Skip to main content

BB-8, Droid I was looking for... - Tynkering

In a recent post controlling the Sphero BB-8 with the Tickle App was discussed.

This is not the only alternative software, the Tynker App can also control it.


This is also a graphical drag and drop programming tool, that you can connect certain 'toys' to. Though the App itself is about developing programming skills.










The Sphero BB-8 Droid can be connected to Tynker (or how I did it anyway) by:

      • Clicking on the Create button on the opening screen;
      • Clicking on Blank Template;
      • Deleting the 'Actor' that has there and clicking on the + button in the top right hand corner of the screen;
      • Clicking on connected toys and selecting the grey ball;
      • On the main screen it should say spherobot with a code button at the side, click on the button;
      • You should get a screen with some code for changing the colour shown and then moving in a square- you can change this for your own code.
Not all the commands, listed down the side, will work with the BB-8 - I restricted myself to the ones under common (star in the list).

The Tynker app is a nice tool anyway with lots of games related activities to try. Having the ability to connect and program certain devices is a benefit.


If you have comments or experiences with Tynker, Sphero BB-8 or Tickle app please add them.





All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with.

Popular posts from this blog

Micro:bit, Servo control with Micropython or blocks

You can control servos (small ones) from a Micro:Bit directly. Following a link from the David Whale (Twitter ) , thank you, took me to a Kitronik blog post, https://www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/using-bbc-microbit-control-servo/, which has the answer.

The code uses Microsoft Blocks taken from the post, runs the servos 180 degrees and back again, when button A is pressed. It does exactly what it should. I am also using the Tower Pro SG90 servo.
Can it be replicated in Micropython? This is a new mini project, there seems to be little out there yet on how do this but the best so far is this video by PHILG2864:



The closest I have is the following, it is essentially there.
from microbit import *
pin0.set_analog_period(20)
while True:
    pin0.write_analog(180)
    sleep(1000)
    pin0.write_analog(1)
    sleep(1000)

Setting the time period to 20ms  pin0.set_analog_period(20)seems by experiment (and used in the video above) to be best value so far. The reason for pin0.write_analog(1)  set to 1 i…

4Tronix Bit:Bot Neuron Controlled Edge follower

In thelast post I was playing with 4Tronix'sBit:Bot. In this post I will show the initial experimentation with an artificial neuron controlling the Bit:Bot to follow the edge of a line (it follows the left-hand side of the line).


The neurons (well two separate ones, S1 and S2) are produced using weighted sums - summing the weights x inputs [ right-hand sensor (rs) and left-hand sensor (ls)] plus a bias for each neuron in this case w[0] and w[3].







    net=w[0]+w[1]*rs+w[2]*ls           net2=w[3]+w[4]*rs+w[5]*ls

  If weighted sum >=0 then its output 1 otherwise 0 if net>=0:          s1=1     else:         s1=0
    if net2>=0:         s2=1     else:         s2=0
What actual causes S1 to be either 1 or 0 is all defined by a set of weights w (three for the first neurone, S1,  three for S2).
w=[0,-1,1,-1,1,-1]


Converting the outputs of the two neurones S1 and S2 into actions is shown below.

my robot BETT2017

I will start with a confession, I only had about 2 1/2 hours at BETT 2017 due to external time pressures so to say I didn't yet a chance for a good (or even a bad) look around is an understatement; so I am not reviewing the show just a few notes on what I did manage to see.


STEAM Village
First and mostly, it was great to talk to so many people, only few I had met face to face previously, about robots, micro:bits, Raspberry Pis and coding. Most of this happen in the relatively small (compared to the event space) STEAM village and nearby stalls. It was great to see the strong presence of both Raspberry Pi and Micro:Bit Foundation, along the variety of different activities and example usage of both, with Code Club (I know it is part of Raspberry Pi Foundation) there was well. This was all alongside some other companies

Four of these stuck in my mind.

1. DFRobot (https://www.dfrobot.com/) with their range of Arduino-based robots and non-programmable kits. The two kits that caught my eye w…