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.
Connecting to the Hummingbird Bit with USB
Open the BlueBird Connector. The BlueBird Connector may need to update the firmware on your micro:bit, so follow any directions that it gives you. After any updates, you will hear a sound as your device connects. The name of your robot should appear in the purple “CONNECTED” section of the BlueBird Connector.
Connecting to the Hummingbird Bit with Bluetooth
The micro:bit will appear as an external device on your computer. Download this file and drag it onto the micro:bit.
If necessary, insert the Bluetooth dongle into your computer. If you are using a Mac with Bluetooth 4.0 (all devices manufactured since 2014), you can skip this step. If you are using Windows or an older Mac, you will need a BLE bluetooth dongle.
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.
Using Java with Hummingbird Bit
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.
Eclipse will copy four files into your project: the classes for the Hummingbird and micro:bit (Robot.java, Hummingbird.java, and Microbit.java) and a test file (HummingbirdTest.java). 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 HummingbirdTest.java. 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.