M5Stack, pocket computers ideal for learning to program

M5Stack family, robotics and programming

Are you interested in robotics and programming? Do you find it very difficult? Maybe it's because you still don't know the solutions of M5Stack. These are small pocket computers, with different plug-in modules, which make them perfect for delving into the world of programming and robotics. Likewise, M5Stack equipment with compatibility with Arduino and with LEGO. Therefore, they are also designed to introduce the little ones to this world.

M5Stack offers a wide catalog of equipment. They appear on the market in 2016 and little has been increasing their models, their kits and their accessories. Likewise, we must tell you that the M5Stack is compatible with several programming languages: MicroPython, Arduino IDE, UIFlow (programming by blocks and perfect for the little ones), as well as with the operating system in real time FreeRTOS.

Although Arduino has a large number of followers around the world, it is true that it may not be the best way to start in this world. But maybe, with M5Stack and its modules, things change. Assembling modules and converting our M5Stack into an entire modular computer is much easier than putting component by component and perhaps it is aimed at more advanced users.

What can we find in the M5Stack catalogue?

M5Stack Core, modular and programmable pocket computer

If we take a look, we will find 4 different families: Core, Stick, Atom and E-Paper. All of them programmable and intended for projects DIY (Do it Yourself or do it yourself). Likewise, in all of them we can add complements and accessories so that our imagination flies and we create everything from drones controlled by these little ones, to perfect machines that are designed to be able to control the irrigation of the plants taking into account humidity and air.

M5Stack Core Family

This family of small controllers are the most powerful in the family's catalogue. In addition, they are the most modular, being able to add modules with batteries, more expansion of ports such as LAN, etc. They are based on the small ESP32 processor, created for small low-power systems and which implements a module in a single SoC WiFi and Bluetooth. In addition, they are also accompanied by a screen -touch in some cases-, as well as a slot for microSD cards or a USB-C port.

These models are oriented for the most ambitious and complete projects. Also, that with all the components that it has integrated and all the modules that we can add, we will achieve true works of art.

M5Stack Stick Family

Some computers smaller than the previous ones, but functional and that are also based on the ESP32 SoC. Depending on the model of M5Stack Stick that we choose, we will have controllers with screens or with cameras -these last ones are perfect for projects in which a camera will be essential as a vehicle that must follow a marked route on the ground or have to stop its movement depending on obstacles-.

The price of these models are quite affordable and they are usually around 20-25 euros. In addition, they are also perfect for educational projects and for experimenting on wearables. They also have Bluetooth and WiFi connection.

M5Stack Atom Family

As you will have been able to appreciate by its name, these Atom of M5Stack are the smallest members of the catalog of the family. These are usually accompanied by LED lights or a small screen. Also, some models have a speaker and microphone to function as a smart speaker. These little ones are designed for small-scale robotics projects and can be perfect for small alarms, remote warnings, etc.

M5Stack E-Paper Family

Finally, we will talk about some very interesting M5Stack controllers. And they are based on the ESP32 SoC but under a e-ink screen between 1,5 and 4,7 inches. As you will have discovered, these screens will give a lot of play. Especially if we are talking about domestic issues in which we can create to-do lists or, in conjunction with an Amazon speaker and its Alexa, we can add products so that they are noted directly in the M5Stack E-Paper -Can you imagine telling your Amazon Echo the following shopping list out loud?-. You can also create a calculator, a screen on which to draw, an electronic book reader or whatever really comes to mind.

Programming these M5Stack

UIFlow M5Stack programming environment

The really interesting thing about these small computers is the possibility of programming them in a somewhat simpler and more visual way with UIFlow, based on Blockly and Python. In other words, you can pass all the commands to Python whenever you want or work -this is ideal for the most inexperienced or the smallest- in a completely visual way without having to write commands on the keyboard.

Finally, although the platform that has a larger community is Arduino, M5Stack is gaining a lot of prominence in the sector, being more reliable, faster and being able to cover more types of user. If you want to know more about all their products, you can visit their Official Site.

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