working with Micropython - which ecosystem to choose - ESP 8266 or ESP 32?

dear community

working with Micropython - which ecosystem to choose - ESP 8266 or ESP 32?

I work with Kids. I'm always looking for economical platforms to build intriguing projects.

there are systematical decisions: in earlier times i use Arduino and Raspberry Pi for the projects because the eco-sytems of Arduino and Raspi support rich options to combine.

While Arduino clones are cheap, it uses the C/C++ language. that kids are not familiar with. and - yes it doesn't have a built-in WiFi-support. But that is pretty important for me.

WiFi-Support is a must for all the IoT projects i am interested in. On the other hand, while Raspberry Pi has WIFI and kids can program it using Python, it is still an pretty expensive platform to just control few GPIO ports to

  1. turn devices on and off.
  2. run a little RC-Car
  3. have a look in the birds house that is in the garden

I need something in between that has both WIFI and Python capabilities. It appears that I found my answer in MicroPython flashed
onto a cheap ESP8266-based board - and yes - now we also can use ESP32 too.

What is Micropython?
According to its website, MicroPython is a lean and efficient implementation of the Python 3 programming languages.
And Python is one of the most widespread and well known language - also my kids have access to a lean python introduction.
In other words: Python is much easiser to learn than C /C++ - Python does not have all those pitfalls.

Micropython
that includes a small subset of the Python standard library and the good thing; Micropython is optimized to run on
microcontrollers and in constrained environment (such as ESP8266).
It's essentially Python IDE on a chip. One major benefit is that you can create code and change it on the fly using
a web-browser client called Webrepl. (Try to do that in Arduino.) You can also see sensor data in real-time on
Webrepl instead of rely on data logging or an LED screen in Arduino.

What is ESP8266?
In short, think of it as an Arduino with built-in network capability. You can use the Arduino IDE to program ESP8266 boards in C/C++ or
you can flash it with NodeMCU or MicroPython. In this project, I'll be flashing MicroPython onto an ESP8266 board.
I decided to get a WEMOS D1 which is based on ESP8266-12EX for this simple project where I'll be navigating a 2WD car using a web browser.
There are other boards that are designed for MicroPython but I wanted something cheap that I could throw away
if it didn't meet my criteria. As expected, it met all my requirements and most likely I'll be incorporating WeMos and Micropython into
future projects.

among them are ...
a. creating rc-cars
b. other IoT projects

which ESP would you decide ?

  • NodeMcu Lua WIFI Internet Development Board based on ESP-12E CP2102
  • Adafruit Assembled Feather HUZZAH w ESP8266 WiFi With Stacking Headers
  • ESP8266 ESP-13 Web Sever WIFI Wireless Shield for Arduino UNO R3

which one would you take?

or would you choose the ESP 32 !?

love to hear from you

https://forum.micropython.org/

I’d use adafruit’s “circuit python” because I think they have superior tutorials and controller-oriented libraries...
Probably with esp32 huzah feathers, because of the feather wings available, if I could afford them.
(But I don’t believe that CircuitPython requires an Adafruit board...)

Adafruit is like... mind-reading evangelists with teaching skills!
Librarian skills, too: GitHub - adafruit/awesome-circuitpython: A curated list of awesome CircuitPython guides, videos, libraries, frameworks, software and resources.

hello dear community, :slight_smile:

Servo Control with Micropython - with the ESP 8266 ...- compared to Arduino

I work with young kids and I'm always looking for economical platforms to build intriguing projects. While we can say that Arduino clones are pretty cheap, it uses the C/C++ language that the kids are not familiar with. This is pretty challenging. Also and furthermore, it doesn't have a built-in WiFi which is a must for all the IoT projects that i have in mind. On the other hand, while Raspberry Pi has WIFI and kids can program it using Python, it is still an expensive platform to just control few GPIO ports to turn devices on and off. I need something in between that has both WIFI and Python capabilities. It appears that I found my answer in MicroPython flashed onto a cheap ESP8266-based board.

so going the Micropython way is a good thing i thought;

now - for the RC-Car Projects i have in mind i found a interesting library. + see this Micropython Library for Hobby Servo Control for ESP8266

cf: https://bitbucket.org/thesheep/micropython-servo/src/default/

This is a simple class for controlling hobby servos with Micropython on the ESP8266 boards.
It's in fact a simple convenience wrapper over the machine.PWM functionality. Currently, the supported pins are 0, 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15

-- because only those pins are supported by machine.PWM. Pins 1 and 3 may become supported in the future.

usage: To use this library, we simply need to copy it to the ESP8266's filesystem,
or include it in the scripts directory while compiling the Micropython firmware.
cf: https://bitbucket.org/thesheep/micropython-servo/src/default/

work and use case: The way the servos work is that we send them a square wave signal with a fixed frequency (for analog servos this is usually 50Hz, but the digital servos may be furthermore able to accept up to 300Hz signals): with that the duty cycle controls the servo position exactly. The tradition is that at duty cycle of 1500µs the servo goes to its center position.

well - I have a question an an idea.

is 3V3 enough to run this!? The thing that looks interesting to me in this class is the fact,
that in the example for the ESP min is said to be 40 and max to be 115... and I allways thought how can we make 180° out off that (Chapter 7.2) cf 7. Pulse Width Modulation — MicroPython 1.16 documentation

generally spoken - and compared to the Arduino: Then I looked into the source and saw that this used totally differnent values for min and max microseconds 600 and 2400. Well if we compare this to the Arduino reference and they to also took totally different values 1000 to 2000. See: Is it a depending on the servo manufacture that some values are min is 400 µs lower and the max is 400 µs larger.

the question to me: Why are the examples from the mircopython docu totaly different?
Finally i want to add an idea. What about an read method, at least the arduino has got one. :wink:
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/ServoWriteMicroseconds

BTW one question: - do we need that library - cannot we just start without that... - cf this post:

Servos are exciting devices. We can get precise posting with minimal code, all we need is a controller that can produce PWM at 50Hz.

the main thing is to understand how to use ESP32 to control Servo. We will be using micropython to program ESP32/NodeMCU. The greate thing about MicroPython is that it is platform independent (mostly), which means code written for NodeMCU (ESP8266) can be used on ESP32 as well.

To use MicroPython on ESP32, First we need to load MicroPython Interpreter. Check out ESP32
– Getting started with MicroPython post to load interpreter and tools you can use with micro python. ESP32 - Getting started with MicroPython - iCircuit
If you are using NodeMCU, then refer to this post NodeMCU – Getting started with MicroPython - iCircuit by the way: MicroPython has PWM support. You can find full documentation of PWM library here 7. Pulse Width Modulation — MicroPython 1.16 documentation

Environment requirements:

we need a ESP32 or NodeMCU

Machine with uPyCraft to load python files to the device

Controlling Servo: Connect servo signal pin to GPIO2 of the ESP, you need to power the servo as well

Code: All you need is couple of python lines to control the servo, how easy is that

import machine
p4 = machine.Pin(4)
servo = machine.PWM(p4,freq=50)

duty for servo is between 40 - 115

servo.duty(100)

The PWM method of machine takes two inputs, the pin to which we want connect servo
(in case of ESP8266 we can choose one from 0, 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14 and 15) and frequency of the PWM signal. Most of the hobby servos work with 50Hz PWM, so we choose that. Then we can use duty method to set the angle we can call servo.duty() method to change the set the servo angle

so the question is just - do we need that library - cannot we just start without that

love to hear from you

Why are you asking questions about Micropython libraries in an Arduino forum ?

I hope you do realise that Microppython is not an Arduino language and the ESp8266\ESP32 are not Arduinois either ?

many thanks for settin me straight. Just thought that here some ( at least some ) so called bandwith of technological interest exists.

anyway: i do not assume that this is the case.

so only questions with 100 % Arduino do meet the scope of interest.

many thanks for the infos.
in the future i will do only post such questions.

regards

apollodriver:
Just thought that here some ( at least some ) so called bandwith of technological interest exists.

I don't think it's so much a matter of interest, as a matter of posting about a technology which is explicitly not Arduino in a forum specifically headed "...using Arduino...." on a site hosted and therefore paid for by Arduino.

using arduino_ microcontrollers.GIF

using arduino_ microcontrollers.GIF

howdy

thanks for the clearing - no problem here

i am directing all re questions regarding this esp-technique to https://www.esp32.com/

greetings

The ESP32 is an all around much more capable part - more pins, better on-chip peripherals, more ram - one particularly helpful thing for your purposes may be that it has bluetooth. If the kids you are working with are old enough to have their own smartphones, that might be an attractive feature.

It comes down in large part to budget - Generic ESP8266 boards are dirt shit cheap, such that you don't even have to care if your students trash them. ESP32 boards aren't all that much more expensive.

Everything from adafruit is significantly more expensive (though I wouldn't be surprised if they were able to offer discounts for educational programs), though they are more well made, have matching hardware (feather wings for the feather series) that plug directly into the board, and you're supporting the development of circuitpython.