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Sep 29, 2015 11:11 EST

Buzz – A New Pixel Pal: Buzz is an easy and fun educational kit that builds STEAM / STEM skills and grows from a project to a friend you can program.

iCrowdNewswire - Sep 29, 2015

Buzz and his friends, The Pixel Pals, live on Planet M and they are makers. Through their adventures, they learn about different materials and technologies, solve problems, and explore new ideas.

  • Buzz is easy to build for all skill levels, especially beginners. 
  • Buzz encourages exploration and play. 
  • Buzz can be used to learn other skills, such as programming. 
  • Buzz is fun. 
  • Buzz is educational and builds S.T.E.A.M. Skills. 

Buzz is simple to assemble and interactive when complete. Buzz works with his Brain Board, Arduino, and with Raspberry PiBuzz is ready for adventure and he needs your help make it possible.

Designed to Make Learning Easy And Fun

Many electronic kits do not offer anything more than a battery and a LED. Once completed, those kits end up in a drawer, never to be used again. At the other end of the spectrum, there are electronic kits that are really interesting but have so many parts and instructions that they are intimidating. That is why we designed Buzz and the Pixel Pals to be simple to assemble, easy to use, and to be compatible with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and dozens of other platforms. 

Buzz Builds S.T.E.M / S.T.E.A.M Skills

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math education. STEAM is about developing innovators and critical thinkers. It is about real world learning.

In the real world, content knowledge is interwoven and layered, not isolated. STEAM curriculum focuses on collaboration, cooperation, and communication through project-based cross subject learning. In the real world, for example, baking a cake requires one to use math, science, and art to accomplish the task.

Buzz is designed with these STEAM foundations in mind. Buzz builds on skills sets and grows from an instructional electronics kit, to a soldering skill builder, to a tool to learn (or teach) programming with.

Over the past year we have worked with many educators in order to ensure what we are doing with the Pixel Pals is on the right track. The response has been overwhelmingly positive that the Pixel Pals are on the right track.

Parents, educators, and makers are using the Pixel Pals to help young makers grow and learn.The Pixel Pals take away the intimidation of learning electronics by focusing on project based learning.  

 Your Support Is More than about a product

At Soldering Sunday we work with people around the world to help makers of all ages learn and find their passion.  Through these hands on activities and workshops that we make the biggest positive impact for new makers. We continuously take the feedback from those workshops and put it into the evolution of the Pixel Pals.

Helping a new maker grow and learn a new skill is exciting and rewarding and your support helps us do just that.  Whether it is doing hands on “Make with Us” workshops at Maker Faires, attending school and library Maker Faires, working with educators, or participating in community events, your support makes it possible for us to help inspire new generations of makers.

Introducing The Brain Board

From such feedback, the Brain Board was born. Ken Olsen over at Makers Box suggested we pair the Pixel Pals with a programmable base that makers could easily build and program the pixel Pals with. Ken built a prototype and sent it to us and we were hooked. Ken shares the same passion for inspiring new makers that we do. Working with Ken, we are proud to introduce The Brain Board.

The Brain Board is an ATTINY85 microcontroller board you build yourself and has a USB interface and uses the familiar Arduino IDE to program. Plug Buzz into the Brain Board, connect it to your computer, and program away. The Brain board also has built in touch and light sensors that adds interactivity to your Pixel Pal. When not connected to USB it can work off a single coin-cell battery.

The Brain Board has a header, just like you on an Arduino that you can plug Buzz, or any Pixel Pal, right into.  The ATTIny85 comes pre-loaded with the Micronucleus Bootloader which is designed for AVR ATtiny microcontrollers. This bootloader allows the Brain Board to be programmed just like you would an Arduino board. 

The Brain Board comes as a kit and in a few minutes you can solder it together and start programming. It is an excellent skill builder and a next step after building your Pixel Pal.

Arduino and Raspberry Pi Compatible

The Arduino and Raspberry PI are excellent next step to work on larger projects and to dive deeper into the world of circuits and hardware.  Just as with all the Pixel Pals, Buzz grows with you in your skill and interest level and plugs into Arduino and with the Pixel Pi Adapter, plugs into Raspberry Pi as well. 

When you plug Buzz into a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino, you can control his eyes and his sounds with programming. Buzz is an excellent way to get kids involved in Computer Science and take part in the Hour of Code initiative. We already have Arduino and Raspberry Pi tutorials online for Chip and with your support we will have the Buzz tutorials available shortly.

Buzz’s Basic Pack

The Basic pack is a perfect for anyone who has an Arduino or Raspberry Pi already. Included is a Buzz kit, Pixel Power Kit, and a Pixel Pal Pi adapter kit. The Pixel Power won’t make Buzz’s speaker work – you need a microcontroller for that, but it will light his eyes and makes a great display stand for Buzz. Just plug Buzz into your Arduino to play with his speaker. This pack is also for those who are new to soldering and want to start with the basics.

Buzz Basic Pack Includes: 

  • Buzz Kit: PCB, Male Right Angle Header, (2) 10mm Blue LEDS, (2) 10mm Red LEDS, (2) 10mm Green LEDS, (2) 10mm Yellow LEDs, (1) 3-volt Coin-cell Battery Pixel Pal Pi Kit: PCB, (2) Female Headers
  • Pixel Power Kit: PCB, (2) Buttons, Slide Switch, Male Right Angle Header, Female Header, (2) 220Ohm Resistors, Battery Clip,  3-volt Coin-cell Battery
  • Pixel Pal Pi Kit: PCB, (2) Female Headers


Buzz’s Brain Pack

This pack includes a Buzz kit, Pixel Pal Pi kit, and a Brain Board Kit. This combo is perfect for beginners who are looking to try something a little more challenging. When the Brain Board is complete, you will have you very own microcontroller. Perfect if you do not have an Arduino already. With the Brain board you can control Buzz’s eyes, his belly button buzzer, and use light and touch sensors to add interactivity to your Arduino sketches. Take your skills to the next level and go on an adventure with Buzz and the Brain Board. 

Buzz Brain Pack Includes: 

  • Buzz Kit:  PCB,  Male Right Angle Header, (2) 10mm Blue LEDS, (2) 10mm Red LEDS, (2) 10mm Green LEDS, (2) 10mm Yellow LEDs, (1) 3-volt Coin-cell Battery 
  • Pixel Pal Pi Kit: PCB, (2) Female Headers
  • Brain BoardKit:  PCB, AtTiny85, IC Socket, Battery Clip, CR2032 Battery, Photo Transistor,  DPDT Slide Switch, 10 uf Cap, .1uf Cap, 5MM Led, USB Connector, 1n4001 Diode, (2) 3.6v Zener Diode, 1.5k Resistor, (3) 220 Ohm Resistor

Pixel Pal Perfect Combo

Buzz & Chip are Best Friends. Keep them together for twice the fun! This combo is loaded with high adventure and includes a Buzz Kit, a Chip Kit, a Pixel Power Kit, a Brain Board Kit, and a Pixel Pal Pi kit. 

Pixel Pal Combo includes: Buzz Kit, Chip Kit, Pixel Pal Pi Kit, Pixel Power Kit, and Brain Board Kit

“Personal-Eyes”

Each Pixel Pal character kit comes with four sets of LEDS so that you can make your Chip your very own. Will you choose Buddy Blue, Radiant Red, Glowing Green, or Yummy Yellow?

Pixel Power

The Pixel Power is a battery board and display stand. The Pixel Power only powers Buzz’s eyes – not his belly buzzer. It is perfect for a skill builder soldering project and a way to display Buzz, or Chip, on your desk.

The Pixel Power starts as a kit, but when assembled it can be used for other projects. For example, it can be used with conductive thread as a sewable battery and switch for e-craft and e-textile projects.

Pixel Pal Pi

The Pixel Pi is the adapter that lets you plug the Pixel Pals directly into the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins without needing to breadboard.

The Pixel Pals – A little History

Buzz is the second Pixel Pal we have released. Chip was the first and 184 very special people helped bring Chip to life right here on Kickstarter. Now Buzz is here to join his friends and continue the adventures.

Each Pixel Pal has their own personality and functionality. We see the Pixel Pals as a way to connect with young makers and encourage them to explore and create.

About Soldering Sunday

The most import thing we make at Soldering Sunday is more makers. We believe that tinkering and making are part of who we are as humans and that the things makers make can change the world. It does not mater if you are an engineer, an artist, a mom, a dad, an educator, a student, a hobbyist, or a professional maker. We want to help you explore new ideas, connect with fellow makers, and create the things that you are passionate about.

Soldering is Easy!

Soldering is not magic and it is not hard. It is a learned skill and with a little guidance anyone can do it.

One of our inspirations and the best soldering resource around comes from Mitch Altman. Mitch has taught thousands of people to solder. Mitch Altman, Andie Nordfren, and Jeff Keyzer put together a free comic book entitled Soldering is Easy that will teach anyone the basics of soldering. Please feel free to download one for yourself or your group.

http://mightyohm.com/blog/2011/04/soldering-is-easy-comic-book/

If you are looking for personal help on how to solder and are local to New Jersey, you are always welcome to come to FUBAR Labs. Every Sunday at FUBAR is open to the public for Soldering Sunday (yes, this is where we got our name from). Check the FUBAR Meetup Groupfor times and other classes. If you are in the South Jersey or Philly area we recommend you check out our friends at SoHA Smart.

Not local to New Jersey, there are plenty of Makerspaces, Hackerspaces, and Fab Labs around the globe where you can learn. You can also check for a Maker Faire in your area.  If you are in San Francisco maybe you can learn from Mitch Altman himself at Noisebridge.

Thank you again for your support.
You can always find us at SolderingSunday.com

Keep updated on our progress through Kicktraq

 

Contact Information:

Soldering Sunday

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