The pIRKey comes with CircuitPython installed on it.
tl;dr? It's extremely fast and easy to program and customize your pIRkey behavior using CircuitPython - much easier and faster than trying to use Arduino as we do not have to compile every time. All you have to do is edit the file on the little disk drive. Also, CircuitPython has native HID keyboard/mouse support so its perfect for pIRkeys simple IR in -> Keyboard out setup.
CircuitPython is a programming language designed to simplify experimenting and learning to program on low-cost microcontroller boards. It makes getting started easier than ever with no upfront desktop downloads needed. Once you get your board set up, open any text editor, and get started editing code. It's that simple.
CircuitPython is designed to run on microcontroller boards. A microcontroller board is a board with a microcontroller chip that's essentially an itty-bitty all-in-one computer. The board you're holding is a microcontroller board! CircuitPython is easy to use because all you need is that little board, a USB cable, and a computer with a USB connection. But that's only the beginning.
Other reasons to use CircuitPython include:
- You want to get up and running quickly. Create a file, edit your code, save the file, and it runs immediately. There is no compiling, no downloading and no uploading needed.
- You're new to programming. CircuitPython is designed with education in mind. It's easy to start learning how to program and you get immediate feedback from the board.
- Easily update your code. Since your code lives on the disk drive, you can edit it whenever you like, you can also keep multiple files around for easy experimentation.
- The serial console and REPL. These allow for live feedback from your code and interactive programming.
- File storage. The internal storage for CircuitPython makes it great for data-logging, playing audio clips, and otherwise interacting with files.
- Strong hardware support. There are many libraries and drivers for sensors, breakout boards and other external components.
- It's Python! Python is the fastest-growing programming language. It's taught in schools and universities. CircuitPython is almost-completely compatible with Python. It simply adds hardware support.
Since pIRKey is a tool not a full dev-board, we're not going to put a full CircuitPython tutorial here. Instead we recommend you read our excellent guides: