SparkFun + Bocoup <3 NodeBots Day

Join hundreds of makers and hackers around the world to learn about building robots with JavaScript.

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Note: This is a guest post from Francis Gulotta, Director of Web Connected Devices at Bocoup, our partners in the creation of the Johnny-Five Inventor’s Kit!

Early on in the life of the Johnny-Five Inventor's Kit (J5IK), back when it was a glimmer in my eye, hoping to find a red box, I said something along the lines of, "We need to make sure we take care of the NodeBots community," and boy howdy that's what we're doing!

NodeBots Day is July 30 in a city near you. This year we're in 20 cities around the world! For the past four years people of all ages and skill/experience levels have come together at the same time to learn new skills and make awesome robots with JavaScript.

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This reconbot's agility never ceases to amaze!

We find JavaScript easy to learn, easy to teach, and easy to debug. Nothing is more frustrating than when your project just doesn't work and you can't figure out why. We use the Johnny-Five platform, which lets you change the hardware you're using without having to relearn everything or change your code completely. If you've done any website development, think of it as the jQuery of electronics. Write it once, and run it anywhere!

In fact, it's from running the NodeBots monthly meetups and yearly events that my team at Bocoup saw the need for the J5IK. Most beginner events were based around a laptop controlling an Arduino. While you can go very far with that setup, it's nice to be able to cut the cord. Using a single board computer we could combine the laptop and the Arduino into one! We evaluated all the existing single board computers on the market today and found that the Tessel 2 was by far the easiest to use and quickest to get started with.

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Reading an SPDT switch with a Tessel 2 is one of many cool things you can learn how to do with the J5IK.

At this year's NodeBots Day, we're hoping to see fewer 20-foot USB cables attached to Arduinos and many more WiFi-enabled Tessel 2s. To help make that happen we've taken a few steps to help support each event by providing discounts, educational materials and, in some cases, even prizes!

But there's something even better we can do. We can talk to you! If you'd like to see what NodeBots is all about, head on over to, see about joining your local community, and log in for NodeBots Day on July 30! If there isn't an event around you, you can easily follow along at home and join us in our online chat to get help or share what you have created. Maybe you'll even find yourself starting an event next year.

Happy Botting!


Learn more about the J5IK below!

Johnny-Five Inventor's Kit

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