Espruino Pico runs JavaScript

October 28, 2014 | 01:02
Espruino Pico runs JavaScript
Espruino Pico runs JavaScript

This tiny open-source USB stick containing an STM32F401 ARM Cortex M4 processor with 256 Kb flash and 64 Kb RAM has been specifically designed to run JavaScript and comes with everything necessary preinstalled, to allow it to run from virtually any device with a USB port.

 The scripted language allows you to work together with the hardware directly - querying and changing voltage levels and interacting with external components until you get everything just as you want it. According to their Kickstarter campaign page the Espruino Pico board can run for over 10 years on a single AA-sized 3v lithium cell.

Most microcontroller platforms run compiled code where the source code is converted to machine code to run on the microcontroller. Espruino Pico doesn’t do this - it executes JavaScript on-board.

This means:

  • You don’t need to install complicated tools on your computer - everything you need is inside the Espruino Pico
  • Changes take effect instantly, letting you iterate quickly to get the finished product that you want
  • The interpreter provides a lot of built-in functionality, so for simple tasks you need to write a lot less code to get the job done
  • It’s much easier to debug, as you can inspect and change variables while your code is running
  • If you run into problems with your hardware, you can write JavaScript to debug it - turning the Espruino board into a voltmeter, logic analyser, protocol analyser, and oscilloscope all at once!
  • You can send any JavaScript command to Espruino Pico, and it will execute it straight away - making it a great way to control electronics from your computer
  • If you come back to a project a year after you made it, the chip will still contain your source code so you can easily tweak it (you can always obfuscate your code if you’re rather hide it)

The campaign gained its funding on Sunday 23rd November with 28 days still to run.

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