Learning the ins and outs of microelectronics can be a challenge in the classroom. That's why it's always exciting when we see new products like Arduino Alvik that make the introductory process much more palatable to new makers. Just this week, Arduino has unveiled the new device which aims to help teachers share the joys of programming and robotics with students of all experience levels.
The Arduino Alvik is different from other devices we've covered in the past but also somewhat similar. The new system is designed to use Arduino's Nano ESP32 (a version of Espressif's ESP32 using the Nano form factor) and MicroPython. MicroPython is a version of Python3 for microcontrollers and it can be used with boards like the Raspberry Pi Pico.
If you're familiar with Lego Technic, you will be delighted to discover the Arduino Alvik has special connectors that work with Technic components. It also supports QWIIC (Stemma QT) connections and is compatible with external Grove sensors. You can easily modify the physical case with 3D-printed components or attach laser cut panels with M3 screws.
The Arduino Alvik also comes with a selection of integrated modules that save you the trouble of having to add them on yourself. It includes things like an accelerometer, line-following sensors and even a 6-axis gyroscope. The system also comes with a built in battery that can be recharged or replaced as necessary so you don't have to worry about plugging it into the wall which can make a huge difference in classroom settings where outlets might be limited.
As of writing, no price has been confirmed and it's not clear when the launch will take place. However, you can find more out about the Arduino Alvik over at the official website where you can also sign up to be among the first to get notified once more information is made available.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.