Trying out the Laika Inventors Kit

Finally I had some time around christmas to assemble my Laika Explorer Board that I backed last summer on Kickstarter (this was the first project I backed). I chose to go for the „Inventors Kit“ that contains a breadboard, cables, LEDs, potentiometers and motors among others. The board is connected to my Raspberry Pi via USB and it has its own power supply (5V) to drive the motors. Mainly I followed the tutorials on http://www.project-laika.com/. Unfortunately reading the tutorials is currently the only way of learning how to work with it as I did not find a proper documentation – the python manual is PDF slightly longer than one page.

First exercise was getting to run one of the LEDs supplied. Therefore I connected it to the digital output and let the current go back via a resistor. Later I connected one of the motors and finally I was able to control its speed with the potentiometer.
laika1

Next was assembling the 7-segment display:
laika2

That was pretty though, not because the task itself was hard but because this was my first go on electronics and I was worried to destroy the board. :) Unfortunately the kit doesn’t contain male/male cables for following the last step of the 7-segment tutorial and I had to look for a cable myself to power the display.
laika3

So far I’ve only programmed the board with Scratch which is totally easy. Next time I will try Python.

In case you’re interested: they started regularly selling the inventors kit, more information here:
http://www.project-laika.com/purchase-inventors-kit