Bluetooth LE smart robot provides STEAM educational solution for young children

Oslo, Norway
Makeblock’s ‘mTiny’ use nRF52832 SoC enabling smart pen to send commands to robot via Bluetooth LE

mTiny is designed to help children learn basic coding principles

Makeblock’s ‘mTiny’ employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC enabling smart pen to send commands to robot via Bluetooth LE

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Makeblock, a global STEAM education solution provider, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘mTiny’ connected robot and tap pen controller.

mTiny is a screen-free smart education robot designed to help children aged four and older learn basic coding principles, as well as engage multiple senses, develop logical thinking, and interactively solve problems through language, math, and music using a tap pen controller, connected robot, and interactive map.

Both the tap pen controller and the robot feature optical identification, a 6-axis gyroscope, and the Nordic nRF52832 SoC enabling the pen to wirelessly send commands to the robot over Bluetooth LE connectivity, up to a range of approximately 10 meters in open areas. Supported by the Nordic SoC’s generous 512kB Flash memory, the interactive mTiny platform can be used to play a variety of multisensory educational and coding games.
Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC allows the device to achieve more complex, computationally intensive applications
mTiny uses a 1800mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery in the robot and a 300mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery in the pen to provide around two-and-a-half hours of battery life before recharge, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.

“We selected Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC for mTiny due to the chip’s outstanding power consumption and memory allocation, which allows the device to achieve more complex, computationally intensive applications and moving forward makes it possible to perform important over-the-air device firmware updates (OTA-DFUs),” Makeblock’s product manager said.

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