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Arduino Alvik: An Arduino Nano ESP32-Driven MicroPython Robot

Reporting from Shanghai
Jan 26, 2024

Based on an ESP32-S3 SoC running on MicroPython, Alvik is a small, yet feature-rich, robot for education and beyond.

Arduino Alvik is a new robot which Arduino Education claims is a cross-disciplinary tool that bridges the gap between education and the future world of robotics. Alvik has been inspired by Arduino’s philosophy of simplifying complex technology, while it also “demonstrates Arduino’s new commitment to MicroPython support”, according to Hackster’s Gareth Halfacree.

"This launch is a defining moment for Arduino Education", claims Arduino Education's Yu Hu from the company's creative team. "Alvik is more than a robot; it's a comprehensive learning tool, designed with the versatility and user-friendly approach that make it ideal for enhancing robotics and programming education across various age groups”.

Arduino Alvik embraces a spectrum of programming languages, such as block-based programming, MicroPython, and Arduino C. The robot’s intuitive interface and curriculum content transform coding into a fun and immersive experience, fostering creativity from interactive game design to pioneering IoT and AI projects, in line with future aspirations. Seamlessly integrated within the Arduino ecosystem, it enriches the learning journey for users across all skill levels.

The robot is built to act as a carrier board for an Arduino Nano ESP32, Arduino’s first development board to feature Espressif’s ESP32-S3 at its heart. ESP32-S3 is designed for AIoT applications, featuring 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 (LE), along with powerful AI acceleration and
reliable security characteristics. The Arduino Nano ESP32 on Alvik connects via pins on the top of the board, while capacitive touch points provide turtle-like local programming for those not yet ready to make the jump to MicroPython itself.

Furthermore, powered by the Arduino Nano ESP32, the Alvik robot monitors and interacts with the real world with high-quality, incorporated sensors. These include line-following sensors, a Time-of-Flight distance sensor, a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as proximity and color sensors. It also accommodates connections to two micro-servo motors.

Alvik is versatile and precise, offering a world of possibilities and applications. It features connectors for LEGO® Technic™ and M3 screws, and is also 3D-printing- and laser-cutting-design-compatible. This robot isn't confined to one shape; it’s a canvas for every user’s imagination!

For all the details on Arduino Alvik, you can check out the relevant Arduino webpage.

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