Nordic-powered Calliope Mini 3 MCU Board enables Processing, Wireless Connectivity, and Interfacing for Educational Applications

Published  January 31, 2024   0
L Lakshita
Calliope Mini 3 MCU Board

German company Calliope has launched a compact and versatile educational computer designed to give children an age-appropriate and creative introduction to digital technologies by teaching them electronics and programming skills. The ‘Calliope mini 3’ microcontroller board is an upgrade to the original Calliope mini with enhanced features and functionality and is primarily designed for educational purposes. It enables a wide range of projects from simple games to IoT devices. Through the device, users can read sensor data, control LEDs and sounds, and connect motors for robotics and automation projects. This device is supported by the customizable ‘Calliope mini’ app featuring several editors upon which to code as well as information about projects and activities.

The Calliope mini 3 employs the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52833 multiprotocol SoC’s powerful 64 MHz Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU) for core processing power to run its complex programs and handle various tasks. This SoC provides ample Flash memory for storing program code and data, as well as RAM for program execution. The nRF52833 SoC also provides the Bluetooth® LE connectivity enabling the Calliope mini 3 to communicate wirelessly with other devices like smartphones and tablets. The SoC offers a user-friendly interface for programming using languages like MakeCode, MicroPython, and even C/C++. 

The Calliope mini 3 comes with an array of onboard sensors including an accelerometer to measure motion and orientation enabling projects like gesture-controlled games or step counters, a magnetometer for compass applications and orientation-related projects, and a light sensor to measure ambient light levels used in projects for detecting changes in lighting conditions or creating light-sensitive prototypes. It integrates a 5x5 LED matrix that allows text and graphics display, three RGB-LEDs to show colors within projects, USB-C power, and a built-in microphone and speaker for audio output. It also features two Grove and two Jacdac connectors for easy and quick extendibility to external hardware. Calliope mini 3 employs two AAA batteries for extended run times.