Micro:bit Maqueen: an excellent tool for robotics and STEAM education 

 February 20, 2023

By  Peter

I spent several hours playing with the Maqueen, a wheeled robot by DFRobot that is controlled by a BBC Micro:bit microcontroller.

I loved it.

The Maqueen is easy to assemble, made of high-quality materials, with many integrated sensors and actuators. Here’s the hardware that is integrated into the Maqueen:

  • Infrared Grayscale Sensor(High-low level) x 2
  • Buzzer x 1
  • Infrared Receiver (NEC decoder) x 1
  • LED Lights (High-low level control) x 2
  • RGB Ambient Light (16 million colors) x 4
  • SR04, SR04P Ultrasonic Interface (5V) x 1
  • IIC Interface (3.3V) x 1
  • Servo Interface (S1 S2)x 2
  • Gravity Extension Interfaces (P1, P2) x 2
  • N20 All-metal Gear Motor x 2

Impressive, right?

The Maqueen hardware is controlled by a Micro:bit microcontroller, which you can program with the MakeCode graphical programming language or Javascript.

Unboxing and assembly

It is obvious that DFRobot spent a lot of time and effort to create a robotics kit that is easy to assemble. All components are top-quality, with a premium and sturdy feel, enclosed in individual antistatic bags. The kit is in a reusable plastic container that is big enough to contain additional components you may want to use with your Maqueen (remember, the Maqueen is expandable).

Here is my unboxing and assembly video (just under 6 minutes).

Maqueen, unboxing and assembly

Programming demonstration

Let’s look at how to program the Maqueen. In this video, I talk about the tools I have used, the programming process, and the MakeCode programming language.

Then, I go through the five experiments.

Feel free to jump to the segment of the video that you are interested in using the timestamps in this list:

  • 00:07 – MakeCode language
  • 00:41 – Chrome WebUSB
  • 01:39 – DFRobot documentation
  • 02:31 – Experiment 1: Motor control
  • 09:53 – Experiment 2: RGB LED
  • 14:21 – Experiment 3: Ultrasonic sensor
  • 16:41 – Experiment 4: Line sensors
  • 20:45 – Line sensors calibration
  • 22:40 – In conclusion

Enjoy the video!

Programming examples

In conclusion

I’m impressed with the Maqueen.

It is very easy to assemble and is an excellent tool for teaching basic programming and robotics skills. The educational material that is bundled with the Maqueen is excellent. This is our big advantage for anything to do with education in the classroom or out of the classroom.

The Maqueen is ideal for absolute beginners and intermediate learners in the classroom, and at home.

It has multiple integrated sensors and is expandable so you can connect other components to the Micro:bit through the McQueen chassis.

Your learning opportunities with the Maqueen can grow as your knowledge grows.


Microbit, Robotics, STEM

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stephane Calderoni wrote this article. Only the foreword is mine. Foreword Often we think we know something well because it seems simple. For example, an LED only needs a small resistor and a bit of

Read More
How to use a buzzer – the correct way

In this Maker Mind Meld Summit presentation, Jordan Christman explains how FPGAs work, and how you can use them in your projects alongside a microcontroller and microprocessor. FPGAs is a fascinating topic because it entails

Read More
Jordan Christman – Getting Started with FPGAs