Microbit Toy Hacking for YCM group

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

I was invited to provide a workshop for the Young Coders Meetup in London at Redhats office in London.

The aim was to teach the young attendees how to hack toys and add a micro-controller to a not expensive 4 wheel drive toy. The plan is that the YCM will run workshops of their own in the future.

I selected a toy that was available for around £10 in the UK. This was a two motor toy with gearing to create 4 wheel drive. I decided to use the BBC Microbit as the micro-controller, and use a second Microbit with its in built accelerometer to be used as a remote control.

I created a worksheet for these sessions and ran through the disassembly, removing the original toy electronics, at the same time showing how to identify what all the components are and what we can reuse in our hacking. I only had 1hour for the entire session, so we concentrated on the taking apart, removing unwanted components, rewiring the power pack to power the microbit and motor driver board. The session was well received and has had a number of follow up questions and future sessions are planned.

All setup and ready to go

Modified Toy with Microbit Controller

Original Toy before hacking