Fun With Microcontrollers: installing MicroPython on the Espruino Pico
Thanks to Max Lupo for sending in his write up about installing MicroPython on the Espruino Pico. Check out more on his blog.
Recently, I became quite interested in a new microcontroller called the pyboard (US|UK) which “is a small electronic circuit board that runs Micro Python on the bare metal, and gives you a low-level Python operating system that can be used to control all kinds of electronic projects”.1
I’ve completed a number of projects with the Arduino, and Raspberry Pi, but I am particularly excited by MicroPython and the pyboard as they fit a great niche: the ease and flexibility of the Python programming language on a small and power efficient microcontroller. The only downside is that in September I will once again be tight on funds, as I am heading back to art school for one last last time again. As a result the pyboard’s $44.95 USD price tag from Adafruit felt like a bit too much to spend on a fun experiment, without having a specific use in mind…
…buuuuuuuuuuut, after comparing the list of boards that MicroPython has been ported to, with what else is for sale on Adafruit, I found the Espruino Pico: an even tinier microcontroller for sale for only $24.95 USD! Of course, the lower price tag comes with comparably less functionality than the pyboard (the official pyboard is quite feature packed!), and also includes the burden of having to manually install MicroPython on the Espruino Pico.
Time to Install MicroPython on the Pico!
I’ve updated this post with instructions for two different ways to achieve our goal. In this post I’ll start with the ‘easy way’, which will get us up and running a bit quicker. However, the second ‘hard way’ (I mean, it has a few more steps) is useful if you plan on hacking on the C code. In any case, both are kinda fun!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.