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Custom Android control of the BBC micro:bit
using pfodApp™/pfodDesignerV2™

by Matthew Ford 15th January 2017 (original 6th October 2016)
© Forward Computing and Control Pty. Ltd. NSW Australia
All rights reserved.

BBC micro:bit C++ coding with pfodApp and pfodDesignerV2
NO Android Programming required.

Update 15th January 2017: Lancaster Uni is changing the micro:bit UART service (issue #259).
pfodApp supports both the old and new style services so this change will not effect pfodApp users.
Update: 21st December 2106 – Fixing paring with Pixel
If you are having problems paring with Pixel or other Android 7.1 mobiles, implement the 500mS delay shown in this GitHub pull request #225

Introduction

The BBC micro:bit has been distributed to every child in Year 7 (ages 11-12) across the UK, free. Commercial versions of the micro:bit are now becoming available. While the micro:bit as a lot of useful features, one significant drawback is that is used Bluetooth LE to communicate with mobiles. This means you usually have to be an experienced Android or IOS programmer to create a custom mobile interface.

pfodApp solves this problem by being a general purpose Android app that can connect via Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth Classic, Wifi/Ethernet or SMS. pfodApp lets you display custom menus/sub-menus charts etc all completely configured and controlled by small text strings sent by the micro:bit or other micro.

The free pfodDesignerV2 can be used to create these menus and charts and then generate the code required to load into the target card.

Android Controlled C++ micro:bit

This covers an example of using pfodDesignerV2 to design a custom Android menu to control the BBC micro:bit's outputs and read and plot and log its inputs. pfodDesignerV2 generate the C++ code for the micro:bit to communicate with pfodApp to display your custom menu and charts.

Setting up and Getting Started

The code generated by pfodDesignerV2 is C++ code so you will need to set up a C++ compiler for the micro:bit. Follow the steps here to set up Netbeans for off-line building of programs for the micro:bit.

Once you have set up the compiler you can try out some of the sample programs

There is also a page on Getting Started with micro:bit C++ which covers debugging, fibers and monitors and semaphores.



AndroidTM is a trademark of Google Inc. For use of the Arduino name see http://arduino.cc/en/Main/FAQ


pfodDevice™ and pfodApp™ are trade marks of Forward Computing and Control Pty. Ltd.


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