vgkits-vanguard - Learner-oriented tools for ESP8266 micropython boards

All ESP8266 boards running MicroPython.
Official boards are the Adafruit Huzzah and Feather boards.
Target audience: MicroPython users with an ESP8266 board.
Post Reply
cefn
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:58 am

vgkits-vanguard - Learner-oriented tools for ESP8266 micropython boards

Post by cefn » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:27 am

As part of the development of VGkits' resources around the Vanguard board I've put together a new package distributed via PyPI.

It's called vgkits-vanguard and it provides for incredibly simple cross-platform operations such as launching a shell, or reflashing an ESP8266 board. More operations can be included, led by user feedback. The aim is to make it more accessible for learners to get started using the python shell and uploading main.py files to get things done. It should also simplify work for educators by allowing them to point to a single set of cross-platform instructions for 'beginner' tasks.

For example to get a shell you run...

Code: Select all

vanguard shell


Or to wipe the board back to 'factory settings' you run this 20 second routine...

Code: Select all

vanguard brainwash
...which will install a version of Micropython with pre-built modules on board which boots correctly for the Vanguard Rainbow project.

However, you can also run...

Code: Select all

vanguard brainwash espruino

Code: Select all

vanguard brainwash circuitpython

Code: Select all

vanguard brainwash micropython
...and other 'operating systems' are also available with a single command.

I would benefit from people with a Vanguard board or any ESP8266 board testing this out on Windows, Mac, Linux to prove I've ironed out the kinks. You could start at https://vgkits.org/blog/vanguard-usb-howto/ and so long as you have the proper serial drivers installed for your ESP8266 board I'm hoping it should just work.

bitninja
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:09 pm

Re: vgkits-vanguard - Learner-oriented tools for ESP8266 micropython boards

Post by bitninja » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:06 pm

Very nice!
I'll have to give it a spin when I get some time.

I'm glad someone has thought more about the educational benefits of a physical computing kit. I think there is a barrier to learning to program in that it's usually restricted to just doing stuff on the computer screen. Some learners may respond to programming that actually does something... IRL. MicroPython is perfect for this.

Keep up the good work!

Post Reply