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PyCon2019 Keynote: Python on Hardware – Nina Zakharenko




PyCon2019 Keynote: Python on Hardware – Nina Zakharenko

PyCon2019 was a great success this weekend! Especially so for showcasing Python on hardware. All attendees received a Digi-Key sponsored Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. Some great fun was had. One highlight was a keynote talk by Nina Zakharenko.

Nina discusses making physical things, her background, and her melding of hardware with the growing use of Python in education and society. With a few lines of Python, you can make lights glow, react to buttons, make music, and much, much more. Edit code in any text editor, copy it to the flash drive that shows up when a board is plugged in, the code runs! No software development environment required!

Slides – PDF, code, Tweets with Nina, #PythonHardware, and YouTube.

Announcing the winners of the 2019 Women in Open Source Awards – Limor Fried

Red Hat Open Source Award

Some big news we’re pleased to share!

Throughout the open source community, developers, programmers, engineers and enthusiasts are making an impact, sometimes one line of code at a time. In addition to their technical contributions, they’re making an impact by advocating for and mentoring others, ultimately bringing more people into the open source community. At Red Hat, we celebrate that impact and the hard work and dedication it requires. As we kick off Red Hat Summit 2019, we’re proud to announce this year’s winners of the Women In Open Source Awards: Limor Fried and Saloni Garg. Their contributions are innovative examples of how open source is being used to make a difference in people’s lives and is well positioned to inspire future generations. In its fifth year, the Women in Open Source Awards were created and sponsored by Red Hat to honor women who make important contributions to open source projects and communities, or those making innovative use of open source methodology. Nominations for this year’s awards were accepted for two categories: academic (those currently enrolled in a college or university) and community (those working on or volunteering with projects related to open source). A panel of judges determined finalists based on nomination criteria, and the public voted to determine the award winners.

Limor Fried, who was recognized in the community category, is the founder and lead engineer at Adafruit Industries, an open source hardware company designed to be a place for people to learn about and purchase open tools, equipment and electronics online. Adafruit has grown to more than 100 employees and is 100% woman-owned. Fried personally selects, tests and approves each product before it is added to the Adafruit store. With more than 13 years in the open source community, she is a strong advocate for open source hardware and software. She led the effort in writing open source tutorials at learn.adafruit.com, providing more than 1,700 designs for makers to build and learn from, and developed Circuit Playground Express—an all-in-one exploratory circuit board widely adopted in schools, colleges, and STEM organizations. Fried also hosts the YouTube show “Ask an Engineer,” one of the longest-running live weekly Internet shows on STEM, and “Show and Tell,” a show that allows makers to share their creations. She is on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum magazine and spends time mentoring other women who own small businesses.

Read more, congrats Saloni Garg, academic winner & thank you so much community for the support, to Red Hat, and to all the folks who voted!

How it’s made – thousands of Digi-Key & Adafruit CircuitPython powered Circuit Playgrounds for PyCon 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio

PyCon Digi-Key CPX

PyCon Digi-Key CPX

PyCon Digi-Key CPX

PyCon Digi-Key CPX

PyCon Digi-Key CPX

PyCon 2019 is happening right now and here are some of the photos (and video) of how Adafruit made and sent thousands of Circuit Playground Express devices, special Digi-Key + Adafruit edition, all running CircuitPython. Getting them to PyCon with the special edition code, firmware, on time, and on budget was a unique challenge and the team did it!

PyCon Digi-Key CPX

Thank you so much Digi-Key for helping to make this happen for all the PyCon attendees!

PyCon Digi-Key CPX

2 LAUs (Ladyada Units).

CircuitPython at Pycon with Microsoft!

CircuitPython at Pycon

CircuitPython at Pycon

CircuitPython at Pycon

CircuitPython at Pycon

Nina Zakharenko / @nnja

Thank you so much @adafruit and @kattni for teaching an incredible hands on workshop at the #Microsoft booth today. It was fantastic

CircuitPython for Gamebuino

CircuitPython for Gamebuino

In progress 0.0.5 update, guides, and more: CircuitPython for Gamebuino – gamebuino.com.

CircuitPython snakes its way to Crowd Supply – For the Greater Goods

Crowd Supply

The latest Crowd Supply newsletter arrived and they’re both CircuitPython powered!

The Robotics Masters Robo HAT MM1 is an open source robotics controller board for Raspberry Pi. It removes the initial barriers to starting any robotics project by providing all the hardware you need in one simple, easy-to-use form factor. The board is also compatible with Jetson Nano and can even be used standalone. The Robo HAT MM1 removes the need for a PWM driver, external power, or voltage regulators, and adds additional functionality. Wide compatibility with many open source software libraries such as CircuitPython, SeeSaw, and Arduino IDE means that you can use Robo HAT MM1 in the way that works best for your specific project. The hardware schematics and software will be fully available and open source.

The Giant Board will come with over 100 CircuitPython libraries pre-installed and support many popular FeatherWings. Linux drivers interface directly with the Ethernet and LCD FeatherWings, and they can be easily enabled or disabled via a simple text file. Most FeatherWings will work out of the box with Adafruit’s CircuitPython example code.

PyPortal giveaway

PyPortal giveaway

HackSpace is giving PyPortals, you have about 30 days left to enter! – hsmag.cc/win

CircuitPython activity book for the TI-83 Premium Calculator

CircuitPython activity book for the TI-83 Premium Calculator

CircuitPython activity book for the TI-83 Premium Calculator

CircuitPython activity book for the TI-83 Premium Calculator

CircuitPython is shipping on the Texas Instruments TI-83 Premium calculator and the amazing community over on TI-Planet consistently have the scoop, photos, and details on all things Python on calculators. Here’s what is included in the upcoming booklet, translated from French – tiplanet.org via Twitter.

The booklet is organized in 4 chapters: First steps in Python: Deals with both models for programming Python, TI-83 Premium CE with external module TI-Python and TI-83 Premium CE Python Edition, with the necessary updates or connections as the case may be. Also discusses the operation of the applicationPyadaptr or Python dedicated, and guide step by step in the writing of your first function. The basics of Python: Presented here the Python language with the main instructions to the high school program (conditional, loops, lists …) each accompanied by examples as well as writing in indentation. Classic algorithms: Here is the programming of classical algorithms (prime numbers, PGCD, PPCM, roots of a polynomial …). Go further with the algorithms: Proposes to think outside the box around three projects, the first dealing with affine cryptography.

Maker Update #122: Creature Feature

Maker Update

Maker Update: Creature Feature [Maker Update #122] Adafruit edition. This week on Maker Update, magnetic animatronics, a photo frame with a dark side, a conductive paper dragon, keyblades, a Star Trek desk, and gaming with a PyBadge – YouTube.

CircuitPython displayio setup for TFT FeatherWings

displayio setup

displayio setup

Have you been wondering what displayio is and don’t know where to get started? Well, look no further. In this guide, we show you how to get displayio up and running on a TFT display FeatherWings. Adafruit currently offers a few different selections that all have drivers for CircuitPython, making them super easy and flexible to use – learn.adafruit.com

Multi-Sensor IoT Environmental Sensor Box With CircuitPython

IoT Sensor

IoT Sensor

This guide will walk you through making an environmental monitoring device with GPS, Temperature, Humidity, Barometric Pressure, and Air Quality sensors, all updating to the cloud. Once build, this project takes readings occasionally and sends them to Adafruit IO, stamped with time and location. All that is required is an AC outlet and a WiFi network. All done in CircuitPython with AirLift, the Adafruit wireless co-processor that makes secure IoT projects a breeze. And the project is encased in a cute weatherproof case so it can be deployed anywhere – learn.adafruit.com

IO Update: Features, Stats, and More for Adafruit IO

IoT update

IoT update

Adafruit.io has over 15,000+ active users in the last 30 days and over 700+ Adafruit IO Plus subscribers. Free and pro versions all play nice with all devices’ Adafruit IOT Monthly – May 2019. We’ll have an newsletter for IO (sign up on adafruitdaily.com) and we’ll include specific Python, CircuitPython, and other Python-features for using adafruit.io as well many IoT services.

News from around the web!

PyPortal Badge

Britt got tired of fumbling around with business cards at conferences, solution? Create an interactive digital business card instead using CircuitPython and PyPortal – GitHub.


Matchy matchy! – Twitter.

Mandelbrot fractal with CircuitPython

Make things smart with Python, draw the Mandelbrot fractal with CircuitPython.

Excamera Labs

Excamera Labs newsletter features some kind words about CircuitPython! Thanks James!

The CircuitPython development environment is brilliantly simple. You just copy the source files onto the 2 Megabyte USB drive, and CircuitPython detects that they have changed and auto-reloads them. This is so much easier than the Arduino, and it’s even easier than MicroPython itself, which (as far as I know) doesn’t support auto-reload.

Sandbox for “CircuitPython for Gamebuino” – GitHub.


Jeseekia @MetaDevGirl’s unboxing and review of the Circuit Playground Express featuring CircuitPython – Twitter.

CircuitPython with Raspberry Pi and Gamebuino – sugarflowerrn.

CircuitPython: Python

CircuitPython: Python on hardware (Dave Astels) at PyConCA – YouTube.

Python has made the jump to embedded software running on microcontroller hardware. This talk will introduce CircuitPython: a fork of MicroPython (a implementation of Python 3 designed to run on small hardware) that takes it to exciting new hardware and makes it very beginner/learner friendly.

MicroPython slides

Presentation of MicroPython during the 16th Fribourg Linux Seminar by Jacques Supcik, Professor – Slides via Twitter.

Matt sent along some news updates, here they are rapid-fire! LoFive R1 – groupgets.com. BurgessWorld released a quad motor and servo shield for the official ESP32-DEV-KIT – tindie. Sipeed announced that they’re adding support for their variant of the OpenMV IDE, “MainPy IDE” – Twitter. OpenMV released v2.2.0 of their IDE – openmw.io. Latest Video tutorial from Unexpected Maker – YouTube.

New MicroPython Discord server from folks in an open space at #PyCon2019 – Discord.

Obsidian ESP32

Obsidian ESP32. An ESP32 in a Raspberry Pi Form Factor – Crowd Supply.

Mapping Server

How-To: Mapping Server Hits with ESP8266 and WS2812 – Hackaday.

BLYST Nano boards

MicroPython ported to the BLYST Nano boards – Crowd Supply.

Design Bluetooth BLE Applications in Python on ESP32 using Zerynth – YouTube.


Pyxel is a retro game engine for Python. Thanks to its simple specifications inspired by retro gaming consoles, such as only 16 colors can be displayed and only 4 sounds can be played back at the same time, you can feel free to enjoy making pixel art style games – GitHub.

Insulin Pumps

Insulin Pumps, Decapped chips and Software Defined Radios by Pete Schwamb.

Choosing a faster JSON library for Python by Itamar Turner-Trauring.

Announcing JupyterHub 1.0 – blog.jupyter.org

LISP syntax for Python – GitHub.


Detecting Parkinson’s Disease with OpenCV, Computer Vision, and the Spiral/Wave Test by Adrian Rosebrock.

Remote Development with VS Code by The VS Code Team.

Python 3 at Mozilla – ahal.ca/blog

Mozilla uses a lot of Python. Most of our build system, CI configuration, test harnesses, command line tooling and countless other scripts, tools or Github projects are all handled by Python. In mozilla-central there are over 3500 Python files (excluding third party files), comprising roughly 230k lines of code.

RStudio 1.2 Released with Support for SQL, Stan, Python and D3 – RStudio 1.2 Released.

Python at Netflix by Pythonistas at Netflix, coordinated by Amjith Ramanujam and edited by Ellen Livengood.

As many of us prepare to go to PyCon, we wanted to share a sampling of how Python is used at Netflix. We use Python through the full content lifecycle, from deciding which content to fund all the way to operating the CDN that serves the final video to 148 million members.


pyimgscan: open-source document scanning tool. Take a picture with your phone and convert it to a professional-looking scan – GitHub.

Unit Cost And Economics

Unit Cost And Economics – A project log for the VT-69 Handheld Terminal.

#ICYDNCI What was the most popular, most clicked link, in Happy 6th Birthday MicroPython! Python for wearables, and need a lift?? CircuitPython.org Downloads!

Made with Mu

Teaching a kid to code with Pygame Zero

Teaching a kid to code with Pygame Zero – mattlayman.com/blog

Mu is an editor focused on running Python for beginners. Mu is awesome for beginners. Here are some highlights: Python is included so there is no need to install something extra! This point probably cannot be overstated, because Python has a reputation for being complicated to install.

Coming soon


Preview of the PyGamer silk!

Name tag

Name-tag for PyBadge, as seen at PyCon.

PyBadge LC

Adafruit PyBadge LC – MakeCode Arcade, CircuitPython – Low Cost Version.

FeatherWing Air Lift

FeatherWing Air Lift

FeatherWing Air Lift!

New Learn Guides!

Updated Guides – Now With More Python!

You can use CircuitPython libraries on Raspberry Pi! We’re updating all of our CircuitPython guides to show how to wire up sensors to your Raspberry Pi, and load the necessary CircuitPython libraries to get going using them with Python. We’ll be including the updates here so you can easily keep track of which sensors are ready to go. Check it out!

Keep checking back for more updated guides!

CircuitPython Libraries!

CircuitPython Libraries

CircuitPython support for hardware continues to grow. We are adding support for new sensors and breakouts all the time, as well as improving on the drivers we already have. As we add more libraries and update current ones, you can keep up with all the changes right here!

For the latest drivers, download the Adafruit CircuitPython Library Bundle.

If you’d like to contribute, CircuitPython libraries are a great place to start. Have an idea for a new driver? File an issue on CircuitPython! Interested in helping with current libraries? Check out this GitHub issue on CircuitPython for an overview of the State of the CircuitPython Libraries, updated each week. We’ve included open issues from the library issue lists, and details about repo-level issues that need to be addressed. We have a guide on contributing to CircuitPython with Git and Github if you need help getting started. You can also find us in the #circuitpython channel on the Adafruit Discord. Feel free to contact Kattni (@kattni) with any questions.

You can check out this list of all the CircuitPython libraries and drivers available.

The current number of CircuitPython libraries is 155!

New Libraries!

Check back next week for new libraries.

Updated Libraries!

Here’s this week’s updated CircuitPython libraries:

PyPI Download Stats!

We’ve written a special library called Adafruit Blinka that makes it possible to use CircuitPython Libraries on Raspberry Pi and other compatible single-board computers. Adafruit Blinka and all the CircuitPython libraries have been deployed to PyPI for super simple installation on Linux! Here are the top 10 CircuitPython libraries downloaded from PyPI in the last week, including the total downloads for those libraries:

Library Last Week Total
Adafruit-Blinka 2010 31548
Adafruit_CircuitPython_Register 358 4937
Adafruit_CircuitPython_NeoPixel 339 4754
Adafruit_CircuitPython_BusDevice 318 10021
Adafruit_CircuitPython_Motor 277 3057
Adafruit_CircuitPython_PCA9685 273 2697
Adafruit_CircuitPython_ServoKit 203 2192
Adafruit_CircuitPython_framebuf 148 995
Adafruit_CircuitPython_Motorkit 136 2174
Adafruit_CircuitPython_CharLCD 109 8471


PyCon 2019 continues through May 9, 2019 in Cleveland, OH with talks, tutorials, sprints, and more!

Latest releases

CircuitPython’s stable release is 3.1.2 and its unstable release is 4.0.0-rc.1. New to CircuitPython? Start with our Welcome to CircuitPython Guide.

20190503 is the latest CircuitPython library bundle.

v1.10 is the latest MicroPython release. Documentation for it is here.

3.7.3 is the latest Python release. The latest pre-release version is 3.8.0a3.

1190 Stars Like CircuitPython? Star it on GitHub!

circuitpython.org updates!

Downloads are now available from circuitpython.org! This site makes it much easier to select the correct file and language for your board. The downloads page is here. Here are the latest boards added! There are 53+ boards!

Libraries @CircuitPython … Easiest way to get the latest library bundles!


circuitpython.org/libraries is the easiest way to get all the latest CircuitPython libraries. Sure, you can always use GitHub and look at all 155+ of them, but this is way easier… and in mpy for optimized experiences!

The CircuitPython Library Bundle contains all current libraries available for CircuitPython. They are designed for use with CircuitPython and may or may not work with MicroPython. The bundle options are explained (on the page)… CircuitPython libraries are separate files designed to work with CircuitPython code. CircuitPython programs require a lot of information to run. CircuitPython is so simple to use because most of this information is processed in the background and stored in libraries. Some libraries are built into CircuitPython. Others are downloaded and stored on your CIRCUITPY drive in a folder called lib. The full list of all the CircuitPython libraries contained in the following bundles can be found on the libraries page.

Call for help – CircuitPython messaging to other languages!

Hello World

We posted on the Adafruit blog about bringing CircuitPython messaging to other languages, one of the exciting features of CircuitPython 4.x is translated control and error messages. Native language messages will help non-native English speakers understand what is happening in CircuitPython even though the Python keywords and APIs will still be in English. If you would like to help, please post to the main issue on GitHub and join us on Discord.

We made this graphic with translated text, we could use your help with that to make sure we got the text right, please check out the text in the image – if there is anything we did not get correct, please let us know. Dan sent me this handy site too.



jobs.adafruit.com has returned and folks are posting their skills (including CircuitPython) and companies are looking for talented makers to join their companies – from Digi-Key, to Hackaday, Microcenter, Raspberry Pi and more. Not sure how to use the jobs board? We now have a video! – YouTube.

12,000 THANK YOUs! Celebrating 12,000 members in the Adafruit Discord Community!


Adafruit Discord

Together as a community, we reached over 12,000+ humans thank you! We share projects, coordinate events, make new friends, build open-source together like CircuitPython, we’ve worked really hard to make this a special place for everyone to share their projects, code, and things they make.

Join today! adafru.it/discord

Thank you everyone!

Updates to awesome-circuitpython


We updated awesome-circuitpython, the comprehensive, curated collection of all things CircuitPython – GitHub.

ICYMI – In case you missed it


The wonderful world of Python on hardware! This is our video-newsletter-podcast that we’ve started! The news comes from the Python community, Discord, Adafruit communities and more. It’s part of the weekly newsletter, then we have a segment on ASK an ENGINEER and this is the video slice from that! The complete Python on Hardware weekly videocast playlist is here.

This video podcast is on iTunes, YouTube, IGTV (Instagram TV), and XML.

Weekly community chat on Adafruit Discord server CircuitPython channel – Audio / Podcast edition – Audio from the Discord chat space for CircuitPython, meetings are usually Mondays at 2pm ET, this is the audio version on iTunes, Pocket Casts, Spotify, and XML feed.


The CircuitPython Weekly Newsletter is a CircuitPython community-run newsletter emailed every Tuesday. The complete archives are here. It highlights the latest CircuitPython related news from around the web including Python and MicroPython developments. To contribute, edit next week’s draft on GitHub and submit a pull request with the changes. Join our Discord or post to the forum for any further questions.