MicroPython and ESP8266 Airboat

Final Application

Now that all the pieces are working independently, I can pull it all together. For the final code (Listing 2), I've defined two fans (motorR and motorL); a fan control function (fancontrol(left,right), line 31) is called from the web requests (lines 35-49). Figure 7 shows the airboat web server, and Figure 8 shows the airboat in action.

Listing 2

Access Point and Web Controls


Figure 7: Airboat web controls.
Figure 8: Airboat in action.


You'll be quite surprised how fast two fans will move the airboat. To ensure the boat runs straight forward, balancing the direction of the fans or adding a simple rudder might be necessary.

I've done the same project on the exact same hardware in Arduino C++. The response speeds seem similar, but the Python code might be slightly leaner. Although the MicroPython IDE wasn't as robust as the Arduino IDE, I enjoyed testing the Python code interactively from a command prompt.

I won't be giving up on Arduino C++, but I can definitely see a place for MicroPython, especially for projects with lots of string manipulation.

The Author

You can investigate more neat projects by Pete Metcalfe and his daughters at https://funprojects.blog.

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