Currently we support only Arduino boards. The boards we support are listed here:
On macOS the Seeeduino Lotus might require an additional driver.
To be able to communicate with blokdots, the Arduino needs to be flashed with Firmata. Firmata is a special protocol that allows the Arduino to communicate with a computer. One you start blokdots and plug in your Arduino, blokdots flashes the board with the Firmata automatically, so usually you do not have ot worry about that. This is indicated by a smal green box at the top of the Live View.
To install Firmata without the blokdots software, open the Arduino IDE and go to
File › Examples › Firmata › StandardFirmataPlus, and flash this on your board. It is the same file, if you are interested in the code.
We currently have decided to use the Grove components created by Seeed Studio, since they are very simple to use and do not require any wiring for the components.
The Beginner Kit has everything you need to start right away. A Seeeduino Lotus board with Grove connectors, 10 components, Grove cables, and a USB cable. It costs around 20 US$ (price subject to change due to external distributor).
You can order it here.
Disclaimer: We are currently about to implement all components featured in the kit, which means not every component is working yet with blokdots that comes with it. We already have the following components included: Button, Rotary Potentiometer, Brightness/Light, Sound, LED, Buzzer, Accelerometer, and Air Pressure. Please bear with us until we have the missing components included as well, thank you!
Of course, you can also connect the Grove Shield for Arduino as displayed below:
Simply put the shield on your Arduino and plug in the components into the slots.
Set the little switch at ”VCC” (next to the analog slots) to ”5V” to allow every component to function properly.
Using blokdots Without Grove
blokdots does, however, also work without the Grove shield – You can of course use your regular components as well. The name of the Arudino pins hereby resemble the Grove slots. E.g. What would have been Slot
D4 is pin
4 on the Arduino board.
Make sure to turn on "Show all pins of the board" in the settings, to make full use of your board and get relevant suggestions in the Wizard.
In general there are four slot types that are currently supported: digital, analog, pwm and I2C.
- digital — the basic setup. It only can communicate with “on” or “off” in both directions, in and out.
- analog — analog slots are only able to read values (aka in). In comparison to the digital slot is able to read values between
1023, a relatively wide range to get detailed infos from your sensors.
- pwm — this is a technology to transform digital values cleverly into an output that behaves as if it is “analog”. This enables some components to have a more granular output setting. Unfortunately on the Grove Shield, these slots are not marked. They do however still exist! E.g. on an Arduino Uno Grove Shield these slots are: D3, D5, and D6.
- I2C — this is a serial communication connection that allows for more complex data handling. Only very very few components actually use this connection. You can think of it as an USB device that you simply plug in to your computer. That also is the reason why you do not need to specify which of the different I2C slots on your Arduino you are using.
You can only plug in a component into the relevant fitting slot. See in the Hardware Components section which component is set for which type. Also the Wizard helps you to select the right available slot for your component when using blokdots.