Getting Started

Steps 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Steps 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Getting Started

Java is one of the most-used programming languages in industry today, and it is also the language of AP Computer Science and many college introductory courses. Our Java library allows students to use Java to read sensors and set motors and LEDs with the Hummingbird Bit.

To use Java with the Hummingbird Bit, you must connect to the Hummingbird Bit via Bluetooth with the BlueBird Connector. You can connect to the Hummingbird Bit using Bluetooth or the USB cord. Instructions for both are given below. To use Bluetooth with Windows, you will need a BLE bluetooth dongle. We support native Mac Bluetooth for Macs with Bluetooth 4.0. This includes all devices manufactured after 2014, and many devices from before that. Older Macs without Bluetooth 4.0 can use the BLE bluetooth dongle. All Windows and Mac computers can connect to the Hummingbird Bit using the USB cord.

Insert a micro:bit into your Hummingbird Bit Controller (you might need to push a little harder than you think!), and connect it to the computer with the USB cord. The Hummingbird also needs a source of power, so connect it to the battery pack or AC power adapter.

Download this file and drag it onto the micro:bit. Your device should start to flash three letters on its display.

Download Hex File

If you will be connnecting via Bluetooth, remove the USB cord. You won’t need it to use Java. If necessary, insert the bluetooth dongle into a USB port.

If you will be connecting with the USB cord, just leave the Hummingbird Bit connected to your computer.

Open the BlueBird Connector. If you are connecting with the USB cord, it will connect automatically to your Hummingbird.

If you are using Bluetooth, you may see one robot or many, depending on how many are nearby. Click on the name of the robot that matches the initials on your device.

You will hear a sound as your device connects, and the initials will stop flashing on the device. The name of your robot should appear under Connected.

Now you are ready to start programming in Java! You can minimize the BlueBird Connector, but you should leave it open the entire time that you are using the Bit. If at any point you have trouble with your robot, you should come back to the BlueBird Connector to check your bluetooth connection. You can also check your battery level in the BlueBird Connector.


You can use any Java IDE with the Bit. The screenshots here will show Eclipse as an example.

Download and unzip the Java library.

Create a new Java Project in Eclipse.

Next, right-click on the new project and select Import.


Select File System under General.

Click Browse and navigate to the BitJava folder. Make sure to click the checkbox next to the folder name to select all of the files. Then click Finish.

Eclipse will copy four files into your project: the classes for the Hummingbird and micro:bit (,, and and a test file ( Select these files in Eclipse and drag them into the src folder.

Note: If you get an error in Eclipse, right-click on the src folder and select New/Package. Once you create a new package, drag the .java files into that package.

Once the files are in the src folder, open

To test that everything is working properly, connect a single-color LED to port 1 of the Hummingbird. Run the test program and check that the single-color LED blinks 10 times.

Now you are ready to start writing your own Java programs with the Hummingbird! You can use these videos to help you connect lights, motors, and sensors to your Hummingbird Bit. Once you have some parts connected, use this reference to learn more about what methods are available in the Hummingbird and Microbit classes.

Make sure to store your programs in the Hummingbird project so that they can find the Hummingbird and Microbit classes. If you wish to create a new project, be sure to add the four files in the BitJava folder to the new project.