Embedded development can be a tough process. Between weird electrical gremlins, obscure bugs and our own mistakes, it can be a real struggle at times. To keep cognitive loads to a minimum, it’s best to make sure your tools are as simple and easy to use as possible. [tech] got tired of having to push a button to prepare the ESP32 for programming, and decided to solve the problem.
The solution comes via another microcontroller, in this case an ATtiny9. The small device listens in on the ESP32’s serial receiving pin. When it detects the Arduino IDE’s boot sequence on the line, it switches the BOOT0 and RESET lines on the ESP32, emulating the button presses to force it into programming mode.
Once you’ve become accustomed to one-click programming your ESP boards, you’re not going to want to go back. We could imagine this hack being replicated in a tidy piggyback format so it could be moved from board to board as workflow dictates.
If you’ve got an ESP32 lying around and don’t know what to do with it, you could always consider getting into game development.