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Emerging Technology Collection Available for Loan

calendar icon September 4, 2018
close up shot of an electronic circuit board

Borrow kits from our Emerging Technology Collection. Read on for more information.

Squishy Circuits, MaKey MaKey, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beaglebone Black… oh my!

You may have heard of these products. What are they, and what can you do with them?

The hype around these products is due to the emerging Internet of Things (IoT). You may have heard of the IoT from reports of consumer products that may be available in the future, such as smart refrigerators that can adjust the temperature according to the food stored inside and compile weekly shopping lists to send to an online grocer. How does the Arduino and other such devices fit into the IoT?

The IoT requires the integration of electronic circuitry with computer control and processing. For example, a smart refrigerator will have much the same circuitry as a regular refrigerator, but it will be controlled by a computer. This integration means that to create devices for the IoT, you should know at least a little bit about electronics (circuits, batteries, resistors, etc.) and about computers, especially computer programming if you are interested in inventing your own creations.

How do you learn about electronics and computing? The Library can help with that! You can borrow any of our kits for 7 days, free of charge.

Squishy Circuits
This kit will give you hands-on experience with basic circuitry. By using conductive and insulating dough, you can create sculptures with embedded lights, motors and buzzers.

MaKey MaKey
This kit enables you to connect your computer to everyday objects to create fun toys like a “banana piano”, where the piano keys are replaced by bananas.

The Arduino is a microcontroller, which is a physical circuit board with a piece of software that allows you to write programming code to upload to the board in order to control it. It is lightweight and uses very little power, so perfect for attaching to things like flying drones.

Raspberry Pi & BeagleBone Black
The Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black are computers. Unlike a regular computer, there are built-in input/output (GPIO) slots into which you can insert electronic pins in order to connect to other electronic circuitry and objects like LED lights, fans, sensors, etc. Because these devices are stand-alone computers, you can write programs directly to them, instead of writing programs on a separate computer then uploading to the circuit board.

Come try out our kits!  See the full list of kits, visit our online guide, or drop by your campus Library to learn more.