EV3 and micro:bit

Almost 2 and a half years ago I bought a BBC micro:bit, planning to give it as a xmas present to my geek nephew. Unfortunately (for him) I decided that he wasn’t geek enough for this small ARM-based controller as I found out it was too confusing to set it up properly for BLE usage.

At that time I managed to get EV3 working with it but it was very awkward. Most of my problems were related to making a proper connection because the firmware required BT to be paired before accepting BLE commands but I also had problemas with the python BLE library I was using (gattlib).

This weekend I had a long day at work upgrading some Microsoft servers and had the time, between downloads and reboots (argh!) to return to this little fellow. So I found out it is now much, much easier to configure it… thanks to Microsoft! Yes, same Microsoft.

I used Makecode Editor to configure my micro:bit from a browser: just added the Bluetooth extension, included th e Bluetooth blocks that activate the proper BLE services and enabled using BLE without the need to pair BT first.

On the ev3dev side it was also easy to use it with python but with a different library: pygatt.

Interestingly, a new version of pygatt was released this very same weekend.

Details and code samples at another Microsoft site (github).

Two demo videos:

  • using the two buttons to control a Medium motor:
  • using the LED Matrix:

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