Pycom Launched Over The Air (OTA) Programming Support in PyBytes Cloud
As we discussed earlier, Pycom is building the next generation IoT platform with multi-communication IoT boards, PyMkr IDE support, PyBytes cloud and more. A month ago Pycom had released MESH networking capability in LoPy and FiPy boards and this week Pycom had launched a brand-new feature on Pybytes referred to as Flash Control Over The Air (FCOTA).
With this support, you can now re-program a device located remotely anywhere in the world given that it is connected to the internet. Without FCOTA, to re-program a device, you have to physically bring the device to your desk or go to device location, connect your system and re-program it. So you can understand the importance of it.
Pycom team is also exploring the possibility to perform FCOTA on LoRa and Sigfox networks as well. According to them –
“Theoretically, it’s possible to make small changes in the code using LoRa, if a selective update system is made to reduce the bandwidth use. Perhaps likewise on Sigfox. More on that soon!”
How Flash Control Over The Air (FCOTA) Works?
When your device is connected to Pybytes and you are inspecting it in the tab called “Flash”, a system in Pybytes will attempt to contact the device every 10 seconds. If the device responds, then it know that the device is live, online and ready for action. That way, you can keep track of what’s happening with the device and it’s possible to perform changes to it.”
FCOTA bring many cool features to Pycom devices. Developers can make edits to the main.py having a shared library of code pre-sets and thereby letting the users set up there devices in no time. With this user can also share assets – code made by the community to perform a specific action and much more.
In the below video, Pycom developer Alexis shows us how to update the main.py (which holds the code that will determine what the device will do) using the FCOTA. They show how basically the device has no purpose at the beginning but in the end, it sends sensors data.
This is the first release of FCOTA feature so there are some issues e.g. there is no revert back if the new program is invalid or contains error. This may cause malfunctioning of the device and it will not connect back to the internet. There should be a guided support while re-programming but it is missing for now.
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