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Minibloq Beta Released – Open Source Graphical Programing Environment for Arduino

Written By: Bill Griggs - Oct• 24•11

 

MINIBLOQ BETA

The anxiously awaited Minibloq Beta is released! Minibloq v0.8 Beta is an Open Source Graphical Programing Environment designed to work with the Arduino family of microprocessors as well as several other microcontrollers. Minibloq allows you to program a microcontroller without having to write code. In addition to Arduino, Minibloq will also work with Duinobot, Maple, Seedstudio, and ATTiny devices. To use Minbiloq, the user drags icons from a menu into a window, then the

user is prompted to enter values into the window. Based on the values entered, Minibloq generates source code that the Ardino can use. I have used the Minibloq Alpha and Minibloq Beta versions and in my opinion,  it makes  programming an Arduino almost trivial. I find it so useful I think it might spark a growth spurt in programming and invention using Arduino.

A preliminary set of documentation has been provided which should guide the user through the installation process for Windows, Linux and Mac.  Julian da Silva, the developer,  has been very busy adding additional features to the programs. For example now each Microcontroller also displays what function is assigned to each pin on the board. This takes some of the guess work out of the process. Several types of sensors and input devices have been added including support for infrared remote control,  SONAR, DC motors and servos. Random number generators and trig functions are also new additions. Other additions are real time error checking, support for 17 different microcontrollers including,  Arduinos, Seeduinos, Duinobot, Maple, and  ATTMini.

New Blocks

A variety of new Blocks have been added.

BLOCKS

Minibloq Beta uses  graphical blocks to represent chunks of programming code. There are blocks that will create a loop for you, other blocks will let you set up a counter, do aritmatic operations or print things to the screen. There are also many new example program that are included to help you learn how things can be implemented.  With the source code clearly displayed along side the Blocks, it is easy to figure out what the code is doing. Because Minibloq has real time error checking the program automatically updates  the source code as the programmer adds or removes blocks. The major advantage of this method of programming is the immediate feedback. When you make a change to your program you see the results right away. Minibloq monitors what types of Blocks you align next to each other and will not allow you to use an inappropriate block with another incompatible block. This error checking makes it difficult to have an error in syntax.

VIDEOS

Minibloq was a featured project on Kickstarter, a crowd funding website. Backers of the project were given early access to Minibloq as it is being developed. So far, Minibloq has only been made available to the project backer, however, Julian da Silva recent announcement the Beta had been release open the door for everyone to try Minibloq.  I have been making short videos about the Minibloq project and how to use it. I plan to continue to release additional video tutorials as the project matures and my understanding of it grows. Future updates will be posted as they come out. If you would like to be notified when new videos are available please subscribe to my free newsletter. If you have an idea for a tutorial you would like to see please let me know.

Minibloq Test drive video

Minibloq V0.8 Features video part one 

Minibloq V0.8 Features video part two

Minibloq v0.8 Beta Released

Minibloq Kickstarter page

 

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5 Comments

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  4. Julián says:

    Hi!
    I’m glad to (finally!) announce the new miniBloq.v0.82 version. It has a lot of improvements, and it supports the Arduino Leonardo, the new DuinoBot.v2.3 (both in HID and in CDC mode) and a bunch of robots. There is a lot of new features too: small 2D simulator for kids (miniSim), more blocks, better usability, improved performance, and a new XML backend to easily add new hardware and new blocks without recompiling anything! This last feature makes it really easy to hack, since miniBloq now can generate code not just for C/C++ Arduino-compatible boards, but also for Python and nearly any imperative/OOP language Take a look at the release post in miniBloq’s website:

    Enjoy!
    Julián

  5. Bill Griggs says:

    Thanks Julián,

    I spent a few days trying out the Latest version of Minibloq released. It is a vast improvement over the previous versions. Great job. You can see a brief summary here.

    http://www.makermasters.com/latest-version-of-minibloq-released-minibloq-v0-82

    Bill

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