PICAXE, put simply, is a microcontroller system based on a wide range of Microchip PIC Microcontrollers. PIC (usually said "pick") microcontrollers take the simplicity and user-friendliness of boards like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi to the microchip level. These microcontrollers are loaded with a pre-programmed firmware that enables bootloading of code directly from a PC, opening up hobbyists and educators to the rewarding experiences of directly coding microchips.
In short, a PICAXE microcontroller is designed to be the brain of your electronic project. It came about in 1999 when a company called Revolution Education enabled educators to program micro controller's without the strict need for a computer. Nowadays PICAXE is one of the most recognised names in the microcontroller industry, with hundreds of thousands of hobbyists and professionals using PIC micro controllers everyday.
PICAXE chips are popular because they are very low-cost, and simple to program using free, easy-to-learn software. The PICAXE chip can react to input sensors and switch outputs on and off accordingly.
If you're an educator looking for a specific PICAXE chip or even an enthused hobbyist the best place to look is our Maker Favourites list, still cant find what you're looking for? Don't hesitate to talk to us here at Core Electronics about your next PICAXE project!