3. Advanced Recipes

The following recipes demonstrate some of the capabilities of the GPIO Zero library. Please note that all recipes are written assuming Python 3. Recipes may work under Python 2, but no guarantees!

3.1. LEDBoard

You can iterate over the LEDs in a LEDBoard object one-by-one:

from gpiozero import LEDBoard
from time import sleep

leds = LEDBoard(5, 6, 13, 19, 26)

for led in leds:
    led.on()
    sleep(1)
    led.off()

LEDBoard also supports indexing. This means you can access the individual LED objects using leds[i] where i is an integer from 0 up to (not including) the number of LEDs:

from gpiozero import LEDBoard
from time import sleep

leds = LEDBoard(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

leds[0].on()  # first led on
sleep(1)
leds[7].on()  # last led on
sleep(1)
leds[-1].off()  # last led off
sleep(1)

This also means you can use slicing to access a subset of the LEDs:

from gpiozero import LEDBoard
from time import sleep

leds = LEDBoard(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

for led in leds[3:]:  # leds 3 and onward
    led.on()
sleep(1)
leds.off()

for led in leds[:2]:  # leds 0 and 1
    led.on()
sleep(1)
leds.off()

for led in leds[::2]:  # even leds (0, 2, 4...)
    led.on()
sleep(1)
leds.off()

for led in leds[1::2]:  # odd leds (1, 3, 5...)
    led.on()
sleep(1)
leds.off()

LEDBoard objects can have their LED objects named upon construction. This means the individual LEDs can be accessed by their name:

from gpiozero import LEDBoard
from time import sleep

leds = LEDBoard(red=2, green=3, blue=4)

leds.red.on()
sleep(1)
leds.green.on()
sleep(1)
leds.blue.on()
sleep(1)

LEDBoard objects can also be nested within other LEDBoard objects:

from gpiozero import LEDBoard
from time import sleep

leds = LEDBoard(red=LEDBoard(top=2, bottom=3), green=LEDBoard(top=4, bottom=5))

leds.red.on() ## both reds on
sleep(1)
leds.green.on()  # both greens on
sleep(1)
leds.off()  # all off
sleep(1)
leds.red.top.on()  # top red on
sleep(1)
leds.green.bottom.on()  # bottom green on
sleep(1)

3.2. Who’s home indicator

Using a number of green-red LED pairs, you can show the status of who’s home, according to which IP addresses you can ping successfully. Note that this assumes each person’s mobile phone has a reserved IP address on the home router.

from gpiozero import PingServer, LEDBoard
from gpiozero.tools import negated
from signal import pause

status = LEDBoard(
    mum=LEDBoard(red=14, green=15),
    dad=LEDBoard(red=17, green=18),
    alice=LEDBoard(red=21, green=22)
)

statuses = {
    PingServer('192.168.1.5'): status.mum,
    PingServer('192.168.1.6'): status.dad,
    PingServer('192.168.1.7'): status.alice,
}

for server, leds in statuses.items():
    leds.green.source = server
    leds.green.source_delay = 60
    leds.red.source = negated(leds.green)

pause()

Alternatively, using the STATUS Zero board:

from gpiozero import PingServer, StatusZero
from gpiozero.tools import negated
from signal import pause

status = StatusZero('mum', 'dad', 'alice')

statuses = {
    PingServer('192.168.1.5'): status.mum,
    PingServer('192.168.1.6'): status.dad,
    PingServer('192.168.1.7'): status.alice,
}

for server, leds in statuses.items():
    leds.green.source = server
    leds.green.source_delay = 60
    leds.red.source = negated(leds.green)

pause()

3.3. Travis build LED indicator

Use LEDs to indicate the status of a Travis build. A green light means the tests are passing, a red light means the build is broken:

from travispy import TravisPy
from gpiozero import LED
from gpiozero.tools import negated
from time import sleep
from signal import pause

def build_passed(repo):
    t = TravisPy()
    r = t.repo(repo)
    while True:
        yield r.last_build_state == 'passed'

red = LED(12)
green = LED(16)

green.source = build_passed('gpiozero/gpiozero')
green.source_delay = 60 * 5  # check every 5 minutes
red.source = negated(green)

pause()

Note this recipe requires travispy. Install with sudo pip3 install travispy.

3.4. Button controlled robot

Alternatively to the examples in the simple recipes, you can use four buttons to program the directions and add a fifth button to process them in turn, like a Bee-Bot or Turtle robot.

from gpiozero import Button, Robot
from time import sleep
from signal import pause

robot = Robot((17, 18), (22, 23))

left = Button(2)
right = Button(3)
forward = Button(4)
backward = Button(5)
go = Button(6)

instructions = []

def add_instruction(btn):
    instructions.append({
        left:     (-1, 1),
        right:    (1, -1),
        forward:  (1, 1),
        backward: (-1, -1),
    }[btn])

def do_instructions():
    instructions.append((0, 0))
    robot.source_delay = 0.5
    robot.source = instructions
    sleep(robot.source_delay * len(instructions))
    del instructions[:]

go.when_pressed = do_instructions
for button in (left, right, forward, backward):
    button.when_pressed = add_instruction

pause()

3.5. Robot controlled by 2 potentiometers

Use two potentiometers to control the left and right motor speed of a robot:

from gpiozero import Robot, MCP3008
from gpiozero.tools import zip_values
from signal import pause

robot = Robot(left=(4, 14), right=(17, 18))

left_pot = MCP3008(0)
right_pot = MCP3008(1)

robot.source = zip_values(left_pot, right_pot)

pause()

To include reverse direction, scale the potentiometer values from 0->1 to -1->1:

from gpiozero import Robot, MCP3008
from gpiozero.tools import scaled
from signal import pause

robot = Robot(left=(4, 14), right=(17, 18))

left_pot = MCP3008(0)
right_pot = MCP3008(1)

robot.source = zip(scaled(left_pot, -1, 1), scaled(right_pot, -1, 1))

pause()

Note

Please note the example above requires Python 3. In Python 2, zip() doesn’t support lazy evaluation so the script will simply hang.

3.6. BlueDot LED

BlueDot is a Python library an Android app which allows you to easily add Bluetooth control to your Raspberry Pi project. A simple example to control a LED using the BlueDot app:

from bluedot import BlueDot
from gpiozero import LED

bd = BlueDot()
led = LED(17)

while True:
    bd.wait_for_press()
    led.on()
    bd.wait_for_release()
    led.off()

Note this recipe requires bluedot and the associated Android app. See the BlueDot documentation for installation instructions.

3.7. BlueDot robot

You can create a Bluetooth controlled robot which moves forward when the dot is pressed and stops when it is released:

from bluedot import BlueDot
from gpiozero import Robot
from signal import pause

bd = BlueDot()
robot = Robot(left=(4, 14), right=(17, 18))

def move(pos):
    if pos.top:
        robot.forward(pos.distance)
    elif pos.bottom:
        robot.backward(pos.distance)
    elif pos.left:
        robot.left(pos.distance)
    elif pos.right:
        robot.right(pos.distance)

bd.when_pressed = move
bd.when_moved = move
bd.when_released = robot.stop

pause()

Or a more advanced example including controlling the robot’s speed and precise direction:

from gpiozero import Robot
from bluedot import BlueDot
from signal import pause

def pos_to_values(x, y):
    left = y if x > 0 else y + x
    right = y if x < 0 else y - x
    return (clamped(left), clamped(right))

def clamped(v):
    return max(-1, min(1, v))

def drive():
    while True:
        if bd.is_pressed:
            x, y = bd.position.x, bd.position.y
            yield pos_to_values(x, y)
        else:
            yield (0, 0)

robot = Robot(left=(4, 14), right=(17, 18))
bd = BlueDot()

robot.source = drive()

pause()

3.8. Controlling the Pi’s own LEDs

On certain models of Pi (specifically the model A+, B+, and 2B) it’s possible to control the power and activity LEDs. This can be useful for testing GPIO functionality without the need to wire up your own LEDs (also useful because the power and activity LEDs are “known good”).

Firstly you need to disable the usual triggers for the built-in LEDs. This can be done from the terminal with the following commands:

$ echo none | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/led0/trigger
$ echo gpio | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/led1/trigger

Now you can control the LEDs with gpiozero like so:

from gpiozero import LED
from signal import pause

power = LED(35) # /sys/class/leds/led1
activity = LED(47) # /sys/class/leds/led0

activity.blink()
power.blink()
pause()

To revert the LEDs to their usual purpose you can either reboot your Pi or run the following commands:

$ echo mmc0 | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/led0/trigger
$ echo input | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/led1/trigger

Note

On the Pi Zero you can control the activity LED with this recipe, but there’s no separate power LED to control (it’s also worth noting the activity LED is active low, so set active_high=False when constructing your LED component).

On the original Pi 1 (model A or B), the activity LED can be controlled with GPIO16 (after disabling its trigger as above) but the power LED is hard-wired on.

On the Pi 3 the LEDs are controlled by a GPIO expander which is not accessible from gpiozero (yet).