The Hummingbird Duo: A Robotics Kit for All Ages

BirdBrain Technologies introduced the Hummingbird Duo this week on Kickstarter, offering an electronics kit that can be used by primary education students all the way up to the adult maker, with different levels of learning. A development from the original Hummingbird robotics kit that won the Parent’s Choice Gold Award, the Hummingbird Duo is a 2-in-1 board, capable of operating as an original Hummingbird controller or as an Arduino Leonardo with an integrated motor/servo shield and improved connectors.

Future Hummingbird kits will feature the Duo controller as the core along with a variety of additional components including motors, servos, vibration motors, LEDs, and sensors. The kit components are easily secured to the Duo controller via clearly labeled spring-loaded terminal blocks.

The kit is also available with additional components (based on the rewards). These include an HS-311 Servo, a Pololu Gearmotor, single color, and tri-color LEDs. There will also be a collection of sensors available as well including light, temperature. distance. and ambient sound.

The Hummingbird Duo supports a wide range of programming environments from easy to learn to advanced. The CREATE Lab Visual Programmer is the original way to program a Hummingbird. Originating from the research program, Arts and Bots at Carnegie Mellon, it implements a story-boarding concept to programming robots. Other supported visual programming tools include Scratch 2.0 and Snap!. The Hummingbird Duo also supports Arduino IDE, Java and Python APIs, and Raspberry Pi.

For future reach goals, BirdBrain seeks to add Pixy integration, 3D printable parts, curricular resources, and a new sensor pack. Moving forward, BirdBrain also aims to support K-12 education. They have a partnership with ITEEA/Engineering by Design to produce a standards-aligned module for using the Hummingbird in the 6th grade. They are also developing a network of professional development partners to provide training workshops to school districts and organizations. Additionally, 1% of BirdBrain’s net profits go to the Computer Science Teacher’s Association.

You can read more about the work BirdBrain Technologies is doing from their site. Or you can directly support the Hummingbird Duo from the Kickstarter page.