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Visual Programming Arduino: modkit and the others

Davide GombaOctober 5th, 2010


Not long ago, our friend [Ed Baafi] told us about the amazing work he was doing on ModKit: a very interesting project in bringing visual programming on the Arduino side. Making programming as easy as building bricks is the common Quest of many different projects, aimed to work in the Educational field, teaching kids build their own programs (and toys).

Modkit is an in-browser graphical programming environment for little devices called embedded systems. Modkit can currently program Arduino and Arduino compatible hardware using simple graphical blocks similar to and heavily inspired by the Scratch programming environment developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.

Modkit is currently available by invite only. In order to get started you will have to obtain an invite code from the Modkit Team or one of our partners (More on this soon)… In the meantime, you can obtain an invite code by backing Modkit on Kickstarter or checkback soon to see when more invites become available at this site or when we open Modkit to the general public.

Brian’s  post has a good review about all the other arduino visual programmers. [Comment if I miss any]

I’ll try to update and add some expreriences to this list (thanks Brian!):

[Amici] EduWear’s project:

EduWear aims at contributing to the reduction of inhibiting factors by employing an approach rooted both in education and in ICT development. The objective is to develop an educational low-cost construction kit for wearable and tangible interfaces.

[Babuinobot] Project

Babuino is a software program that combines the power of the Arduino hardware platform with the intuitive and fun Logo programming language using a click and drag GUI interface. This allows even young children to build their own programs and run them on a microcontroller. The program on the left uses only 5 blocks to make a speaker beep whenever a button is pressed. Any child that can operate a mouse, fit simple puzzle pieces together, and has basic language skills can learn to program. Even if the child can’t read, they will quickly learn to recognize the words and shapes. The Babuinobot is a robot that uses the Arduino microcontroller to run the Babuino software which allows the robot to be programmed using CTI Blocos, a block based Logo programming environment.

scratch (osx and windows) + processing/catenary + firmata (I cann0t access the catenary site/link. Everything is private now. The only thing I was able to see is here)

Catenary is a small, easy-to-use program that allows a project written in Scratch ( to communicate with an Arduino board ( Catenary is written in Processing (, and runs as a Java application. It takes advantage of Scratch v1.3’s ability to send and receive broadcasts and global variable messages. Catenary acts as a middleman, shuttling certain messages back and forth between the Arduino board and Scratch.

Via [Make] and [TransiLab]