Installing ‘bluepy’ on EV3

Another python BLE library – not the most maintained, certainly not the most trendy but at the moment the only one I managed to install and use on EV3 (running ev3dev of course): bluepy.

Short instructions:

  • start from a totally fresh ev3dev installation
  • enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (assuming you have a USB hub with a compatible Wi-Fi dongle and a compatible BLE dongle)
  • update:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt dist-upgrade

  • install ‘pip’ and ‘bluepy’ requirements (~15 min):

sudo apt install python3-pip libglib2.0-dev libcap2-bin

  • update ‘pip’:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip

  • install ‘bluepy ‘at last (~25 min):

python3 -m pip install bluepy

  • give proper permissions:

sudo setcap 'cap_net_raw,cap_net_admin+eip' ~/.local/lib/python3.5/site-packages/bluepy/bluepy-helper

  • test it:

robot@ev3dev:~$ /home/robot/.local/bin/blescan
Scanning for devices…
Device (new): 90:84:2b:4b:bf:59 (public), -70 dBm
Flags: <06>
Tx Power: <00>
Incomplete 128b Services:
Complete Local Name: 'Pybricks Hub'

A few notes:

  • I used ‘ev3dev-stretch-ev3-generic-2020-04-10’ that’s the same version that LEGO EDECUATION calls ‘EV3 Micropython 2.0’ and already includes Pybricks
  • bluepy uses a “bluepy-helper” based on BlueZ’s gatttool, it has been deprecated and sooner or later will be removed from BlueZ stack
  • there are some known bugs in ‘bluepy’ that have been fixed in a fork, see ‘ble-serial‘ instructions on how to install it if you think it might help

this had been used with this script to control the Top Gear technic car after flashing the Control+ hub with Pybricks 3.0.0a firmware:

sometimes the script fails after establishing the connection with the Nordic UART Service, not sure why yet.

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