Lesson 3 – Basic Motor Control

Tutorial –

Objective – As part of this tutorial we will learn the basics of robot control using the motors onboard the robot.

The image below shows the Micro:Maqueen robot moving around the room as per a programmed routine. We’ll attempt to do the same.

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 – We will write code to get the car to perform a series of sequences. As part of this tutorial you will learn the basics of motor control and robot navigation. At the end of this tutorial you should be able to create your own projects and add your own movement sequences to get the Micro:Maqueen to perform other movements.

We will attempt the following –

  1. Move the car forward 1 second,
  2. Turn right for 1 second,
  3. Then perform a left turn for 1 second,
  4. Reverse backwards for 1 second,
  5. Reverse backwards and turn right turn for 1 second.

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

Have a look at the sample program at – https://makecode.microbit.org/_2Cc9gM5P5aDs

Challenge – Can you make the robot dance with fast moves? Code for the following sequence –

  1. Turn right for 1 sec
  2. Reverse backwards for 1 sec
  3. Turn left for 1 sec
  4. Reverse backwards for 1 sec
  5. Move forwards for 1 sec
  6. Move backwards for 1 sec
  7. Stop for 2 seconds
  8. Repeat the above sequence 2 more times

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>
  3. To learn more about Kitronik please visit – <Link>