Welcome to this comprehensive beginner tutorial about the exciting world of MicroPython. Whether you’re stepping into the fascinating realm of coding for the first time, or you’re an experienced coder looking to broaden your knowledge, this tutorial will serve as a valuable resource for everyone. MicroPython, a compact subset of the Python programming language, is built specifically to run on microcontroller platforms, bringing a new way to interact with hardware and digital systems. Let this be your first engaging step towards understanding and applying this compact and versatile language.
Table of contents
What is MicroPython?
MicroPython is a lean, efficient and effective implementation of the Python 3 programming language. It is designed to run on restricted environments like microcontrollers and small embedded systems. MicroPython not only retains the syntactical simplicity and elegance of Python, but it additionally battens the compatibility with the hardware of compact, standalone digital equipments.
What is it Used For?
The main focus of MicroPython is to bring the ease and expressiveness of Python to the realm of microcontrollers. Engaging in MicroPython development allows you to write scripts that interact directly with hardware, control different elements of your system, and augment the capacity of your physical computing devices.
Why Should You Learn MicroPython?
Learning MicroPython provides an approachable entry point into the world of hardware programming. Whether you’re thinking about building a mini robot, a weather station, or dip your toes into the Internet of Things (IoT), MicroPython can serve as your effective starting platform. The abilities of this language are not just limited to board-level programming, MicroPython also brings into play the essence of rapid prototyping and iterative development that Python is famously recognized for.
Getting Started with MicroPython
The first step in our MicroPython tutorial is to set up the environment. Since MicroPython is a compact version of Python, it does not require any special or external libraries to work with microcontrollers. This hands-on approach will get you started quickly!
To say Hi to the world in MicroPython, your code would look like the standard Python:
Save and run the code, and you’ll see “Hello, MicroPython!” as the output.
Using Variables and Input Function
Just like Python, you can use variables in MicroPython to store information. For instance:
name = "MicroPython" print('Hello, ' + name + '!')
Sometimes, you may need to build programs that interact with the user. Here’s how you solicit input from the user:
name = input('Enter your name: ') print('Hello, ' + name + '!')
MicroPython and Data Types
MicroPython supports various data types, just like Python. Here are a few fundamental data types:
# Integer x = 5 print(type(x)) # Float y = 5.5 print(type(y)) # String z = "Hello" print(type(z)) # Boolean w = True print(type(w))
This will print out “<class ‘int’>”, “<class ‘float’>”, “<class ‘str’>” and “<class ‘bool’>” respectively, indicating the type of each variable.
Flow Control with MicroPython
Flow control statements like if, for, while, etc. function exactly the same way in MicroPython as in Python. Here are examples of using ‘if’, ‘for’, and ‘while’.
# If Statement x = 5 if x > 0: print("Positive Number") # For loop for i in range(5): print(i) # While loop i = 0 while i < 5: print(i) i = i + 1
When run, the ‘if’ statement will print “Positive Number”, the ‘for’ loop will print numbers from 0 to 4, and the ‘while’ loop will also print numbers from 0 to 4.
Working with Functions in MicroPython
Functions are an essential part of programming, allowing us to write reusable blocks of code. Here’s a simple function definition in MicroPython, identical to Python:
def greet(): print("Hello, MicroPython!") # Calling the function greet()
When the function is called using greet(), “Hello, MicroPython!” is displayed.
Using Arguments in Functions
Functions become more powerful when used with arguments. Let’s take an example:
def greet(name): print("Hello, " + name + "!") # Calling the function with an argument greet('Zenva')
‘Hello, Zenva!’ will be printed when the function is called with an argument.
MicroPython also supports lambda functions. They are small, anonymous functions created using the lambda keyword.
f = lambda x: x * 2 print(f(5))
This lambda function doubles the input value. Calling the function with 5 as argument prints 10.
MicroPython and Lists
Lists are an important type of collection in Python. Here’s an example:
tech_list = ['MicroPython', 'Arduino', 'Raspberry Pi', 'ESP32'] for tech in tech_list: print(tech)
This will print out each item in the list to the standard output.
You can use list comprehensions to create powerful functionality in a single line of code. Here’s an example of generating squared numbers in a list:
squares = [x ** 2 for x in range(10)] print(squares)
This prints out: [0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81], which are squares of numbers from 0 to 9.
Continuing Your MicroPython Journey
By now, you should have a solid grasp on the basics of MicroPython and understand its potential applications. But don’t stop here! There’s always more to learn and opportunities to broaden your coding horizons.
Where to go from here?
The path to becoming a proficient programmer requires patience and practice. One of the best ways to continue your learning journey is by working on projects and solving problems. This will not only consolidate your understanding of key concepts but also provide you with hands-on experience.
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Embarking on a journey with MicroPython equips you with beneficial skills in the world of software and hardware programming. By understanding how to develop with a microcontroller-compatible Python variant, your opportunities for inventing and innovating extend beyond conventional boundaries. With MicroPython, you enter the realm of efficient and scalable solutions, catering to various applications in the domain of Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and more.
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