Lesson 11 – Sense Light & Move Forward

Tutorial –

Objective – As part of this tutorial we will learn howto use the light sensors on board the BBC micro:bit to measure light and get the robot to move accordingly.

Setting things up – Let’s head over to the BBC MakeCode website (https://makecode.microbit.org) since we will be using the MakeCode block editor to code the Micro:Maqueen.

Before we can write any code and get our robot to do stuff for us we need to include some specific libraries (Code) that will allow the BBC Micro:Bit board to understand the different components, capabilities of the robot. We call this special code libraries.

Here’s the steps to import the library –

  1. Head over to the MakeCode website at : makecode.microbit.org using a new browser window. The first time it loads things might be a bit slow.
  2. Let’s create a new project to get started.
  3. Now go ahead and let’s import the library.
  4. Click the gear icon shown on the right hand side of your screen, click on “Extensions” and then enter the library address: https://github.com/jhlucky/maqueen
  5. Import the library by clicking on it.

Let’s Get Coding –  This tutorial will help you understand how to make use of the light sensing capability on board the BBC micro:bit. We will write code to measure the light as seen by the on-board light sensors on the BBC micro:bit and then based on the light level detected decide if we want to move the robot.

Enter the code provided below into your MakeCode Editor where you have loaded the Micro:Maqueen libraries.

Upload the code to the micro:bit and you should now have a robot that can move based on the intensity of light in the room. This might be best tested out in a dark room with a cell phone or torch to light up the area in front of the micro:bit.

Have a look at the sample program at – https://makecode.microbit.org/_1VzX7LLAC3im

Challenge – Can you stretch yourself with the following challenges –

  1. Write code to get the robot to blink lights when it starts moving
  2. Write code to get the robot to stop blinking lights when it stops moving
  3. Include your obstacle detection code and give your robot the ability to navigate around obstacles

Prerequisites –

  1. This development track makes extensive use of the BBC micro:bit.
  2. If you haven’t purchased a BBC micro:bit yet you might want to head over to OzToyLib and pick one up now.
  3. We would recommend that you pick up the BBC micro:bit kit which comes with a battery pack, usb cable and the real micro:bit.
  4. We will be using the official online BBC MakeCode Block editor to write code for all our tutorials. No investment required here.
  5. You will also need a Micro:Maqueen STEM robot to be able to work on this development track. You can pick up the Micro:Maqueen robot from OzToyLib.

Reference –

  1. To learn more about the BBC micro:bit please visit – <Link>
  2. To learn more about global re-sellers of the BBC micro:bit please please visit – <Link>