About this project
This project introduces the BBC micro:bit's camera functionality, allowing users to take a timed photo using the device.
What you'll need
1 x BBC micro:bit
1 x Micro USB
1 x Computer or tablet
2 x AAA Batteries & Battery Holder
- Go to the BBC micro:bit website, click 'create code' and begin a new Microsoft Block Editor project.
- Under the left-hand commands menu, click 'Input' and find the 'On button [A] pressed do...' tile.
- We want to tell the device to take a photograph when the 'A' button is pressed. However, we also want to add in a five second delay to allow us to set up the shot. To enable the camera, select 'Devices' from the left-hand menu, and drag in the tile 'Tell camera to [take photo]. Attach to your 'On button [A] pressed do...' tile, and change [take photo] to [launch photo mode].
- To set up a countdown timer, drag in a 'set [item] to tile, and rename [item] to [counter].
- Attach a number tile from the 'Maths' menu, and set it to .
- Now we need to tell the timer to start counting down when the A button is pressed. This is a slightly different process to the last time we created a countdown timer (see Project Two). First you'll need to bring in a tile entitled 'for [i] from 0 to  do...' and attach it to your code. This tile can be found in the loops menu.
- In this tile, the [i] simply represents the variable being referenced in the code - in this case, the countdown timer. Feel free to change the name to something that makes more sense to you, but don't use 'counter' as we've already used this as a variable in this code. I've used 'Countdown' in this demo. Also, change the  to a  to bring it in line with your five second countdown timer.
- Under 'do', drag in a 'show number' tile from the 'Basic' menu, and drag a 'counter' tile from the Variables menu into the input box.
- Now drag in a 'change [item] by ' tile, also from the Variables menu, change [item] to [counter] and change  to [-1], to instruct the timer to count backwards from 5.
- Finally, drag in another 'Tell camera to [take photo]' tile from the devices menu, and attach this at the bottom, as indicated here:
- Now hit 'Run' to test out your script on the emulator. When you push the 'A' button the counter should begin counting down from 5 to 0. At zero, the device should take a photo. Compile your script and transfer it to your BBC micro:bit device to test it out for real. You can access your photos from the BBC micro:bit drive when you attach the device to your computer.
Once students have mastered this project, what else can they do with the BBC micro:bit camera functionality? Encourage them to play around with different commands and techniques, and let us know how they get on in the comments section below...