For his Ph.D. work, Jean-Baptiste Labrune has captured some cool line-ups of a trio of tinkerers microcontrollers for young and old.
The Pico Cricket there in the middle is something like the Lego building block approach of microcontroller tinkering. It looks nice and inviting, whereas the Arduino and Arduino Mini are cool but sort of feel like they could nick you like a barb if you’re not careful. Both devices are great ways to learn how to make your own stuff, which is what matters most nowadays â€” making your own fun things, distractions, pet toys and devices.
The Pico Cricket comes with a bunch of sensors you can connect to, whereas with the Arduino, you’d have to construct your own electronics to sense anything. Pico Cricket seems like a great environment for younger kids just learning about how things can be connected to other things so that stuff can happen. Word is, Pico Cricket and a fist full of sensors will set you back about $200.
Check out Jean-Baptiste’s research blog for much more insight.