Here, I will explain how to get up and running with the BBC microbit Microcontroller. We will start up with some basic example such as blinking lights, pushing button before moving onto some advanced things with it.
If you haven’t heard or seen of micro bit, is basically a microcontroller Platform designed by BBC for every hobbyists and hackers around the world. So what is a microcontroller? It is best think microcontroller as a computer that is shrunk down to the size of a single chip. But the thing is they are much less powerful than a real computer. They are generally good at running one thing at a time unlike your computer that can run so many applications simultaneously.
Additionally microcontrollers are good at sensing electrical signal with their input output pins. We can use these pins to move electrons for controlling electrical devices and sensors to read voltage levels in a particular pin, light up LED, drive motors etc.
Now let us take Microbit out of the box and have a closer look.
As you can see, in the front side there is a 5 by 5 grid of LED and two push buttons. On the back side you can see the microcontroller near the top left corner. then there is an accelerometer which can sense the orientation of the board or the device which is connected to it. Then there is a compass which will help us to find North direction, micro USB port on top which can be connected to a computer to program micro bit. Near the micro USB port you will find reset button and a port which can be used to connect a battery which makes the board more portable.
They are small compact and consume very less power when compared to other microcontroller boards. They are great at talking to other electronics devices.
You can easily use this micro bit in any electronics projects. Using micro bit you won’t have to go for external sensors as it have almost all the sensors which will satisfy your needs.
Microbit helps your robot to communicate wirelessly two other devices or robots using bluetooth. You can easily create robots that can be controlled using your mobile phone via bluetooth.
Programing Microbit – Microbit Coding
To customize the microbe it will be writing some codes on our computer and we will be sending this codes to the micro bit via USB cable.
There are a number of ways by which you can upload your code to your micro bit. Here we will be using micropython to program our microbit.
Go to www.microbit.co.uk.apps
If you are asked about storing cookies simply click continue.
Click Create Code and select micropython.
You will see an online text editor. You will see some initial quotes which you can use but it will be better to write your own to completely customise the microbit your way.
Once you have completed writing your quote simply click the download button on the top bar. this will download your code in hex format.
Now go ahead and connect your micro bit. To upload a program to your microbit all you have to do is connect the micro USB cable to the micro USB port and the other end of the cable to your computer.
You will see a new drive with the name microbit. Now all you have to do is copy the hex file and paste it in the top level directory of the micro:bit drive.
When we upload the code to microbit it will, it will reboot itself and start to run the program from the beginning. If you want to restart the code all you have to do is simply press the reset button.
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