Understanding the Finch hardware capabilities is important for any programmer wishing to develop for the Finch. This page discusses the Finch's sensors, motors, buzzer, LED, USB tether, and plastic shell.
Light & Sound
The Finch electronics are encased in a two piece plastic molded shell. The shell was designed to account for both practical and aesthetic considerations. Practical shell features include:
- Shell conforms to a two handed grip, with the light sensors placed so that they can easily be occluded by thumbs (and thus used as buttons).
- The Finch can be balanced on its tail with the beak pointing up, which can be useful for testing programs that use the motors.
- An indentation on the Finch tail allows tape or velcro mounting of a pen.
- The USB cable can easily be wrapped around the lower part of the Finch's body.
- The shell includes a slide caster that is nearly frictionless.
The shell aesthetics were designed with feedback from high school CS teachers and students. Roughly 100 students voted on several early shell designs, and we selected the top two vote-getting shell designs and combined the favorite features from each to come up with the final Finch design.
Circuit Board Schematic
The schematic for the current version of the Finch is shown below. You can also download a full-resolution version.