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Need a solution getting iPads to talk with Arduinos
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Need a solution getting iPads to talk with Arduinos

by sbrowne42 on Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:03 am

Hello,

I teach a digital electronics class and use Arduinos for the majority of my coding projects. Of my 20 students, 10 are fully online......they don't come into the building at all. I have cheap windows laptops for the kids in class, but the remote kids only have school issued iPads (not my decision) to use. I have found IDE's for the iPad, but the biggest hurdle I face is getting the iPads to talk to the Arduinos.

I have researched this and found 2 options:

1) Serial breakout cable with lightning adapter. Cost looks to be upwards of 50$.

2) Bluetooth communication using the BLExAR App and bluetooth CC2541 module. Anywhere from 20$ - 40$ for app and board.

They have 6th gen iPads running 14.0.1.

Does anyone have experience getting this to work? They will be developing and transmitting code only from their ipads.

I'm trying to make this school year not suck for everyone and I'm not sure what is the easiest way to get this working for kids who will be stuck at home without me available to help troubleshoot other than through a zoom call. I teach in a public school so cost is also a consideration.

Thanks in advance for your time!

sbrowne42
 
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Re: Need a solution getting iPads to talk with Arduinos

by adafruit2 on Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:27 pm

could you use makecode? that has ipad support i think...getting a serial port to arduino uno working is just going to be so painful...

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Re: Need a solution getting iPads to talk with Arduinos

by mcgrun on Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:45 am

Hi...
I tried this some months ago and came to the conclusion, that it is possible but not usefull.

You can use a BT Adapter with the Arduino but it is not stable at all.

Better choice: use a Circuitpython Board with the iPad and switch to Python. It is not a perfect solution but does the job. I'm useing QtPy-Boards / Seeduino with an iPad an the flashdrive is fully accessible from iOS. The bad thing is that the REPL doesn't work.

Good luck,

Chris.

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Re: Need a solution getting iPads to talk with Arduinos

by blnkjns on Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:12 am

Did you question the kids at home what devices they have?
Even though they have iPads from school, does that mean its the only thing? No desktops in the house, laptops?
The nice thing of 2020 is that computers are near free. I mean, grab a 2009 Mac Mini and an abundant HP LP2065 monitor (20 inch 1600x1200 pixel IPS!) from a bank that had a 10000 people layoff and flooded craigslist, and you have a system for 50 bucks that is so good, you can edit 4K in FCP, run Mojave/Catalina and have pretty decent ergonomics instead of a total unpleasant experience for the neck, fingers and eyes with an iPad. I too have kids in my class for who 50 bucks is too much, but also a lot of them who are capable of buying it themselves from their grocery store jobs (they still work where their 18+ studying brothers are jobless now). They even buy Metro M4's for use at home! A true Mac can be of great worth for their creative carreer.
Even the Raspberry Pi 4 was obsolete by launch because of this pricepoint of vintage Macs! I sold all of them and bought macs 1 to 1 and was left with money to update RAM and install SSD's!.
So before using the less usable option, talk with them about what possibilities they have to use other devices. Think about the long run as well, beyond your current project.

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