run your program.

Step 8

 

Step 9

Leave the when tapped block, but delete the other three blocks.

Step 10

The Bit LED block is used to control a single color LED. To use this block, first select the port to which the LED is attached (one to three). Then set the brightness of the LED from 0% and 100%.

Step 11

Tap the green flag to run your program. The LED should turn on.

Step 12

 

Step 13

To turn the LED off, set the brightness to 0%.

Step 14

Use two Bit LED blocks and a wait to turn the LED on and then off.

Step 15

 

Step 16

Select port 2 to control your second LED.

Step 17

 

Step 18

 

Step 1

In this module, you will learn to use the tri-color LED. You will also use loops to repeat blocks in your programs.

Step 2

Delete everything except the when tapped block.

Step 3

Add a Hummingbird Tri-LED block, select the port of the tri-color LED (1 or 2) and the amount of red, green, and blue light from 0 to 100.

Step 4

Use two Hummingbird Tri-LED blocks and two wait blocks to blink the tri-color LED once.

Step 5

Drag the Bit Tri-LED and wait blocks into a repeat forever loop.

Step 6

Now your tri-color LED will blink over and over!

Step 7

 

Step 8

Add two Bit LED blocks to your program.

Step 9

Now the LED and the tri-color LED blink at the same time.

Step 10

 

Step 11

 

Step 1

In this module, you will use the position servo. The position servo is a motor that moves to a particular angle. The Hummingbird position servo can move to any angle from 0° to 180°.

Step 2

Delete any extra blocks from your program so that you are blinking one single color LED.

Step 3

Add two Bit Position Servo blocks so that the position servo moves back and forth as the LED blinks. In each position servo block, select the port of the servo (1-4) and the angle to which it should move (0° – 180°).

Step 4

 

Step 5

 

Step 6

 

Step 1

The light sensor measures the amount of light around it. You can use this sensor to make a robot that can detect when it is dark or bright.

Step 2

Drag a Hummingbird Light block into the Scripts area. Click on this block to see the current value of the light sensor.

Step 3

 

Step 4

You can use a sensor to enable a robot to make a decision. For example, suppose you want to turn on an LED if the light sensor detects that it is dark. The if else block is a decision block. The if else block has three parts.

Step 5

The top of the if else block has a hexagonal space. This space requires a Boolean block, which is a block that can be either true or false. You can create a Boolean block using the comparison operators from the Operators menu.

Drag a Hummingbird Light block into a less than comparison.

Step 6

The Boolean block in our sample program checks whether the value of the light sensor is less than 20.

Step 7

If the light sensor is less than 20, the block inside the then section of the if then else is executed, and the LED turns on. If the Boolean block is false, the block inside the else section of the if then else is executed, and the LED turns off. The value that a Boolean block uses to make a decision is called the threshold. In the sample program, the threshold is 20. If the value of the light sensor is less than this threshold, the program decides that it is dark.

Step 8

 

Step 9

 

Step 10

 

Step 11