MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

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Damien
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MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby Damien » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:22 am

If you're based in the UK (or even if you're not) you may have heard about the BBC's micro:bit project; http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/microbit

The micro:bit is a small wearable microcontroller board based on an nRF51 chip. The project will see 1 million of these computing devices given away to the nation's eleven-year-olds sometime in the coming spring. The intention is to inspire digital creativity in children, by giving them a physical device with which they can write cool programs.

From the beginning the BBC have said that Python would be one of the possible languages that the device can be programmed in. Since it's a microcontroller, and the aim is to run Python... well, there's a pretty obvious answer when trying to combine those two things.

:D

We're incredibly pleased to announce that MicroPython runs on the BBC's micro:bit. Furthermore, all the work done so far is being open-sourced today and the repository can be found here: https://github.com/bbcmicrobit/micropython

To read more details and learn the story of how MicroPython came to be on the micro:bit, check out Nicholas Tollervey's blog post found here: http://ntoll.org/article/story-micropython-on-microbit

Finally, there is much to be done. We need help from people with skill and experience developing for such devices. Could you contribute something to a project that will touch the lives of 1 million British children? If so then please read the above-linked post by Nicholas, and head on over to the bbcmicrobit/micropython repository.

(Right now only the code related to the MicroPython port is released. When the device is delivered all the resources needed to recreate the entire project are to be released under an open license. The laudable intention being an unencumbered legacy so others can build upon and adapt the work of the partnership that has created this device.)

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ntoll
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby ntoll » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:28 am

It's finally good to be able to talk about this.

Happy to answer questions. :-)

Damien has be astounding in his efforts to get this working.

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dhylands
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby dhylands » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:33 am

So when can non-students buy one?

I'm also interested in the browser based editor.

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amos
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby amos » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:09 am

Hi

Where would you like discussions relating to the micro:bit to be posted?

blmorris
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby blmorris » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:04 pm

amos wrote:Hi

Where would you like discussions relating to the micro:bit to be posted?


Given the scale of the project, seems it would make sense to start a new top-level list for the micro:bit in the "Boards running MicroPython" sub-forum.

This is so cool. Speaking as a hardware developer, the micro:bit looks like a beautiful hardware design. And as a dad with three little kids, I'm thinking that my oldest might be just about ready to start with something like this by the time they are available in the states.

And, of course, proud to see that MicroPython gets to be an integral part of the project.

Cheers,
Bryan

Peter.Kenyon
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby Peter.Kenyon » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:34 pm

python returns to where it started

Damien
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby Damien » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:54 pm

dhylands wrote:So when can non-students buy one?


I'm not sure. Definitely you'll need to wait until after the students get one, which isn't until early next year. I'm sure the BBC will give more details in the coming months.

I'm also interested in the browser based editor.


See these links:
https://github.com/ntoll/upyed
https://github.com/lordmauve/puppy/
https://github.com/ntoll/microrepl

Damien
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby Damien » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:56 pm

amos wrote:Where would you like discussions relating to the micro:bit to be posted?


At the moment not many people have the hardware and the software is still under development, so I think the best place for discussion is at the microbit github repo: https://github.com/bbcmicrobit/micropython

If there's enough interest/demand (or when the devices shart shipping) then we can start a new top-level topic on this forum.

pfalcon
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Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby pfalcon » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:50 am

https://github.com/bbcmicrobit/micropython


And here's a question - how it happened that that repo isn't even a proper git fork of mainline repo? ;-)

Damien
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Re: RE: Re: MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Postby Damien » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:23 am

pfalcon wrote:And here's a question - how it happened that that repo isn't even a proper git fork of mainline repo? ;-)


I knew you'd ask :)

In the beginning it was. But then I needed to use the fancy new yotta build system, and this does everything automagically and forces a directory structure upon you.


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