Lesson 8 – Control Your Robot using IR Remote Control

Tutorial –

Objective – As part of this tutorial we will learn howto use the IR remote control, capture the signals sent through and get the robot to perform certain actions.

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 –  As part of this tutorial we will write code to control our robot using the IR Remote Control. The code we will write will assign certain IR Remote control keys to different robot movements. Here is a list of robot movements we want to control using the IR remote –

  1. Moving the car forward,
  2. Moving the car left,
  3. Moving the car right and
  4. Moving the car back.

We will aim to make use of the following 4 keys on the IR remote control i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8, to control the robot action listed above.

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 be to control the robot using the keys on the remote control i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8.

Have a look at the sample program at – https://makecode.microbit.org/_MfDXhX6MM35X

Challenge – Can you stretch yourself with the following challenges –

  1. Write code, program a key to send signals that tell the robot to stop the car dead in its tracks
  2. Write code, program a key to send signals and tell the car to dance
  3. Write code, program a key to send signals and get the robot to flash all it’s lights i.e. LED’s and neopixels

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>