Python is a popular and important programming language – useful as an introductory text-based language and yet powerful enough to have a wide range of applications. Vernier Science Education has developed several libraries that enable you to use our sensors – both LabQuest (wired) and Go Direct – with Python 3.

To help you get started it is helpful to identify which type of sensor you intend to use.

Sensor family Development environment / Code Editor Computer / Chromebook
LabQuest (wired) User preference Mac or Windows computer
Go Direct User preference Mac, Windows, or Linux
Go Direct Web VPython Mac, Windows, Linux, or Chromebook with Chrome browser

A note about code editors. There are a large variety of code editors and integrated development environments (IDE) available. We have primarily used IDLE, which comes installed when you install Python from or Visual Studio Code, which is a free code editor available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. 

We have also collaborated with Bruce Sherwood to create a library allowing our Go Direct sensors to work in a web-based code editor called Web VPython (formerly known as Glowscript). There are some unique and powerful aspects related to using our Go Direct sensors with Web VPython. This program runs in a browser and does not require the installation of Python, which can be challenging.

The main tools for getting started (including installation instructions, troubleshooting steps, and sample programs) are found here:
Go Direct sensors and Python
Go Direct sensors and Web VPython
LabQuest sensors and Python

The following help articles are arranged in the following categories:


Can I use Vernier Go Direct sensors with programs I write in various programming environments?
What programming environments do you support for using your sensors for projects and teaching coding?

Troubleshooting Python

We encourage you to use the Issues menu in GitHub to look for answers to coding questions and troubleshooting, as well as the following sources:

Python is installed on my computer. Why isn't it discoverable?
No module named 'godirect' error message using Go Direct sensors with Python
What Bluetooth radio do I need for Go Direct Sensors and Python?

Python on computers

Do I need to have the gdx folder co-located with my Python program?
Can I make a stand-alone app from my Python program?

Python on Raspberry Pi and Linux

Can I use Vernier Go Direct sensors with Raspberry Pi?
Advanced Help connecting Go Direct sensors in Python on your Raspberry Pi
Why can't I connect my GoDirect sensor to my Python program via USB on my Linux operating system?


Can I use VPython with Vernier sensors?

Web VPython

How do I get started using Vernier sensors with Web VPython?