eduArdu update


eduArdu

I blogged about eduArdu the EUR 15 educational Arduino based board at the beginning of October, the plan was to have prototypes in 2 weeks which unfortunately didn’t happen, anyway now we have first prototypes built and work on the software support.

eduArdu2

We are preparing Arduino libraries for all features:

  • scrolling text and writing images on the LED8x8 matrix
  • playing single tone and multi tone sounds on the buzzer
  • measuring the temperature with the on-board sensor
  • measuring the light with LDR
  • detecting movements with the PIR sensor
  • reading distance to objects with Ultrasound sensor
  • reading the Joystick status
  • driving servo motors connected to the two  connectors
  • reading audio signals via microphone
  • driving RGB and the red LEDs on board
  • reading resistance on the 6 GPIOs to implement Makey-makey
  • receive IR remote commands and transmit IR codes to control air conditions, TVs etc.

TuxCon is preparing free Arduino day in “Prof. Asen Zlatarov” school in Parvomay on December 15th, where volunteers will teach students how to program in Arduino and make the first steps in programming and electronics.

TuxCon is non for profit organization and does all events free of charge aiming to spark interest in kids for IT technologies. If you want such event to be provided in your school please write in TuxCon facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/tuxcon.mobi/

Scratch gets lot of attention for enabling even very small kids to program with visual blocks. We though it would be good eduArdu to support it and add blocks to Scratch which to allow embedded board programming with Scratch.

I’ve tested Scratch 1 many years ago, it was relatively easy to add hardware board support at that time via Python web server running jango and communicating with Arduino fermata. It’s obsoletenow and in maintenance mode i.e. no bug fixes and developments.

Scratch 2.0 was re-writen in Action script and uses Adobe Flash technology for animation, really bad choice as we did try to use it several times with Linux and never succeed. This version is also in maintenance mode now.

So we moved to test Scratch 3.0 which is re-written in HTML5 and looks great, but unfortunately they closed the extensions for boards and now support officially just Microbit and Lego. Probably this is their way to get some money for their efforts. There are issues open from people who use other boards and wanted to migrate their old projects to 3.0 posted almost year ago without any action, so we really are puzzled after all this popularity they got, this is the best way to shoot themselves in the leg.

Fortunately there are many alternatives to Scratch, like Snap

It’s totally open for adding blocks and has tens of GitHub projects adding blocks for different robot platforms, Arduino, Raspberry pi etc embedded stuff.

So we will add support for eduArdu in Snap too.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. openelearning
    Nov 23, 2018 @ 18:54:07

    Very good that you will support Snap! . I didn’t know that Scratch now support officially just Microbit and Lego, thanks for the information.

    Reply

  2. openelearning
    Nov 23, 2018 @ 18:55:31

    Maybe you could be also interested by this project as an alternative to scratch : https://technologiescollege.github.io/Blockly-at-rduino/

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Nov 23, 2018 @ 19:31:37

      Thanks! We will check it out, looks like it supports lot of Arduino boards already.

      Reply

      • openelearning
        Nov 23, 2018 @ 22:40:12

        There is maybe a more recent version here : http://blockly.technologiescollege.fr/ but it seems that there is a bug when you are clicking on Blockly@rduino on the block on the left.
        There is also http://snap4arduino.rocks/

      • openelearning
        Nov 28, 2018 @ 19:54:20

        Hello,
        Here some replies by some contributors of the news list educ AT apri.org (FLOSS for education) :
        Philippe recommand https://github.com/grandtix/UniBot (however the licence is not indicated, I have asked for it : https://github.com/grandtix/UniBot/issues/3 )
        Nicolas says that it could be possible to use Scratch 3 if someone make extensions. Microbit and lego support are extensions. However he doesn’t know if the extensions will be added in the online version of Scratch 3. But it’s possible to take the source of Scratch 3, add the extension, and give it to people.

        Yvan says that BlocklyArduino is here http://technologiescollege.github.io/Blockly-at-rduino/ there is the configure block function in order to have mbot blocks and other, it just need C++ and javascript skills to add new block.

        There is also Mblock 5 http://www.mblock.cc/mblock-software/ I tried it, it’s very nice, but for the moment there is not possibility to use it on arm, and on linux for mblock 5.

        I think that the possibility to use a visual coding software without internet and also with arm nano computer could be great.

        Nathaly recommend Snap! (she use it since 2016 and use it in mathematics classrooms) and give a lot of links about the use in schools : using scratch by the center of research ion teaching mathematics http://irem.univ-reunion.fr/spip.php?article917 example of Nathalie use of Scratch : https://nathalierun.net/lycee/piwigo/index.php?/category/104 Nathalie add that the poppy project use also Snap! for the Ergo Jr program, in English : https://www.poppy-project.org/en/robots/poppy-ergo-jr

        Generally on educ AT april.org , Snap! and BlocklyArduino are the most recommended.

        Best regards, and please tell us which one you will use and why 🙂

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Nov 29, 2018 @ 12:40:26

        Thanks for the info! I will check these all, so far Snap is our favorite as it already supports Arduino and this makes easy to add other Arduino based boards. We will support all other platforms where there is already Arduino support as we do not want to spend lot of time. All posts about Scratch I’ve seen in social media usually show small kids playing with Scratch and Arduino, makey-makey etc, dropping the support for it in 3.0 urge users to search for another platform more friendly platform just like we do 🙂

  3. Trackback: eduArdu update @olimex @arduino @scratch « Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

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