Kitronik Igloo

Kitronik Igloo is a sewable PICAXE control board designed for use within e-textiles projects.

It provides a cost effective, fun way to learn about electronics and programming within an e-textiles environment, and is priced at just under £5, making it accessible for school and home users.

Kitronik hopes Igloo will inspire people to create their own e-textiles project or piece of wearable technology and support teachers in the delivery of innovative e-textiles lessons.

I must confess that when I saw that using Igloo involved programming I was I little concerned, but I needn’t have been. In fact, it couldn’t have been easier.

In order to use Igloo it is necessary to have Blockly on your computer. Blockly is a ‘drag and drop’ visual editing application and is easily downloadable from the AppStore.

Kitronik has produced video tutorials that provide easy to follow instructions regarding how to install Igloo and how to program it using Blockly. It can perform functions such as causing an LED light to flash on and off. The onboard switch can also control the same LED light.

This is only the tip of the iceberg (pardon the pun) regarding Igloo’s capabilities. With 10 ports for conductive threads (or crocodile clips), Igloo is the ideal nerve centre for an e-textile project. It provides a fun way to learn about electronics and programming within an e-textiles environment and following the Kitronik tutorials it is remarkably easy to use. This is an imaginative and innovative product that lives up to the warning in the Kitronik brochure that Igloo ‘may contain inspiration’.
Verdict: 10/10                                                                   Mark Kelly


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