This is the PICkit 4, the official programmer from Microchip. The PICkit 4 allows debugging and programming of PIC®, dsPIC®, AVR, SAM and CEC flash microcontrollers and MPUs using the powerful graphical user interface of the MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The MPLAB PICkit 4 is connected to a PC using a high-speed 2.0 USB interface and can be connected to the target via an 8-pin Single In-Line (SIL) connector. The connector uses two device I/O pins and the reset line to implement in-circuit debugging and In-Circuit Serial Programming™ (ICSP™). An additional micro SD card slot and the ability to be self-powered from the target means you can take your code with you and program on the go. Comes with a USB to micro-B USB cable.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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I use this with MPLAB IDE (and IPE) with PIC16 and PIC10 ICs and it works great.