CircuitPython in 2019

Adafruit has requested on their blog feedback and comments about CircuitPython in 2019, so here I go. I am mostly going to talk about three things: the projects that I personally want to do using it, the ongoing developments that I would love to see finished this year, and some completely crazy stuff that could potentially be added if someone smarter than me and with copious free time worked on it.

The Projects


The immediate thing with highest priority right now is the PewPew educational game console, and the workshop I’m planning to run with it really soon now (™). I’m rather happy with the hardware and the pew library on it, but I need to work on preparing more learning materials and example games for it. I also need to reorganize the repository to make it easier to follow and contribute to it.

µGame and Successors

A much lower priority thing is to write those games that I have built the µGame for, and possibly also port/rewrite those games for Adafruit’s game console when it is finally released. That is probably not going to happen very soon, though, so I have some time. If motivation suffices, I will probably also improve the stage game library that µGame uses, and create more ready-to-use resources for it.

Kubik and Tote

While the homebrew game consoles took most of my free time last year, this year I want to come back to my robots for a bit. In particular, I want to finish the design and programming of ESP8266-based version of Tote, and to finish the Kubik M0 robot (possibly switching it to NRF52 in the process). There is also a number of old robots I would like to re-visit and finish, such as the Logicoma-kun, Pony Bot, and Henk the Hexapod.

I also need to explore more better ways of doing inverse kinematics, interpreting accelerometer output, reacting to touch sensors on the legs, and possibly also to force sensors in the joints and complaint motion.

Badges and Wearables

The CircuitPython Badge project is suspended, as the people who wanted to work with me to get it to conferences gave up on it, but if there is a Python conference that wants it, I might work on it again.

I also have this wearable hub prototype, for which I want to make some interactive jewelry and accessories. No idea about anything specific yet, but I think I will have cat ears for sure, at the least. Maybe also a video pendant.

CircuitPython Development

TextMode Library

I really want to write a CircuitPython library that would let you do something like the old DOS text mode display, and that would support a variety of different displays and fonts. I already have some prototypes for OLED and TFT displays, but I need to sit down and bring it all together with a consistent API.

Built-in Display Support

I’m waiting with bated breath for the built-in support for displays that is being worked on. It will not only make it trivially easy to display the errors and the REPL console on any display connected to CircuitPython boards, but also let do high-performance graphic operations, and create games like on the µGame. This is probably also a prerequisite for that game console board to be released by Adafruit, so I really can’t wait for it.

Wireless Communication

There is a new library for using ESP8266 as a WiFi module in the AT mode, but also some improvement to the RFM9x module support, and of course support for NRF52 chips means there is Bluetooth support coming. I’m really looking forward to being able to use any of those in CircuitPython, and I hope that the coming year will bring a standardised and consistent API for wireless communication.

Crazy Project Ideas

Speech Synthesizer

The same speech synthesizer that is used to make the Micro:bit talk should be very easy to port to CircuitPython, and should even have much better sound quality by using the DAC.

Speech Recognition

At the same time, it might be possible to use the stronger M4 boards to do trigger word recognition, using the same algorithm as the Snowboy program for Raspberry Pi. This requires a lot of knowledge and patience that I don’t have, but it could be potentially very useful project.


That’s all I have right now. As you can see, there is a lot of hope and very few promises. That’s because the trend in the recent years is for me to have less and less time and motivation for my projects. Perhaps the trend will reverse at some point, but until then I try to not plan ahead too much.