Wearables-focused prototyping board packs sensors and LEDs

July 07, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Mouser Electronics is now stocking the Circuit Playground from Adafruit, an all-in-one board that includes built-in sensors and LEDs for designers to practice programming on real hardware without the need to solder components in place.

The round electronics platform comes with 14 alligator-clip pads for easy access to power and inputs and outputs (I/O). The eight non-power pads can also act as capacitive touch pads, which designers can control by toggling a digital pin addressing the resistor as pullup, pulldown, or floating. The board features an Atmel ATmega32u4 processor and incorporates programming based on the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) through its built-in USB interface, which allows designers to program the board directly through its micro-USB port.

The Circuit Playground also offers built-in USB HID support, which means the board can act like a mouse or keyboard to attach directly to computers. The Circuit Playground includes a host of on-board components, including 10 NeoPixels — tiny RGB LEDs with integrated driver — temperature and light sensors, and a MEMS microphone. The board’s triple-axis accelerometer detects tilt, gravity, and motion, as well as tap and double tap strikes on the board. The board requires an input voltage of just 3.3V, which offers designers a choice of power sources raging from USB, AAA battery pack, or rechargeable Li-poly batteries for portable designs.

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