Wokwi is a free online simulator that allows users to create and test electronic circuits that incorporate devices such as Arduino, ESP32, or similar.
This resource is ideal for beginners in the world of electronics as it provides the possibility to experiment with different components and designs without having to invest in expensive materials. It is also useful as a testing tool to speed up developments.
One of the main advantages of Wokwi is that it allows real-time testing in a simple way, visualizing how the circuit behaves under different conditions. It has a measurement tool that allows verifying the value of signals at different points in the circuit.
Wokwi is a good alternative to better-known options like TinkerCAD. Personally, I find it a much more powerful solution and the interface is more pleasant and professional.
The Wowki library has a wide variety of electronic components that can be used in creating circuits, such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, LEDs, or TFTs.
Precisely one of the strong points of Wokwi is that it is capable of simulating graphical aspects such as LED strips and TFT screens, which can be very useful for testing and developing projects involving these types of devices.
It also includes a wide selection of examples and tutorials that help users understand how different components work and how to use them in their designs, or simply serve as a basis or inspiration.
Wokwi is compatible with C++ and MicroPython programming languages, allowing users to write and test their code directly in the simulator. We can incorporate libraries from the usual repositories into our code.
At any time, we can download the generated code to use it on real devices. Another interesting feature of Wokwi is that it allows users to share their projects with other users, which can be useful for collaborating and learning from other developers.
Wokwi also incorporates a serial port simulator through GDB Debugging. Although functional, it is not excessively practical. It also has a logic analyzer in the style of PulseView, which allows users to debug and verify the operation of their code.
Wokwi also emulates WiFi communication, including communication with MQTT, on boards that have it, such as the ESP32. It is also possible to connect real devices to the simulator through the USB connection and see how they behave in real time.
Wowki is free, although a premium version is available at a cost of €7 per month. This incorporates additional functions such as improvements in the ESP32’s WiFi, the ability to add libraries from our computer, or to add binary files to a microSD (virtual).
Wowki is actively being developed and improved. The two most anticipated features include an extension for VSCode that allows testing our code in a Wowki simulation directly. I have been able to test the development, and the truth is that it is very impressive and useful.
The other expected feature is an improved debugger that allows for interactive debugging like the one found in a desktop IDE (with Breakpoints, Stepping, Watches). This would be a very interesting addition, and would make programming processors much faster than doing it physically.
In conclusion, Wokwi is a very useful tool for those who want to experiment with electronics virtually. It is highly applicable both for avoiding prototyping, as well as in educational and STEAM technology contexts.