Seluxit's Wappsto:bit Family Brings the Internet of Things to the BBC micro:bit — Thanks to an ESP32

Available as a carrier board or standalone development board, the Wappsto:bit adds Wi-Fi plus optional NB-IoT and GPS connectivity.

UPDATE (1/31/2022): Seluxit has officially launched the crowdfunding campaign for its Wappsto:bit, a device built around the design of the popular BBC micro:bit but featuring an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller and its integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The company's campaign has opened with only a single reward: The Wappsto:bit GO Starter Kit, which offers a single Wappsto:bit GO board and a bundled USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable for power and data. At the time of writing, there was no sign of the company's previously-teased carrier boards nor the Wappsto:bit Basic — the latter designed to upgrade existing BBC micro:bit boards with the new Wappsto:bit features.

The Wappsto:bit crowdfunding campaign is now live - without the Basic model or carrier boards. (📹: Seluxit)

Pricing for the Wappsto:bit GO has been set at $95 plus shipping; the campaign is seeking to raise $6,000 to fund production. More details are available on the project's Crowd Supply campaign page.

Original article continues below.

Danish educational electronics specialist Seluxit is preparing to launch the Wappsto:bit, a family of development boards designed to bring BBC micro:bit fans a new world of connectivity — including optional NB-IoT.

The BBC micro:bit, launched in partnership with the eponymous British Broadcasting Corporation, is a compact microcontroller development board built with education in mind. Updated late last year to include a new microphone, touch sensor, and more memory, the board features a wealth of inputs and outputs — such as a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio.

Seluxit, though, decided the device could do with a little more connectivity. Enter the Wappsto:bit, a family of three carrier boards and a single integrated BBC micro:bit clone.

First, the clone. A considerably bulkier design, the Wappstobit:GO combines all the functionality of a stock BBC micro:bit, including the edge connector and LED matrix, with an ESP32 WROOM32 D, providing 16MB of flash, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The upgraded design also includes a switch to USB Type-C for data and power and a 2.54mm mail header for general-purpose input/output (GPIO) access.

The Wappsto:bit Basic, by contrast, can't be used standalone. Instead, it accepts a BBC micro:bit by its edge connector and provides much the same functionality as the Wappsto:bit GO — including adding an ESP32 for improved connectivity, but without the standard edge connector.

For those working on projects where Wi-Fi and Bluetooth won't cut it, there are two more models rounding out the range. The Wappsto:bit NB-IoT adds cellular connectivity, while the Wappsto:bit NB-IoT+ sits at the top of the range with integrated GPS capabilities.

All models connect to Seluxit's Wappsto Dashboard, while Arduino examples are included. For those working with younger coders, an extension for the Makecode visual programming environment is included.

Seluxit is looking to launch the Wappsto:bit family on Crowd Supply soon, though pricing has yet to be announced.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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