10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 11, 2019 12:09 PM by archit.jain

    New release of MIT AppInventor supports BBC micro:bit and Arduino101

    neilk

      On 21st June 2017, MIT announced the release of a new version of their BLE extensions for AppInventor: iot.appinventor.mit.edu

       

      As well as a completely revised set of general BLE functions, the release also includes a specific set of functions for the BBC micro:bit and the Arduino101 in which the Device Specific Service and Characteristic UUIDs are already built into the functions and therefore hidden from the user - so much simpler!

       

      I spent a lot of time trying to get the original version of the BLE extension (released last year) to work with the micro:bit - it was tortuous and not everything worked! I was lucky enough to get asked to help beta test the second version and did find a couple of bugs!

       

      Virtually everything you might want to do over BLE with the micro:bit is now fully supported (I can't comment on Arduino101 support because I don't have one) - all you need to do is load the the relevant extensions: BLE, Microbit, and Arduino101 into your AppInventor project and off you go.

       

      I intend to publish a some tutorials on my blog, if anyone is interested.

       

      Neil

        • Re: New release of MIT AppInventor supports BBC micro:bit and Arduino101

          Great stuff Neil - if you could share the tutorials here we'd love to see and share them.

          • Re: New release of MIT AppInventor supports BBC micro:bit and Arduino101
            notcuvtixo

            Maybe you could clear this up for me. The Arduino 101 isn't available right now on element14, and is a discontinued product on Sparkfun, (they do have Arduino 101 Industrial). Now why in the world have they developed for what seems to be a discontinued product?  Are American schools inundated with Arduino 101 boards? BBC micro:bit is easier to understand, from what I've seen they can be bought at half the price at retail, It's clearly designed for IoT educational purposes. Has the MIT program already invested a lot of work in Arduino? Why not ArduinoUNOs or other Arduino boards with WIFI/Bluetooth hats/expansion boards? I don't get what seems to be an unnecessary duplication of effort.

              • Re: New release of MIT AppInventor supports BBC micro:bit and Arduino101
                shabaz

                Hi Chris,

                 

                Arduino 101 relied on a module from Intel, called Curie. However, it was discontinued by Intel around July of last year (and not many people were notified until it had occurred).

                 

                The "Arduino Industrial 101" is a very different board to the "Arduino 101", the so-called industrial version doesn't use the Curie module.

                 

                The micro:bit is still an actively shipping/supported board.

                4 of 4 people found this helpful
                • Re: New release of MIT AppInventor supports BBC micro:bit and Arduino101
                  neilk

                  Hi Chris

                   

                  I can't comment on the original decision of MIT to work with the now discontinued Arduino 101, as  I'm not involved with MIT.

                   

                  Indeed, I wasn't aware that the Arduino 101 had been discontinued (thanks shabaz for that update).  My own interest is in using App Inventor with the BBC micro:bit

                   

                  To give you a little history: My original post was June 2017 - over a year ago. I first became involved with App Inventor and BLE, with the micro:bit, in about November 2016 - at this time MIT were already using Arduino 101 as their target device and had been doing so for some time - at least 6 months from memory.

                   

                  I hope this clarifies things.

                   

                  Neil

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: New release of MIT AppInventor supports BBC micro:bit and Arduino101
                  gregconti

                  Hi Neil,

                  I am encouraged to read your post.

                  I've a project underway hoping to get an AI2 app to control a Micro:Bit peripheral over BLE.

                  In order to make an 'intelligent' cordless drill - which will hopefully save my wrists from RSI !  A hazard for a professional bicycle wheel builder.

                  I'm hoping you might help direct my next steps forward...

                   

                  I've got a basic Android app built using BluetoothLE  extension version 20181124  which finds the Espruino MicroBit successfully and connects.

                  The Micro:Bit returns a list of supported services. Six items in the list with hexadecimal names eg    00001800-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb Unknown Service.

                  That is as far as i have got at the AI2 end.

                   

                  At the Micro:Bit end, I need code to toggle an I/O pin after 'n' revolutions of the drill chuck (tcrt5000 optical sensor and edge counting) where 'n' is supplied / updated by the Android app.

                  Haven't written it yet but confident I can. I had something similar working on the RasPi as a standalone.

                  I'm just a bit lost with the BLE comms

                   

                  Q.  Is it true that the Bluetooth stack uses up too much memory to co-exist with Python ?

                  Thus I'm expecting to use Espruino on the Micro:Bit but I'm more familiar with Python.

                   

                  Q.  Do i need to get techy with GATT services and characteristics?

                   

                  regards,

                  Greg