micro:bit (front)

The micro:bit (also known as the BBC Micro Bit) is another microcontroller that can power servos for Paper Mech projects.  It was developed as part of a UK STEM education initiative.

micro:bit (back)

The micro:bit can be programmed using a web browser in a variety of languages including  block-based languages like Blocks and Scratch, as well as Javascript, Python and others.

A good place to start with micro:bit is the guide here.  This tutorial uses a block-based language (similar to Scratch) in a web browser-based editor called MakeCode.  Once you’ve set up your micro:bit, it is helpful to work through the short code tutorials here, beginning with “Flashing Heart”.  These tutorials will step you through some of the basic functions of the micro:bit, including lighting up the built-in LEDs, programming the built-in buttons, and getting two micro:bits to send messages to each other.  There are many other classroom-friendly sample projects at this website, as well as more advanced computer science and coding curricula.

If you would like to explore other hardware projects — such as reading a temperature sensor, using a piezo buzzer, etc. —  here is a helpful series of tutorials by SparkFun.  You may have to purchase additional electronics for the projects.

Here is an additional list of places where you can purchase micro:bits and accessories.

This instructional video shows how to set up a mini servo motor with the micro:bit.  WARNING:  the micro:bit can only output a very small amount of power to a mini servo motor.  In order to power a stronger motor, you will need a different configuration (instructions coming soon).

Here is how to hook up a single mini servo motor to a micro:bit.

USB cable to connect micro:bit to computer; micro:bit; mini servo (we use a 180-degree servo in this example); 3 alligator clips with pigtails (single prongs at the end). If you don’t have pigtail clips, you can use a jumper wire attached to a regular alligator clip.


Attach the alligator clips to the servo. Color doesn’t matter, but it is advisable to match clip colors to servo wire colors.


Attach the clips to the micro:bit. Be sure to match white to “0” on the board (pin 0); red to “3V” (power); and black to “GND” (ground). Attach the USB cable from the micro:bit to your computer.



Download the following program to your micro:bit. You can read it as: “When I push button A, set the servo attached to pin0 to 30 degrees. When I press button B, set the servo attached to pin0 to 180 degrees.” See this Instructable for details on how to do this in MakeCode.