Espruino - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Espruino

Author: raspberrypython

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Arduino pro mini, Arduino uno, Parallax QuickStart

What were the biggest problems encountered?: null

Detailed Review:

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Espruino: more than just hardware

“The Language of the Web” is used everywhere - your laptop, phone, TV, and the servers that power the internet -

This is truly one of my favorite boards of the year, there’s a lot to this board that makes it worth considering in anyone’s next project. Some of its greater strengths lie in it’s flexible programming options, as well as the the size, and options for powering this board. Considering first the different ways to program the Espruino.

Programming the Espruino

The main option, and the best way to receive updates for the Espruino is through the online IDE, through the IDE you can receive updates to the Espruino as well as a nice looking app with terminal editing as well as an uploader.

web IDE

The look

The Chrome IDE has a simple layout, and is designed well. As far as an IDE goes, there aren’t a lot of features to the IDE which I personally like. Updating your Espruino is a fast, and simple process, and the IDE guides you through the process. You also have the option to open files from your system, as well as save to your computer.

Alternative options

Other then the web IDE, there are three other ways to program your espruino, two of which I really like to use. The first option outside of the web is to use a serial communication program, I use Screen to interact with my espruino, other options are, minicom, and picocom. My favorite of these programs is Screen, this is all personal choice at this point.


The next method that I like to use is programming the Espruino on an android tablet, is via Bluetooth, and an app called BlueTerm +.  When the HC-05 Bluetooth module is soldered to the Espruino, you can connect the board to your tablet with this app. This is also a Serial Terminal, I will find most of my use for this method when my project is integrated to the bike, and it would be easier to debug through Bluetooth. on the website, some of the video examples shows an example of using the BlueTerm+ app to control a robot wirelessly.

Learning curve

Coming from very little experience in JavaScript, there has been some time getting used to doing things with the Espruino. Thanks to the documentation on Espruino learning the functions to build my bike project has been going smoothly. I’d suggest anyone who has any experience with either C, C++, and python, heading over to Codecademy and taking some of the courses on JavaScript. I also went ahead and got a JavaScript reference book at my local bookstore, this way I could take some time before bed, or when on a work break I can read up on things.

Bike Project

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been working on a bike project, at the moment I’m working on a cadence meter to track the RPM of my pedaling. This is an important piece of data for maximizing the benefits of cycling, so I am working on displaying the RPM to an 128x64 OLED screen from Adafruit. What drew me to the Espruino as a good candidate for this project was that it could be low powered, the easy integration of the Bluetooth module, and the integrated battery connector.


As I’ve Worked with the board, I’ve found that it isn’t friendliest with breadboard, because of that you have to either solder headers(male/female) or soldering wires directly to the board. This is a minor issue I have with the board as the ability to flash the Espruino software to another board such as the Olimex, or the MapleBoard.

Final Thoughts

The Espruino is one of my favorite boards this year, between getting up on programming in JavaScript, and using a new board that isn’t programmed in C/C++ or Arduino. This has been a fun product to test, I am looking forward to all the things that will come out of Espruino in the future. Although I’ve had some learning to do, using the board is very nice, and setting up the programming enviroments in Linux is fairly quick. As the season comes to an end for riding bikes, I will have slower progress developing this project, but I will keep the community updated with my work with the Espruino board.