Some details about Arduino Uno

In previous article, I reviewed some open source hardwares for children programming, and considered the Micro:bit is the best choice. But recently, after searching many different types of micro-controllers, I noticed an advanced version of Arduino Uno R3 (less than $3) is desperately cheaper than Micro:bit (about $16) in (a famous e-marketing website in China). Despite the low price, Arduino also have a simple and intuitive IDE (Integrated Development Environment):

The programming language for Arduino is Processing, which looks just like C-language. A python developer could also learn Processing very quickly, for it is also a typeless language.
I also find an example code of blinking a LED bubble by Arduino:

Easy enough, right? But it still have more convenient graphic programming tools, such as ArduBlock and Mixly

The demo of ‘ArduBlock’

The demo of ‘Mixly’

With Easy-learning language, and graphic programming interface, I think Arduino is also a good choice for children programming.

My choice between Raspberry PI, Arduino, Pyboard and Micro:bit

I want to teach my child about programming. But Teaching child to sit steadily and keep watching computer screen is not easy, I think, for children usually can’t focus on the boring developing IDE for more than ten minutes. Therefore I try to find some micro-controller which could be used to do some interesting works for kids, such as getting temperature/humidity from environment, or control micro motors on toy car.

There are many micro-controller or micro-computer chips on market. Then I have to compare them and finally choose the most suitable one.

Raspberry PI

Raspberry PI is very powerful. It could do almost anything that a personal-computer or laptop can do. But the problem about Raspberry PI is it is too difficult to learn for a child. And another reason I give up it is the price: $35 for only the bare chip without any peripherals.


Arduino is cheap enough. But you could only use C-language to program it. Using C-language need strong knowledges about computer science, such as memory models and data structures. Imaging use C-language to implement a working-well dictionary, it looks like building a space ship in backyard for a pupil.

Until now, I could narrow my choices to chips that could support python, or micro-python. Because Python is easy to understand, looks much straightforward, and also could be used in imperative mode. In one word, it’s much easier to learn than C.

So let’s take a look at chips which support micro-python.


Pyboard is simple and cheap enough, and also supports micro-python. The only imperfection of it is that its hardware interface is hard to use for someone who doesn’t know hardware very well.


Launched in 2015 by BBC, Micro:bit is the most suitable chip for a child to learning program and even IOT(Internet Of Things), in my opinion. It is cheap: only $18. It supports programming by micro-python and Javascript (Graphic IDE), so child could using a few lines of Python code to control it. It also support a bunch of peripherals such as micro motor, thermometer, hygrometer, bluetooth and WIFI. Children could use it as core-controller to run a intelligent toy car. The Micro:bit even have Android/IOS app for operation, which is perfect for little child under 7 years.

So this is my choice: Micro:bit.