According to Kevin Anderle, an applications-engineer manager at Freescale, "You don't have to be an engineer or have extensive design experience to learn new programming skills. By working with the robot, designers acquire valuable technical abilities they can apply to sensor applications."
"We aimed to create a tool that would let casual users and consumers of technology become creators and innovators," Rich Testardi, director of engineering for StickOS and CPUStick.com, told us.
"With StickOS and tools like the Freescale robot, creating innovative projects with sensors becomes much easier. There's no 500-page manual or complicated programming language to learn. The robot lets users with different levels of experience learn to program and work with sensors in a new, fun way." (You can download a 106-page "StickOS BASIC User's Guide," though.)
I look forward to trying the FSLBOT and refreshing my knowledge of BASIC. I last used BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80 in the early 1980s. You might wonder about using BASIC with a sophisticated MCU such as the ColdFire MCF52259, but from what I read in the user's guide, this version of BASIC offers many interesting capabilities, and you can get versions for many types of MCUs.
Design News will run a series of five one-hour "deep-dive" analyses of MCU development kits during the week of June 18, with one session each day. (Registration is not yet available, so please check back.) I'll lead the sessions and hope to include a session devoted to the Freescale robot kit and development tools.