One of the most exciting parts of tinkering with the Raspberry Pi involves seeing the results of your prototype.
You could code everything yourself or you could piggyback on these tools that will significantly accelerate your Raspberry Pi Pico W development experience.
These four tools are easy to integrate with your Pico W and will significantly accelerate your development timelines.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation created this library for the Raspberry Pi Pico that will reduce the code you write.
The library supports many components, including:
- LEDs (RGB and single color)
- Temperature sensor
- Ultrasonic distance sensor
Let’s take a look at a simple project: taking a reading from the Pico W’s internal sensor.
from picozero import pico_temp_sensor from time import sleep while True: print(pico_temp_sensor.temp) sleep(0.1)
import machine import time conversion = 3.3 / (65535) sensor = machine.ADC(4) while True: reading = sensor.read_u16() * conversion temperature = 27 - (reading - 0.706)/0.001721 print(temperature) time.sleep(0.1)
As you can see, adopting the Picozero library in your code saves a lot of time.
IFTTT will greatly speed up your building experience because it can help you easily connect your Pico W to APIs.
Web apps like Spotify and Google Sheets have their own APIs, but connecting to them can be rather complex. In fact, some services require you to go through authentication process where you need a GUI to authorize the connection. This is very difficult to do on the Pico W.
With IFTTT as the middleware, connecting to various services becomes super easy because all you need to do is to hit a Webhook endpoint and then magic happens.
This allows you to connect your sensors to Google Sheets or control your music through Spotify without having to go through a complex authentication process.
IFTTT is free for up to five applets. Visit them here.
PiCockpit has recently released an update that specifically supports the Raspberry Pi Pico W.
By flashing the firmware onto your board, you will be able to control your GPIO states remotely, monitor inputs and use software PWM through a web interface.
Unlike other tools here, PiCockpit allows you to control your Pico W with no code. PiCockpit is free up to five devices. Visit them here.
Anvil can help you build your frontend and backend coding much more efficient.
In a typical Pico W project, you will have to build the front-end and then code the backend to connect the two.
With Anvil, you can build the frontend using their drag-and-drop web interface that has buttons, graphs and many more. Connecting the backend and the frontend is simpler because of the extensive documentation.
Anvil is a freemium product where basic functions are free. They also have custom-built software for the Pico W that makes it easy to start. Check it out here.
In fact, I used Anvil to create my Pico W room climate data logger. You can get a view of how Anvil works with the Pico W in that article.
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