8. Making the pyboard act as a USB mouse¶
The pyboard is a USB device, and can configured to act as a mouse instead of the default USB flash drive.
To do this we must first edit the
boot.py file to change the USB
configuration. If you have not yet touched your
boot.py file then it
will look something like this:
# boot.py -- run on boot-up # can run arbitrary Python, but best to keep it minimal import pyb #pyb.main('main.py') # main script to run after this one #pyb.usb_mode('VCP+MSC') # act as a serial and a storage device #pyb.usb_mode('VCP+HID') # act as a serial device and a mouse
To enable the mouse mode, uncomment the last line of the file, to make it look like:
pyb.usb_mode('VCP+HID') # act as a serial device and a mouse
If you already changed your
boot.py file, then the minimum code it
needs to work is:
import pyb pyb.usb_mode('VCP+HID')
This tells the pyboard to configure itself as a VCP (Virtual COM Port, ie serial port) and HID (human interface device, in our case a mouse) USB device when it boots up.
Eject/unmount the pyboard drive and reset it using the RST switch. Your PC should now detect the pyboard as a mouse!
8.1. Sending mouse events by hand¶
To get the py-mouse to do anything we need to send mouse events to the PC.
We will first do this manually using the REPL prompt. Connect to your
pyboard using your serial program and type the following (no need to type
# and text following it):
>>> hid = pyb.USB_HID() >>> hid.send((0, 100, 0, 0)) # (button status, x-direction, y-direction, scroll)
Your mouse should move 100 pixels to the right! In the command above you are sending 4 pieces of information: button status, x-direction, y-direction, and scroll. The number 100 is telling the PC that the mouse moved 100 pixels in the x direction.
Let’s make the mouse oscillate left and right:
>>> import math >>> def osc(n, d): ... for i in range(n): ... hid.send((0, int(20 * math.sin(i / 10)), 0, 0)) ... pyb.delay(d) ... >>> osc(100, 50)
The first argument to the function
osc is the number of mouse events to send,
and the second argument is the delay (in milliseconds) between events. Try
playing around with different numbers.
Exercise: make the mouse go around in a circle.
8.2. Making a mouse with the accelerometer¶
Now lets make the mouse move based on the angle of the pyboard, using the
accelerometer. The following code can be typed directly at the REPL prompt,
or put in the
main.py file. Here, we’ll put in in
main.py because to do
that we will learn how to go into safe mode.
At the moment the pyboard is acting as a serial USB device and an HID (a mouse).
So you cannot access the filesystem to edit your
You also can’t edit your
boot.py to get out of HID-mode and back to normal
mode with a USB drive…
To get around this we need to go into safe mode. This was described in the [safe mode tutorial](tut-reset), but we repeat the instructions here:
- Hold down the USR switch.
- While still holding down USR, press and release the RST switch.
- The LEDs will then cycle green to orange to green+orange and back again.
- Keep holding down USR until only the orange LED is lit, and then let go of the USR switch.
- The orange LED should flash quickly 4 times, and then turn off.
- You are now in safe mode.
In safe mode, the
main.py files are not executed, and so
the pyboard boots up with default settings. This means you now have access
to the filesystem (the USB drive should appear), and you can edit
boot.py as-is, because we still want to go back to HID-mode after
we finish editing
main.py put the following code:
import pyb switch = pyb.Switch() accel = pyb.Accel() hid = pyb.USB_HID() while not switch(): hid.send((0, accel.x(), accel.y(), 0)) pyb.delay(20)
Save your file, eject/unmount your pyboard drive, and reset it using the RST switch. It should now act as a mouse, and the angle of the board will move the mouse around. Try it out, and see if you can make the mouse stand still!
Press the USR switch to stop the mouse motion.
You’ll note that the y-axis is inverted. That’s easy to fix: just put a
minus sign in front of the y-coordinate in the
hid.send() line above.
8.3. Restoring your pyboard to normal¶
If you leave your pyboard as-is, it’ll behave as a mouse everytime you plug
it in. You probably want to change it back to normal. To do this you need
to first enter safe mode (see above), and then edit the
boot.py file, comment out (put a # in front of) the line with the
VCP+HID setting, so it looks like:
#pyb.usb_mode('VCP+HID') # act as a serial device and a mouse
Save your file, eject/unmount the drive, and reset the pyboard. It is now back to normal operating mode.