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Part 1: set up your project

1. Introduction

This part will guide you through the basic essential tools' installation and how to use them.

2. Set up your development environment

We will use PlatformIO as a development environment.

  1. First, download and install it following the PlatformIO installation page.
  2. When it is done, open the VS Code editor.
  3. Through this Get started, you will need to enter some command lines in a terminal. You can either use the terminal from VS Code, or use your favorite one.
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3. Download the base code

Download and unzip from this link the Get started base code.

tip

Alternatively, you can clone this code through Git via the terminal, using the following command line:

git clone https://github.com/Luos-io/Get_started.git

You will need to have GIT installed on your computer to do that. If you are not familiar with Git, you can consult their documentation.

4. Build your project

  1. Locate the project in the folder you just downloaded, corresponding to the board you will use. (For example, for the STM32L432KC Nucleo board, the folder will be Get_started/NUCLEO_L432KC)
  2. On VS Code, click on File → Open Folder and open the project folder you just located.
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caution

If VS Code displays the message “Do you trust the authors of the files in the folder?”, you can trust us 😉: check the option “Trust the authors of all files in the parent folder” so it will not pop up anymore, then click the “Yes, I trust the authors” button.

The project folder should now be opened in the PlatformIO explorer. 👍

info

For Arduino users, you have to select the board you use in the file platformio.ini. Find board and set it to board = zero. For the Seeeduino XIAO board, also set default_envs to default_envs = seed.

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  1. Build the project

Click on the tick button on the bottom. Building the project creates a binary file of your code that you will upload in the next step.

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caution

The build may sometimes output an error message. In that case, you need to update the PlatformIO libraries (click on the PlatformIO ant logo on the left, then click on Update All on the left panel as shown on the image below), and build again.

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5. Upload to the board

You can now flash your board: connect it to your PC with a USB cable and upload the code by clicking on the right arrow in the bottom left of the VS Code window, situated next to the build tick button (see image below).

PlatformIO will build the firmware and flash the board. Take a look at the terminal to observe each step that PlatformIO follows. A success message should appear at the end.

Once the board is flashed, it means the compiled binary you've created have been copied into the board and is running. You should now see the LED blinking on your board.

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caution

Some boards in this Get started may not have a built-in LED, so you must connect an external LED between the specified pin and the GND pin.

E.g. for an ESP32-DevKit, you must connect a LED and a resistor between IO18 and GND (check the schematics from the table in the Get started Part 3 for hardware specification).

tip

In order to make this step work, you may need to install the USB driver related to your board on your computer. Note: Linux users should give USB access to their boards by modifying the udev rules access rights. To give such rights to PlatformIO, please follow this tutorial on PlatformIO FAQ section.

danger

If you have any trouble with your board's USB driver, you can consult our related troubleshooting page. Also, make sure your USB cable is not faulty (it happens... 🤗).

Congratulations, your first Luos app is running!

6. Explanation: What has been going on?

Two services have been loaded into your board on step 5, allowing you to make the LED blink.

  • Blinker sends a message at a fixed duration.
    ╰ The code folder of this service is located at the root of the get_started repository (because the same app can run on any board so it's a shared folder)
  • Led receives this message and makes the LED blink.
    ╰ The code folder of this service is located on the lib folder of your project (because it is a driver which is specific to your board)

On top of it, we also added two other services allowing you to take control of your board:

  • Pipe, managing a serial interface.
    ╰ The code folder of this service is located in the cloud (because it is a common cross-platform of Luos tools), PlatformIO just downloaded it for you.
  • Gate, an app that translates Luos engine's messages to JSON and sends it through the Pipe.
    ╰ The code folder of this service is located in the cloud (because it is a common cross-platform's Luos tool), PlatformIO just downloaded it for you.

7. Next step

Your development environment is now configured, and the Get started project is installed in a local folder of your choice. The next part of this section will teach you how to run Luos on your MCU and take control with a high level API!

8. Test your skills

A feedback? Let's discuss on Discord | Github

The author: Nicolas Rabault

CEO at Luos
Nicolas Rabault

Former roboticist, research engineer in real-time embedded systems and founder of Pollen Robotics, Nicolas Rabault is CEO of Luos. Nicolas dedicated his life to develop tools making embedded subsets work together and simplifying reusability.

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