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Handy Cricket Technical Information

The core Cricket design was done by Brian Silverman and Fred Martin.

Handy Cricket Hardware

The Cricket has the following feature set:

  • Microchip PIC® microprocessor with built-in Logo interpreter.
  • 4096 bytes of user program and data memory. This memory preserves your program and data even when the Cricket is turned off and batteries are removed.
  • Outputs for two DC motors. Two plugs and one bi-color LED on each output.
  • Inputs for two sensors. Sensor value may be read as true/false or converted to a number from 0 to 255.
  • Two bus ports, which allow the Cricket to interact a large collection of other devices.
  • Built-in infrared transceiver with raw data rate of 50k baud.
  • Power supply provided by four AA cells.
  • Piezo beeper, program run/stop button, power LED, and program run LED.

Here is an overview of the Cricket's hardware design, including a schematic (pdf, png, gif) of the Cricket.

Here's a big close-up picture of the Cricket.


Handy Cricket Software

Cricket Logo is a compiler that translates a dialect of Logo into the byte codes. There is a strong correlation between Cricket Logo primitives and the byte coded primitives understood by the runtime interpreter. This documentation explains the Cricket's run-time system. It's possible to create new programming languages for the Cricket by translating from your own language specification into the byte codes understood by the runtime interpreter.

For background, please see the article MetaCricket: A designer's kit for making computational devices, published in the IBM Systems Journal.


Top-level description of the Cricket system.


Memory map of the Cricket.


Explanation of the communications protocol.


Tutorial on writing byte codes for Cricket.


Full annotated listing of Cricket byte codes.



Handy Cricket Bus System

Please see the details on the Cricket Bus.

Last modified: Friday, 22-Nov-2002 21:39:12 PST by fredm