Learning Outcome

In this chapter, we learn to

Activities: Python syntax, comments, variables, data types, loops and numbers.

Introduction to EDU PICO

What is EDU PICO?

EDU PICO is an all-in-one learning tool that can help you learn how to build electronic projects using the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller. It's a special board that comes with all sensors preconnected to help you learn more seamlessly. This means that you can start experimenting and building things right away, without needing to know a lot about electronics.

Introduction to Thonny IDE

What You Need?

Step 1

Connect the EDU PICO to your computer.

Step 2:

Flip the ON/OFF switch (downwards) to turn it ‘ON’.

Step 3:

Download and install ‘Thonny IDE’ on your computer.

Step 4:

Launch Thonny IDE and select ‘CircuitPython (generic)’ as the interpreter.

Step 5:

Let’s configure Thonny IDE’s theme and font so that it matches the guidebook’s theme. This will make sure you can go through the guidebook smoothly later.

Select Tools > Options > Theme & Font. Follow the settings below for UI theme, Syntax theme, Editor font and IO font.

Step 6: Select ‘OK’, and restart Thonny IDE to make sure the style elements take effect. 

Now you’re all set for your first program!

Thonny Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Introduction to CircuitPython

What is CircuitPython?

CircuitPython is a programming language based on Python. Specifically designed to simplify for experimenting and learning to code with microcontroller boards. In this module, we will learn CircuitPython programming with EDU PICO and Raspberry Pi Pico W.

Why CircuitPython?

Easy & Beginner Friendly

File Storage

Strong Hardware Support


Preparing EDU PICO CircuitPython Firmware

Step 1:

Launch Thonny IDE and make sure your computer has internet connection.

Step 2:

Press and hold the reset (RST) and BOOTSEL button, the release the RST button, but continue to hold the BOOTSEL button until the RPI-RP2 drive appears.

Step 3: 

Click on the bar at the bottom right corner and select Install CircuitPython from the drop-down menu

Step 4: 

Select RPI-RP2 for the target volume, and Cytron Technologies - EDU PICO for Pico W for the variant. Then select 8.2.9 or the latest stable version and click Install.

Step 5: 

Wait for the download and installation to be done. Close all pop-up windows.

Step 6: 

After successful installation, the CircuitPython drive will appear on your computer. Click the bottom right corner of Thonny and select the CircuitPython option as shown.

Download EDU PICO Firmware

Alternatively, you can download the EDU PICO CircuitPython firmware from:

Copy the firmware into the RPI-RP2 Drive to install the firmware.

(Make sure to HOLD BOOTSEL button when connecting the Pico to your computer USB port)

Go ahead and launch the Thonny IDE and you're all set for your first EDU PICO program!

"Hello EDU PICO"

Step 1: 

Program the EDU PICO to print "Hello EDU PICO" text at the shell.

Step 2: 

Click the Green Button to run the code and Red Button to stop.

Step 3: 

Click Save and save your code into the CircuitPython device.

Step 4: 

Name your file as Hello_EDUPICO.py, then click OK to save.

Step 5: 

To check the code that you have already saved in your CircuitPython device, go to View > Files.

Congratulations, you're all set to embark on your next exploration! Rest assured, I'll be with you every step of the way.