Newb Teacher Needs Help

All ESP8266 boards running MicroPython.
Official boards are the Adafruit Huzzah and Feather boards.
Target audience: MicroPython users with an ESP8266 board.
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Newb Teacher Needs Help

Post by d4g6k11 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:48 am

Hello all.

I am a high school teacher trying to learn Python so that I can teach it to my students. I've just learned enough to write a very basic Hangman program. Now I'm trying to merge Python and robotics by using micropython and a robot kit I've bought.

I've bought this board - AliExpress order ( ... 0.0.hF6XlY )

However I'm struggling to work out how to transfer files to the board to my laptop. Students can't access wifi at my school so I neeed to work out how to use a usb connection.

Can someone point me toward a really simple guide for someone obviously not very technologically inclined?

And if anyone has a very simple robot program (with commenting) that would also be very helpful.


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Re: Newb Teacher Needs Help

Post by deshipu » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:25 am

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Re: Newb Teacher Needs Help

Post by fos » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:32 am

Amazing what you can now purchase for less than $20. When I was teaching high school a calcbot was $100 and had far less capability.

Adafruit is an excellent resource and their products are well supported. Their learning resources are updated frequently and their support for defective/damaged products is very good. They have a discussion forum like this that can provide quick answers to your questions. Their Circuitpython is a fork of Micropython. They have a product called a Feather Huzzah that is similar to your robotics kit.

I am not involved with Adafruit, just a satisfied customer.

fos, aka Far Out Science

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Re: Newb Teacher Needs Help

Post by cefn » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:27 pm

Just checking, but have you successfully installed Micropython on it? To be clear, you should already have performed the steps at ... intro.html before attempting to upload code with Ampy.

If it were me, I would also spend a bunch of time on the REPL interactively controlling the Robot before even considering turning these steps into a file of python commands to upload. I have found that NodeMCU is a very good target platform for Micropython so I would expect it to work well for your classroom.

If you would like some guidance on using in the classroom feel free to get in touch with me at . I have run classes of this kind (before Micropython - using pyFirmata over Bluetooth Serial to an Arduino on a robot). This meant students were interactively controlling the robot from a Raspberry Pi running python. We did Braitenberg vehicles and line detection and by the end, the students had designed a line-following behaviour. We had the benefit of Analog-inputs, though.

I also combined it with Scratch, the in-built python turtle library and logo design. There were some flash-card matching puzzles you are welcome to steal at ... 9552183296 lashing a pen to the front of the robot could be fun. Ideally you would need to use some optical rotation sensors, though to be able to get near-absolute rotation control, and these don't seem to be included (though the occluders are there). Might be able to use TCRT5000 as binary optical sensors for really cheap if wired as phototransistors with the right bias.

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Re: Newb Teacher Needs Help

Post by d4g6k11 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Thank you for your replies. I'll hit up those resources and hopefully be up and running soon.

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Re: Newb Teacher Needs Help

Post by philwilkinson40 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:14 am

AMPY is good. Rshell is developed by one of our own, and in my opinion is better! ;)

Just a short word of encouragement, I did not know one word of any computer language 12 months ago. I started learning Python from scratch and then came across Micropython. I am really enjoying this journey of discovery and this forum has really helped my progress.

great beginner tutorials for ESP8266 (written by contributors to this forum)
- as always start with ... index.html
-http://micropython-on-wemos-d1-mini.rea ... index.html
I found Rob's YouTube videos great, its about the ESP32 but the steps to follow are exactly the same for the ESP8266

If you are just starting out, as I was a few months ago, you might want simpler software to interface with the boards; a simple IDE. If you are teaching kids coding, you might want to just focus on coding, and not the command line control.
Perhaps try:

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