Bulgaria-based Olimex recently released their eduArdu development board — an educational platform that packs plenty of sensors, buttons, and LEDs, along with all the tutorials, and source code aspiring makers will need to help them begin their journey with Arduino programming. The board came about when the Digital Children Foundation needed a development board to support digital literacy and innovative education in schools.
As far as hardware specs are concerned, the eduArdu features an ATmega32U4 processor, micro USB port (programming/debugging), a pair of servo motor connectors, UEXT connector, 6X Makey Makey-type buttons, LiPo charger/battery connector, microphone, joystick (with push button), status LED, reset button, buzzer, and 8 X 8 LED matrix display. The board is also equipped with a host of sensors, including an ultrasound distance sensor, light sensor, PIR sensor, an infrared transmitter/receiver, and temperature sensor.
On the software side, the eduArdu can take advantage of the Arduino IDE and the Snap4Arduino (a modified version of Snap!) drag-and-drop visual programming IDE. Olimex provides a wealth of tutorials on their product page — including an eduArdu introduction and installation video, Snap4Arduino installation, and a ton of sensor and project demos. They’ve even included KiCAD hardware design files and software resources on their GitHub page.
The eduArdu education development board is now available for about $17, and Olimex also offers the board as a Quick Start kit that comes with a pair of servos, a 1,400mA LiPo battery, USB cable, and several alligator clip cables for $34.