Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Help Kickstart Modkit Micro!

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.

Why Kickstarter?

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.

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