Tiny computers that run JavaScript natively

• ~300 words • 1 minute read

These computers are bananas

I’ve had johnny-five.io bookmarked for a long time as something to explore, and earlier today I took a break to do it. If you’re not familiar with the project, it allows you to program single-board computers and controllers like the Arduino, Rasperry Pi and many, many others in JavaScript.

For some of the platforms it runs directly on the devices, but for others it requires a host machine to run your JavaScript and communicate the hardware interactions with your tiny computer over a serial connection. Depending on what you’re trying to build that’s probably fine, but I’m more interested these days in hardware that allows you to run JavaScript directly.

Fortunately their hardware list is quite easy to filter! Essentially this list comprises all the SBCs that run some kind of Linux environment and allow you to install Node. Still, for posterity, here’s a list of all the tiny computers that you can run JavaScript on directly that I’m aware of:

Is this list missing something? In particular I’m curious about other projects like the Espruino that don’t run some flavor of Linux but instead allow you to run JavaScript natively on the board. All of these would make nice computers for some of my MIDI projects.

Did I miss any? Please let me know — send me an email or ping me on Twitter.

Update: This post was also published on DEV.to: dev.to/georgemandis/tiny-computers-that-run-javascript-natively

Another Update: If you're interested in exploring what you can do with tiny computers I suggest checking out my latest project at weecomputers.com