MC HCK – Five dollar microcontroller!

The MC HCK five dollar micro controller project is now getting more publicly active, with a forum thread started and some mailing list traffic.

Why am I so keen on this board? Well it is small,  cheap, can be used on breadboard, is more powerful than many common systems, has a good number of I/O pins and a reasonable computer build chain.

Now before the comments are flooded with “so what – plenty like that around” – take note of the target price of $5, yes FIVE DOLLARS.  As the forum post says:

“you all know the drill — $20 makes you stingy (“frugal”)…… Low price fosters creativity”

When this hits the streets it will be affordable to have several projects on the go at once and even keep in use permanently! You can more risk instead of being overprotective of your precious chips.

All that is fantastic, but the implications actually go a LOT further. There are huge numbers of people who have little or no access to this type of technology, but the MC HCK could change that!

Imagine 10s or 100s of thousands of these devices, maybe used with the slowly spreading OLPC (Australia just announced OLPC funding).

This site exists to inspire the individuals in the varied communities and help remove restrictions to accessing this technology as described in the UsableDevices About page:

“unrestricted access is to increase access to these devices/projects for those in developing countries or other socially and financially restricted groups by promoting really cheap and accessible, but useful projects. ie people can source parts easily worldwide, or scavenge local parts or substitutes, as well as access to the tools and techniques to build the projects”

So it is really exciting to support ideas like the MC HCK !