Connecting littleBits to Scratch 2.0

The Scratch extension is not capable of programming the Arduino. Scratch needs to be connected through USB for the extension to work. The purpose of this extension is to extend Scratch projects to the physical world using littleBits or to introduce Arduino concepts with a programming language young students are familiar with.

I have not found a suitable “scratch like” program that allows you to program an Arduino. I actually started prototyping one just last week. It will be a rather large project, but it’s good to know that there is some interest for a block style Arduino IDE.

I think it would be a natural thing to do and a great contribution if you are able. You might check out this link and give us your thoughts:

http://blog.ardublock.com/2014/07/03/beta-20140702-littlebits-4drawing-and-duinoedu/

This looks really interesting. I’m not a huge fan of the UI, but it seems to accomplish exactly what we were looking for.

Hey,

This is really great. We’ve been working on a very full-featured Scratch extension for Scratch 2.0. While doing that we put together a modification of the Scratch for Arduino Project (S4A: http://s4a.cat/). It uses a specially modified version of Scratch 1.4. We modified their code so that you can use it with the littleBits Arduino Module directly (you don’t have to emulate anything else).Stay tuned for our Scratch 2.0 extension, but in the meantime try out our “Alpha” work, and if you have any questions about it, just ask us for help on the littleBits Arduino forum.

https://github.com/littlebits/lbScratch/blob/master/Scratch-14/binaries/LB_S4A.dmg.zip?raw=true

Oh yeah, and it seems Kreg you’ve decided to host a Google Hangout about Scratch 2.0. Can’t wait to see you there.

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Alin,

That sounds great. So there will be an official littleBits Scratch 2.0 extension eventually?

I’m working with the Scratch team to create an official Arduino extension for Scratch 2.0. I would love to chat with you guys to see the blocks and wording you’ve decided on. The goal for us was to keep things as consistent as possible with the existing Scratch blocks.

Really excited to run across this. I run a CoderDojo that focuses on Scratch and just recently picked up some littlebits to use to start exposing the kids to hardware. I was expecting to have to figure out the integration of the two on my own. Nice to see it already being done!

Very cool. Thanks for doing this. I thought I had purchased all the bits I needed for my class, but now it looks as though I’m going to have to pick up some Arduino bits! :smile:
Ian

Kreg,

I was able to get your extension running in Scratch 2. It works great! I have a slide dimmer on a1 moving the cat back and forth which works fine. When I add a button to a0 to have the cat meow when the button is pressed as well, the digital read always seems to be false (even when the button is pressed). Perhaps, I’m doing something wrong. I tried using an if block with wrapped in forever and also tried the hat block (when a0 = HIGH). Thanks again for such a great extension.

@mattgalvin and @ichowmille,
Thank you for your encouragement. I would love to see some of the projects your students end up creating with Scratch!

@learnegy,
The modules that only have an on/off state like the push button have to have power running through them. Try connecting the power module directly to the push button and test again.

Something like the fork module is handy for this. It would let you route power to three different input modules connected to the Arduino bit.

@kreg Thanks for the tips. I recall now that you mentioned that during the hangout. I’ll try it again later and let you know how it goes. The kids already had lots of fun using the slide dimmer as input for their Scratch projects.

One quick question (probably just littleBits in general) – would you know why the standard know dimmer doesn’t seem to produce the same output range as the slide dimmer? When testing in Scratch, the knob dimmer doesn’t even break 100 and the slide dimmer reaches all the way to 245. Thanks.

@khanning Hello! I am trying Scratch for the first time today. I uploaded your .sb2 file to the online project editor. Do I understand correctly that plugin download is no longer necessary or supported? I installed the littleBits_Scratch_Extension.ino to the Arduino, but I can’t make my leds on d1, d5 or d9 light up. I can make the cat move, so that’s progress. Any pointers for a Scratch noob?

@learnegy
I haven’t noticed this behavior. I wonder if there’s different version of the modules? I’ll try to test this today and get back to you.

@JackANDJude
Thank you! I forgot to include that step above. The Scratch Browser Plugin IS required and is now step 1 in the instructions. Let me know if you have any trouble getting it working!

Thanks for your reply! I downloaded the plugin and ran it from my desktop. The installer was fast. However I don’t see a Scratch file installed anywhere on my computer. Is there an executable or other file name I can search for on my computer?

@khanning Perhaps I installed it correctly, as I was able to upload the .sb2 file to the online project editor? All I know is I can’t move that cute cat with an Arduino input. Please see my screen shot from my first comment.

@JackANDJude
Here is how you can check if the plugin was properly installed. If you are seeing a red dot next to the extension under “More Blocks” then the plugin may not be correctly installed.

Google Chrome

In your address bar type `chrome://plugins` and press Enter You should find the "Scratch Device Plugin" in the list:



Firefox

In your address bar type `about:plugins` and press Enter You should find the "Scratch Device Plugin" in the list:


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The Scratch love continues! Check out @electronicadive’s new Scratch offline 2.0 extension. Project page: http://littlebits.cc/projects/scratch-offline and Github files: https://github.com/electronicadivertida/scratch2LittleBits/tree/master

Have fun trying it out!

Hello,
thank you very much for this wonderful interface. Me and my students have already enjoyed some time on my Mac computer. There everything is running perfect.

Nevertheless I have trouble in getting the software running on Windows 8.1 machines.

I am using the Chrome browser. I have downloaded the correct firmata on the Arduino using COM10. It is running with the Mac. The plugin is also working (it shows in chrome://plugins, and Lego Wedo is also working), but when connecting littleBits Arduino, only the yellow indicator lights up in the Scratch software.

Did anybody have a similar experience and can give me a hint on what to do?

Thank you in advance.
Michael

First of all, many thanks for doing the work to create this great extension.

Unfortunately I’m experiencing the same issue as mbbraehler on Windows 7. Everything seems to install and upload correctly and I see the ‘More blocks’ but I get a yellow disconnected indicator (i.e. device is not connected or detected), which I can’t seem to change to connected. I’ve tried rebooting the machine, following the Wedo browser plugin troubleshooting suggestions, etc. Any suggestions?

Hey Scratch afficionados ! @Jonathan @joey @mbbraehler @khanning @learnegy @mattgalvin @MR_STEAM @Steve don’t miss toomrrows’ Community Call at 7pm with Mitch Resnik creator of Scratch :slight_smile: Recap Feb 15, 2015: Mitch Resnik & Orientation Go ask your questions in that thread :slight_smile:

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Any update on scratch 2 and littlebits?