Lesson 12 – Wireless Remote Control

Tutorial –

Objective – As part of this tutorial we will learn howto control the robot remotely using a gamepad as s remote control (using another micro:bit).

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 makes use of the micro:bit gamepad from DFR robot. You can check out the micro:bit gamepad from DFR here – micro:bit Micro:bit Gamepad. This program can also be customized to use any other micro:bit gamepad or just the simple buttons on the micro:bit.

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

Here’s the code that you’ll load onto the other micro:bit which acts as the gaming remote control.

Connect up the first micro:bit to the micro maqueen and the second one to the gamepad. Power them up and you should be able to use the gamepad to remotely control the micro maqueen.

Have a look at the sample program at –

  1. Robot Car: https://makecode.microbit.org/_ftMMb8WkwDV7
  2. Gamepad: https://makecode.microbit.org/_gwK0A3JwEW0V

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>