Dev Kit Weekly: M5Stack's Core2 IoT Development Kit

October 14, 2022




We hear more and more about the need to maintain our health – see the explosion of smart watches that monitor your heart rate and oxygen levels, amount of exercise per day, and even how much you’re breathing. If you want to create your own health monitoring device, you can even make one at home with the help of M5Stack’s Core2 ESP32 IoT development kit.

The M5Stack Core2 is a 54 mm x 54 mm x 16 mm, touch screen IoT development kit based on the ESP32-D0WDQ6-V3 MCU from Espressif Systems. The ESP32 is powered by dual-core Xtensa® 32-bit LX6 processors capable of running at 240 Mhz to deliver up to 600 DMIPS of performance and includes 520 KB of SRAM.

Beyond the SoC, the Core2 features an onboard SPM1423 PDM MEMS microphone and speakers that leverage an I2S digital audio interface and power amplifier that help deliver high-fidelity audio outputs, while an InvenSense MPU-6886 motion tracking device packages a 3-axis gyroscope and a 3-axis accelerometer that measure all that exercise you’ll be getting. That activity data can be stored in an additional 16 MB of Flash memory or 8 MB of Programmable SRAM, also onboard, or storage devices that plug into this microSD card slot.

When it’s time to check how much longer you have to go, which happens pretty quickly for me, the M5Stack Core2 includes this 4-inch FT6336U FocalTech capacitive touch screen that can display all your health data in a neat, comprehensive dashboard format (but more on that later).

And if you need to communicate any of that information off platform, say to a smartphone or database of some kind, the ESP32-D0WDQ6-V3 MCU’s built-in Bluetooth baseband and link controller, a full 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi MAC, and a 2.4 GHz 3D antenna certainly come in handy.

The whole thing can run on a 390 milliAmp hour lithium battery that runs at 3.7V.

Of course, you’re a developer, which means you can get your work in in other ways than just the treadmill. For those of you who are more keyboard-inclined, the Core2 is compatible with multiple development platforms like UIFlow, MicroPython, .NET, nanoFramework, and the Arduino development environments, so you can use whatever’s most comfortable for you. There are even examples and tutorials provided in each on the Core2 product page to help get you familiarized, programming, and controlling your M5Stack kit.

Included in those examples is – you guessed it – a sample health monitor project that leverages the M5Stack Core2, heartrate monitor, temperature sensor, and a connectivity gateway on the hardware side and a software stack consisting of M5Stack’s UIFlow(CORE2), M5BURNER firmware, the Python-based Thonny IDE, and the Waylay IO automation platform.

The M5Stack Core2 kit itself serves as the display in this setup. Once assembled, programmed, and connected, the monitor can be used to measure oxygen saturation in the blood, heartrate, and body temperature; you can even set alarms on it.

If you’d like to try this project out for yourself, there’s a guide on that walks you through the whole process, including code examples, a demo video, and a link to the full GitHub repository.

So now that you’ve got your finger on the pulse of IoT development kits, I’d say you’re ready to tackle projects from health monitors and home automation remotes to robots and digital snow globes.

If you’re interested in getting your own M5Stack Core2 IoT development kit, they are in stock and available for purchase through the product page for just $46.90. But, of course, you can always take a gamble by entering the raffle below for a chance to win this kit for absolutely free. We’ll even pay the shipping. Good luck!

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