Programming Hardware with Python

Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 12:30PM Archived
Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre Rural Innovation Centre, 24 University Avenue, Wolfville, NS
Hosted By
Hoist AV is a space for teens interested in design, entrepreneurship and programming.
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Have you ever wanted to know how to make code interact with the real world? In this introductory workshop to Python programming, you’ll learn the vital stepping stones to controlling hardware using the Circuit Playground microcontroller (microcomputer) with one of the most robust, versatile, and popular programming languages.

What is a Circuit Playground?

The Circuit Playground is a microcontroller, or a tiny computer. This computer can easily be programmed to interact with hardware that you connect to it. Not only that, but the Circuit Playground comes equipped with various electronics and other hardware already built into it. It has multiple sensors (motion sensors, temperature sensors, sound sensors, etc), an infrared receiver/transmitter, push buttons, a speaker, input/output pins (by which you would attach external hardware to), a micro USB port, and several LEDs all on a 5 cm in diameter circuit board!

The Circuit Playground Project

To communicate with the Circuit Playground, we will be using the Python programming language. It uses a simple, highly human-readable syntax and can be used in a wide variety of ways such as data mining, game building, machine learning, and programming hardware, which is how we will be using it during this workshop.

The project we will be creating is the Truth Meter. It is composed of a servo (adjustable rotating motor) and wire that attaches it to the Circuit Playground which we will program to rotate the servo randomly to point to several options on a piece of paper. To visualize this, think of the servo as the pointer on a speedometer and the piece of paper as the dial on the speedometer except rather than numbers, the piece of paper will contain the words “lie”, “half-lie”, “half-truth”, and “truth” that the servo can point to.

What Will I Gain from this Workshop?

The concept of the Truth Meter is quite simple but the programming that comes along with it covers pretty much all of the fundamental programming concepts in Python such as data types, for loops, while loops, if statements, and functions. It is also the perfect introduction to getting started on using the Circuit Playground and making code interact with the real world.

Pizza + workshop + building

Bring your own laptop. A small number of laptops will be available to borrow.

First time Hoisters need to get a parent or guardian to fill out the consent form.

Hosted by Hoist Annapolis Valley. A monthly series of workshops for teens interested in design, entrepreneurship and programming.