Tangible prototyping enables designers to rapidly iterate design concepts, gather feedback, and learn quickly from mistakes. However, when a higher level of functionality is needed with sensors, novices struggle with technical implementation. Existing novice electronics toolkits, such as Arduino, have lowered the threshold to electronic experimentation, but still require manual creation of circuits and software programming ability. We present Bloctopus, a modular electronic prototyping toolkit that allows direct electrical interfacing over USB, and physical interfacing with LEGO blocks. We present the stand-alone sensor model, where each module can directly interface with either a computer or microcontroller, using musical message passing over MIDI. We show that the modules can be programmed with a simplified data flow model in a web-based visual programming interface. Finally, we present a prototyping case study that demonstrates the expressivity of devices that can be created using LEGO pieces, combined with functional electronic modules.
Last week, we gathered at Azul Systems Headquarters (the sponsor for this event) for a meetup named:
Piper: A Minecraft Toolbox for Anyone to Start Engineering
At this event, just over 30 kids gathered to learn how to use Piper to enhance their love of Minecraft to learn about building and engineering off the screen and to engage them with real, physical building and inventing.
Piper is a Minecraft Toolbox that just launched on Kickstarter. It is a box that contains a complete, Raspberry Pi-based computer, and allows children to play the game of Minecraft and to hack the game by adding hardware such as switches, buttons, lights and sensors to attain power-ups. Each hardware add-on gives the player a special power-up. It's a super cool set up and Devoxx4Kids is a super cool group/initiative that we were proud to host!
Take a look at what the kids said was their favorite part of the event.
This event was powered by the following people, groups and companies:
Azul Systems: azulsystems.com
Azul makes JVM and Java Run time solutions unparalleled. Please contact us for more information at info at azulsystems.com