Push Button (D12)

The RedBot mainboard has a built-in push button that can be detected by your program. The button is hardwired to pin D12 on the RedBot mainboard and is located next to the USB port.

The button can be used as a way for a user to control the robot:

How to Code Button

There are three different ways to use the button in your robot app:

  • Option 1: Read the button pin directly using the digitalRead() method

  • Option 2: Read the button using a RedBotButton object and its read() method

  • Option 3: Use a OneButton object and its tick() method to detect different types of button presses (i.e., single-press, double-press, and long-press)

Option 1 and Option 2 are similar. They both detect when the button is pressed. It is primarily a matter of personal preference, in terms of which option to use. Most of the coding tutorials and references in this guidebook use the second option.

Option 3 allows your robot to detect up to 3 different types of button presses, so the robot can perform different tasks based on the user's input. This option requires you to include the OneButton library in your robot app.

Read Button Directly

To read the button pin directly, your robot app will need to:

  1. Declare a variable to store the button pin number

  2. Set the pin mode for the button

  3. Use the digitalRead() method to detect whether the button is being pressed

  4. Add code statement(s) to perform certain action(s) if the button is pressed

You'll need to create a global variable to store the pin number of the button, which is connected to pin D12. Add this code statement before the setup() function:

int button = 12;

Next, you'll need to set the button's pin mode. Add this code statement within the setup() function:

pinMode(button, INPUT_PULLUP);

INPUT_PULLUP indicates the button pin will be used for input and will use a pull-up resistor (which is something that buttons and switches typically use, but other inputs do not).

The digitalRead() method can be used to detect whether or not the button is currently being pressed. It will return a value of either HIGH or LOW:

  • HIGH indicates the button is NOT being pressed

  • LOW indicates the button is being pressed

An if statement is typically used to perform a set of actions when the button is pressed.

This code is typically added within the loop() function or within a custom function:

if (digitalRead(button) == LOW) {
// add code to perform if button is pressed
}

Inside the if statement, you need to add code statements for the specific actions you want performed when the button is pressed.

USER FEEDBACK: It is recommended to produce an alert sound (i.e., a beep) as feedback to the user when the button is pressed.

Alternatively, you can also include an else statement to perform a different set of actions when the button is not pressed. In this case, use this code instead:

if (digitalRead(button) == LOW) {
// add code to perform if button is pressed
}
else {
// add code to perform if button NOT pressed
}

Use RedBotButton Object

To read the button using a RedBotButton object, your robot app will need to:

  1. Create a RedBotButton object for the button

  2. Use the object's read() method to detect whether the button is being pressed

  3. Add code statement(s) to perform certain action(s) if the button is pressed

The SparkFun RedBot library has a class named RedBotButton which contains methods (functions) to control the RedBot's built-in D12 push button. This class will automatically set the pin number (12) and pin mode (INPUT_PULLUP) for the button.

Before the setup() function, create a RedBotButton object for the button by assigning the object to a variable:

RedBotButton button;

REDBOT LIBRARY: Be sure your robot app has an #include statement for the SparkFun RedBot library. Here's how to include the RedBot library.

The RedBotButton object has a read() method that can be used to detect whether or not the button is currently being pressed. It will return a value of either true or false:

  • true indicates the button is being pressed

  • false indicates the button is NOT being pressed

An if statement is typically used to perform a set of actions when the button is pressed.

This code is typically added within the loop() function or within a custom function:

if (button.read() == true) {
// add code to perform if button is pressed
}

Inside the if statement, you need to add code statements for the specific actions you want performed when the button is pressed.

USER FEEDBACK: It is recommended to produce an alert sound (i.e., a beep) as feedback to the user when the button is pressed.

Alternatively, you can also include an else statement to perform a different set of actions when the button is not pressed. In this case, use this code instead:

if (button.read() == true) {
// add code to perform if button is pressed
}
else {
// add code to perform if button NOT pressed
}

Use OneButton Object

The RedBot mainboard only has one button, which normally can only be read as being pressed or not pressed. However, the OneButton library makes it possible to detect three different types of button input events:

  • Single-Press = user presses the button once

  • Double-Press = user presses the button twice in rapid succession

  • Long-Press = user presses and holds the button down

To read the button using a OneButton object, your robot app will need to:

  1. Include the OneButton library

  2. Create a OneButton object for the button

  3. Designate custom functions for each type of button input

  4. Add the code to be performed within each custom function

  5. Use the object's tick() method to detect the type of button input

First, you must add a copy of the OneButton.h library to your code editor. This is a one-time process. Follow the same steps that you did to add the RedBot library to your code editor, except type onebutton into the search field to find the library.

Next, you must include a copy of the OneButton library in your robot app. The following #include statement should be inserted at the beginning of your app code:

#include <OneButton.h>

Before the setup() function, create a OneButton object by assigning it to a variable and indicating its pin number and whether it will use a pull-up resistor in parentheses:

OneButton button(12, true);

Add this code within the setup() function to designate the names of custom functions that will be called when the different button input events are detected (single-press, double-press, or long-press):

// designate custom functions for different button inputs
button.attachClick(singlePress);
button.attachDoubleClick(doublePress);
button.attachPress(longPress);

If desired, you can use other names for the custom functions instead of singlePress, doublePress, and longPress. For example, you could name the functions as task1, task2, and task3.

If you don't need to detect a particular type of button input, just leave it out (or make it into a comment). For example, if you do not need to detect a long-press, then simply exclude the code statement that attaches a custom function to that input event.

After the loop() function, add the custom functions for each type of button input:

void singlePress() {
// add code to perform when single-press detected
}
void doublePress() {
// add code to perform when double-press detected
}
void longPress() {
// add code to perform when long-press detected
}

Be sure the names of these custom functions match the names that were designated in your setup() function.

Inside each custom function, you need to add code statements for the specific actions you want performed when that type of button input is detected.

USER FEEDBACK: Within the custom functions, it is recommended to produce an alert sound (i.e., single-beep, double-beep, or long-beep) that confirms which type of input was detected.

Within the loop() function, use the OneButton object's tick() method to check for button input events. Whenever a specific button input event is detected, the custom function that was designated for that input event will automatically be called:

void loop() {
button.tick(); // check for button input events
// OPTIONAL: can add other code to perform
}

For example, the button.tick() statement might be the only code statement listed within your loop() function. You could put the code for your different robot tasks within the custom functions for singlePress(), doublePress(), and longPress(). This would allow you to use different button presses to start the different robot tasks.