Writing an Arduino driver with OpenAI ChatGPT and PDF parsing – Adafruit Blog

New video! One of the big tasks that Ladyada still has to spend a lot of time on is writing Arduino libraries for all our devices and sensors, particularly all the I2C & SPI chips out there! These ICs use register maps and sub-byte addressing to set dozens of configurable knobs and switches, and a good driver lets folks set and get all of the noodly bits.
However, there is yet to be a standard format to get that configuration map. Instead, you have to pore over datasheets with long lists of binary tables and bit insets to figure out how to convert that into C or Python code.
It is tough. Only a few folks can write an excellent comprehensive library…. but Ladyada can & has! In fact, there are hundreds of Arduino libraries on Adafruit’s GitHub https://github.com/orgs/adafruit/repositories, all in the Ladyada ‘style,’ using Adafruit_BusIO for I2C / SPI register addressing https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_BusIO/ and since ChatGPT 4 was trained on all of it, we can ask it to become a mini-Ladyada to write new drivers.
With a PDF parsing plugin, we can even upload the chip’s datasheet to extract register names, values, create enum tables, and text for doxygen comments. Here’s the chatGPT log for the video https://chat.openai.com/c/f740eb57-17a6-41e3-ae0a-12da959a1f4c – and here’s a previous one that is more ‘complete’ https://chat.openai.com/share/f44dc335-7555-4758-b2f9-487f9409d556. The amount of time it takes for ChatGPT to write a driver is about the same as it would take Ladyada, and you definitely need to be eagle-eyed to redirect the AI if it starts making mistakes… but it can be done even when Ladyada is tired after a full day of baby-care, or at the same time as pumping https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpbH-sXRNps – plus there’s a lot less continuous typing/mousing so her wrists don’t ache the next day!
Do you use ChatGPT for electrical engineering or coding work? Any suggestions on how to make this even better? This is only our 3rd day using this tool, so we’re getting started with how to integrate it into our workflow.
In an upcoming post we’ll outline how we’re credit ChatGPT when we’re using it in this somewhat “pair programing” way, and who we’re asking out there for guidance on how license can/will reflect these collaborations.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Join Adafruit on Mastodon
Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org
Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US
Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes
Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!
No comments yet.
Adafruit has a “be excellent to each other” comment policy. Help us keep the community here positive and helpful. Stick to the topic, be respectful of makers of all ages and skill levels. Be kind, and don’t spam – Thank you!