Micro:bit is an easy-to-use, powerful and cost-effective pocket-sized microcontroller designed for kids and beginners to learn how to program, letting them easily bring ideas into DIY digital games, interactive projects and robotics.
Thanks to its external I/O ports and hardware support, Micro:bit is well suited for various robot-related learning and development.
A small board similar to the size of a credit card (4cm x 5cm)
On-board modules, like accelerometer, Compass and Bluetooth® Smart module
A pocket-sized microcontroller
A 5x5 LED matrix (also supports light detection)
Light and temperature sensors and other common sensing devices
Equipped with ARM’s M0 processor, Micro:bit can execute most of the fundamental functions of a robot.
For beginners, the merits of Micro:bit lies in its rich programming languages and inclusive interfaces.
Take Microsoft’s makecode online programming platform as an example.
Users can drag and place the relevant modules in the webpage to read data of sensors, and to process the data quickly through certain logic functions including loop, judgement, etc. The development of micro:bit reduced the cost of programming greatly so as to ensure the majority learners to focus on robot control.
Click below links to start your online programming trip:
Senior users can use Python to program Micro:bit, which is more powerful and more widely used. Micropython is developed based on Python language. It continues to use Python language but is more powerful in its functions.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the makecode graphical programming. The other starter guide about Python is to be continued.
Open MakeCode from the following links:
This is how the MakeCode looks like when opened first time.
MakeCode will always save the program to your local storage. So whenever the web browser is closed, you just need to reload the page and the in-editing program will show up in the window again.
Based on functions, MakeCode interface includes five parts:
Simulation window: Simulates the operating status of micro: bit. During the process of programming, you can always check how your program looks like the through the window.
Function area: Where you can find all the function blocks, including input, output, loop, logic, etc.
Programming area: Dragged the blocks from “Function area”, stack them up and build your program here.
Settings: You can select language here 🌎 Language
Naming area: You can name your project here. The default is “Untitled”.
● Download the program and upload to micro:bit
Before programming, we should make sure that the mainboard is recognized by the computer. When micro: bit is connected, a "MICROBIT" directory will show up in “My Computer”.
Then you will see the pop-up dialog box below:
During the process of downloading, the power indicator on the back of micro: bit will blink. When completed, it will stop flashing and keep on going.
💡 Tips: During programming, you can operate the Microbit.Uploader which can be used to upload the “.hex” file automatically to “MACROBIT”.