140317_tessel.JPG Tessel

Tessel might be the closest thing yet to a microcontroller for the masses

By Nick Mediati (@dtnick) · Published March 17, 2014 at 9:09pm.

Microcontrollers are amazing little things. These tiny computers lie at the heart of countless home-built tech projects, from robots to automated bartenders. Using a microcontroller requires some programming prowess: Tessel is no different in this sense, but it’s a step in the right direction toward bringing microcontrollers to the masses.

Tessel, a new microcontroller that ships sometime this spring, uses JavaScript as its primary programming language. JavaScript, of course, is a popular language used to build web apps and pages: It’s widely used and it’s easy to find documentation and tutorials on the topic, so it’s not a bad place to start if you want to learn to code. It’s also eaiser to pick up and learn than other programming languages like C and its variants.

Tessel teamImage: Tessel
The Tessel team.

It’s certainly possible to program other microcontrollers with JavaScript, but Tessel was built with JavaScript programming in mind with the start, which will hopefully mean a better, easier experience.

Of course, it’s hard to say for sure how well Tessel works until we actually use one, but it sounds promising. The Tessel is now available for preorder on the Tessel site, and it starts at $99.

[Tessel via Robert Strohmeyer]

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