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PictoBlox Release Notes

Release Date – January 2 2024

New Features:

  1. Added new extensions:
    1. Quarky Advance Line Following
    2. Quarky Advanced Sensors
  2. Full-Screen video recording feature.
  3. GPIO, Ultrasonic & RGB testing in Quarky Settings.
  4. Auto-update Quarky Firmware.

Bug Fixes:

  1. Artificial Intelligence extension face age, gender, emotion block not working issue.
  2. ML Environment project saving issue.
  3. ML Environment Hand Pose Classifier keypoint detection improved.
  4. ML Environment Pose Classifier keypoint detection improved.

Release Date – August  19, 2023

New Features:

  1. Added a new board – Wizbot.
  2. Added Robot Blocks in Quarky Expansion Board extension.
  3. Added C++ mode for arduino boards.
  4. Added new extensions:
    • ChatGPT
    • Video Player
    • Quarky Robotic Arm
  5. Added Advanced Pen blocks in Pen extension.
  6. Updated Quarky Firmware to v4.4.
  7. Added Dabble gamepad blocks for upload mode in Quarky.
  8. Added support for Python mode in arduino boards.
  9. Added Python Debugger.
  10. Added Syntax Error Highlighting in Python.
  11. Added code Auto Completion in Python.
  12. Added PIP Package Manager to download custom libraries in Python.
  13. Added REPL mode in Python.
  14. Added file-sharing QR code generator and scanner.
  15. Updated German language
  16. Added support for Marathi & Telugu languages.

Bug Fixes:

  1. Error while opening files containing hardware extensions.
  2. Error in saving ML extension files.
  3. Resolved bugs in servo blocks in Quarky.
  4. Key points detection solved in ML Hand Pose Classifier

Release Date – January  12, 2023

New Features:

  1. ‘Quarky Mecanum’ extension
  2. New Timer blocks in Quarky 
  3. Bluetooth & webcam support (for Chromebook users)
  4. Expanded pins’ list for analog read, digital read/write, PWM output & ultrasonic sensor.
  5. Block search utility to search blocks 
  6. Feature to export block script as an image
  7. Feature to copy single block from script
  8. Backpack feature to save code snippets for later use
  9. Translations update in Korean & Chinese.
  10. Physics Extension in Python Mode
  11. Quarky new Firmware 4.3.0
  12. Added Oscillator blocks in Quarky Humanoid and Quadruped
  13. Added Quarky ‘Play Tone’ frequency block
  14. Option to upload the firmware that excludes “Getting Started” sequence through Quarky Settings

Bug Fixes:

  1. LDR hat block in IoT house extension was not working
  2. Bugs in the translation of list blocks in upload mode
  3. Loop variables translation issue in c++ upload mode
  4. ML Extension Reloading on changing the board
  5. Bug in performing recursion & calling one function inside other during translation in upload mode
  6. Bugs in saving projects with face details 
  7. Error in loading of stage blocks when going back to block/python-mode from ML environment.
  8. Bug in ESP32 BlueTooth communication for TWatch and ESP32 boards
  9. Fixed Python pins translations for Quarky blocks to support pin name (“D1”) as ‘Argument’ as well as Pin number (18)

Release Date – October 14, 2022

New Features:

  1. Machine Learning Environment:
    1. Create ML projects.
    2. Download ML projects.
    3. Upload ML projects.
    4. Download ML Examples.
    5. List of project types:
      1. Image Classification
      2. Object Detection
      3. Hand Pose Classification
      4. Body Pose classification
      5. Number Classification & Regression
      6. Text Classification
      7. Audio Classification
    6. Image Classification:
      1. Dataset:
        1. Upload images from local storage 
        2. Capture images through a webcam.
      2. Train Model: JavaScript and Python training.
      3. Test Model: Test on images from local storage or through a webcam.
      4.  Export Model: Use the trained model in Block or Python coding environments.
    7. Object Detection:
      1. Import Dataset:
        1. Download from 600 class samples.
        2. Upload from local storage. 
        3. Capture images through a webcam.
      2. Bounding Box: Create bounding boxes and label objects in an image.
      3. Show images: Loop through all the image bounding boxes to find defects. 
      4. Train Model: Train model in Python environment.
      5. Evaluate Models: Visualize accuracy, precision, recall, and loss.
      6. Test Model: Test on images from local storage or through a webcam.
      7.  Export Model: Use trained models in Block or Python coding environments.
    8. Hand Pose Classification:
      1. Dataset:
        1. Upload images from local storage 
        2. Capture images through a webcam.
      2. Train Model: Javascript and Python training.
      3. Test Model: Test on images from local storage or through a webcam.
      4.  Export Model: Can use the trained model in Block or Python coding environments.
    9. Body Pose Classification:
      1. Dataset:
        1. Upload images from local storage 
        2. Capture images through a webcam.
      2. Train Model: Javascript and Python training.
      3. Test Model: Test on images from local storage or through a webcam.
      4. Export Model: Use the trained model in Block or Python coding environments.
    10. Number Classification & Regression:-
      1. Dataset: Upload (CSV) or create a number dataset.
      2. Train Model: Two types of training – Classification or Regression. Training environments are Python and JavaScript.
      3. Test: Enter input and predict.
      4. Export Model: Use the trained model in Block or Python coding environments.
    11. Text Classification:
      1. Dataset: Upload (CSV) or create a text dataset.
      2. Train: JavaScript training.
      3. Test: Enter input and predict.
      4. Export Model: Use the trained model in the Block coding environment.
    12. Audio Classification:
      1. Dataset: Record audio using a microphone.
      2. Train: JavaScript training.
      3. Test: Use a microphone to test.
      4. Export Model: Can use the trained model in a Block coding environment.
  2. Feature to create empty Python/text file
  3. Feature to add a new folder in Python file system
  4. Feature to use ‘Run All’ for all Python files present in the file system
  5. Feature to Cut/Copy/Paste/Rename/Delete/Export file & folder operations
  6. Feature to upload multiple new files (Image, Video, Audio, CSV, Python, Text, PictoBlox project) to the file-system
  7. Feature to view image files in the Python file-system
  8. Terminal/Log/Serial copy-text feature
  9. Support for Python input function
  10. Feature to save Python project along with file-system files and folders
  11. Python editor right click options (Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Search similar, Comment toggle) 
  12. Support for doing Read/Write file-handling inside File Explorer using Python code,       Ex: <>open(‘./abc.csv’)</>
  13. Python Settings Modal with option to choose Basic, Advance & Machine Learning Python dependencies
  14. Coding Environment Preferences Modal with following preferences:
    1. Default Coding Environment preference
    2. Turbo mode preferences for Block & Python coding
    3. Automatically clear terminal output on every ‘Run’ & ‘Run All’ preference added.
  15. Quarky Display Painter in Block & Python mode
  16. Button to download recognition card in PDF format
  17. Compatibility for Chromebook (serial port only).
  18. Compatibility for Bluetooth in Linux & Windows 7
  19. Bluetooth support information in the Bluetooth tab when Bluetooth is unavailable for different OS.
  20. Arduino Nano board type modal for TecBits board
  21. Smooth servo block to expansion board
  22. Following new extensions added:
    1. Quarky Humanoid
    2. Quarky Quadruped
    3. Quarky IoT House
    4. Physics (Alpha)
    5. Computer Vision
    6. Text Recognition
    7. Speech Recognition
  23. Board ‘Close’ and ‘Settings’ options added in Board modal
  24. Following options added in Quarky Settings Modal:
    1.  IR value check
    2. Testing mode
    3. Upload baud rate dropdown
    4. Run both motors
    5. Synchronize motor speed
    6. Upload Custom Audio File (Beta)
  25. Move all blocks in add-on kits
  26. View serial logs in firmware upload modal
  27. ‘Translate’ & ‘Text-To-Speech’ extension support in Python mode
  28. Camera toggle button
  29. Driver installation option in ‘settings’ menu for windows
  30. Quarky examples
  31. ‘Take stage snapshot’ block
  32. Support for Xhosa, Russian,  Korean, Chinese & Hungarian language

Changes and Updates:

  1. Block Turbo mode moved from Edit menu to Coding Environment Preferences Modal
  2. While uploading Quarky firmware, ‘erase flash’ will be done for only Quarky firmware<4.1
  3. TecBits Arduino Nano board type modal will open with default Arduino Nano Old Bootloader
  4. Auto-completions modified with new functions & parameters
  5. ‘Enter’ key support in terminal search-box
  6. Python File System item names can’t contain invalid characters like: / \ ” * ? < > |
  7. Board type modals will automatically open on choosing the board
  8. Quarky firmware updated to 4.2
  9. Quarky Mars Rover blocks updated
  10. Offline support for Human Body Detection extension
  11. esp32 & UNO firmware
  12. Support for “Enter” key in ‘Open file from Link’

Bug Fixes:

Following issues have been fixed now:

  1. Terminal output slow text processing bug 
  2. File save bug on the closing window in Python.
  3. Cut & paste operation on same folder bug fixed
  4. Python output sprite icons will change along with their costumes too
  5. Resolved FTDI connection issue.
  6. ‘Map’ block not working properly.
  7. Python IDE Undo/Redo using keyboard keys now working
  8. ‘Run’ button will be disabled for non-Python files
  9. ’whenstartasclone’ not working in Python
  10. Python ‘auto-complete’ bug for first switch/time in Python tab
  11. Baud rate update issue on new connection
  12. Save modal on opening an existing file
  13. Boffin argblock color issue
  14. Python editor auto-completion bug
  15. ‘Camera not ready!’ not shown in QR code extension
  16. Selected extension will load after Sign-in is completed
  17. File write bug in CSV Data Logger extension
  18. Issues in ultrasonic block & read blocks
  19. Video sensing extension issues.

Release Date – April 1, 2022

New Features:

  1. Quarky Expansion Board Extension.
  2. New Cars and Tracks added in sprite and backdrop.
  3. Communication Extension on stage mode added for specific boards.

Updates:

  1. Enhanced extensions.
  2. Arduino, Quarky, and Evive firmware update.
  3. Unsupported file bug.
  4. sb3 file saves arduino/t-watch selected version.
  5. Python examples updated with backdrop.
  6. Broadcast Message fixed in python mode.
  7. T-Watch and Arduino Nano Sub-board saves.
  8. Auto-Complete in Python improved.
  9. Boffin timer block added.
  10. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – Dec 27, 2021

New Features:

  1. Python Interface Added in PictoBlox.
    1. Python ODE edit features added: Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, Redo, Comment toggle, Beautify python code, Auto-Completion toggle, Search, Font increase/decrease/reset, Terminal expand/collapse
    2. Terminal/Log tab search & highlight keyword feature added
    3. Error & warning line no. hyperlink added in Python log tab
    4. Extensions added in ppy: NLP, QRCode, Weather Data, Alexa, IFTTT, IoT
    5. Auto loading extension via ppy
    6. Python errors & warnings, sprite icons  added in Log tab
  2. New extension added: New Alexa Extension
  3. Boffin Board added
  4. Arduino Nano settings modal added

Updates:

  1. Enhanced extensions.
  2. Updated firmware of hardware boards.
  3. Stuck blue screen error solved.
  4. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – May 30, 2021

New Features:

  1. PictoBlox Link: Program evive, Quarky, ESP 32 and Arduino boards to PictoBlox on Bluetooth. To learn more visit here.
  2. New extension added: IFTTT Webhooks
  3. File sharing link is now available in software. 
  4. New credit alerts added for frequent notification.

Updates:

  1. Enhanced extensions.
  2. Updated firmware of hardware boards.
  3. Stuck blue screen error solved.
  4. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – March 31, 2021

New Features:

  1. New credit based account system: Explore PictoBlox Credits
  2. New user and teacher signup process for better user experience.
  3. New board added – Quarky

Updates:

  1. Enhanced Face Detection extension.
  2. Enhanced communication protocol – USB and Bluetooth for PictoBlox & Hardware.
  3. Project file saving issue solved.
  4. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – Mar 19, 2021

New Features:

  1. New board added – Quarky.
  2. New extension added – Mars Rover.
  3. Enhanced Face Detection extension.
  4. Enhanced communication protocol – USB and Bluetooth for PictoBlox & Hardware.
  5. Google Analytics added.

Updates:

  1. Project file saving issue solved.
  2. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – Dec 28, 2020

New Features:

  1. New extensions added:
    1. Weather
    2. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
    3. QR Code Scanner
  2. Enhanced AI and ML extensions.
  3. Added video and audio channel switching option in Settings.
  4. New board added – Micro:Bit.
  5. AI and ML extension are now available to add, even without board selection.

Updates:

  1. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – July 3, 2020

New Features:

  1. Access AI and ML from Arduino Uno and evive boards.
  2. New board added – TecBits

Updates:

  1. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – June 23, 2020

Updates:

  1. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – June 13, 2020

Updates:

  1. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – June 10, 2020

Updates:

  1. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – June 9, 2020

Updates:

  1. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – June 2, 2020

Updates:

  1. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – May 21, 2020

New Features:

  1. New Extensions added:
    1. Artificial Intelligence: The extension allows users to implement computer vision, face detection, speech recognition and optical character recognition projects in PictoBlox. (Tutorial: https://thestempedia.com/tutorials/age-gender-and-emotion-detection-face-recognition-ai-in-pictoblox/)
      Artificial Intelligence
    2. Machine Learning: The extension allows users to use machine learning model of images, audio and pose in your projects. (Tutorial: https://thestempedia.com/tutorials/making-a-mask-identifier-machine-learning-in-pictoblox/)
      Teachable Machine
    3. Face Detection: The extension allows users to make interactive projects where you can detect the faces from camera and stage, and get the age, gender and location of the faces in PictoBlox. You can also make projects for face recognition.
    4. Human Body Detection: This extension allows users to analyse images from stage and camera to identify the location various human body parts and hand.
    5. Object Detection: This extension allows users to analyse images from stage and camera to identify the location various objects.
      Object Detection
    6. Data Logger: This extension allows users to store data in a CSV file at a very high frequency.
      Google Sheet
      evive Notes Icon
      The all extension are available when selecting evive as the Board.
  2. Added students sign-in feature.
  3. Added functionality of recording video and taking a snapshot of the stage in full screen stage view.
    Recording
  4. Added a few sprites.
  5. New examples added in PictoBlox.

Updates:

  1. Updated T-Watch library.
  2. Updates some blocks in T Watch for Sleep, SD Card, Step counter.
  3. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – March 18, 2020

New Features:

  1. Guide tour added to let new users learn how to make a script in PictoBlox.
    1. The tour automatically starts up when PictoBlox is opened. Users can skip the tour at any point and start making their own creations. 
    2. If the user wants to open the tour you can click on Setting and select Take a Tour, to start the tour.
      Take a Tour
  2. Added Adafruit IO Cloud and HTTP API Requests support in the Internet of Things (IoT) extension for evive, ESP32 and T Watch board. 
  3. Block disabling for unsupported blocks. Now users can switch between different boards without opening a new file. If the extension used in the previous board is not supported in the current board, then the block will get disabled. Once disabled the block cannot be used. 

    Block Disabled

    IoT and display block disabled when the board is switched to Arduino Uno.

  4. Added Neural Network extension for evive. Using this extension you can program evive to make neural network-based models. Two examples are also added:
    1. Making a neural network model train computer to learn OR truth table.
    2. Making a neural network-based solar tracker that takes light intensity input from 2 sensors and changes the position of the solar panel accordingly. 
  5. Added set Red () Green () Blue block in Lighting extension to output the color according to the specified red, green, and blue value. This block will also allow the users to set a pattern based on RGB value variation using variables. RGB Block
  6. Users can now create variables having numbers and string data-type. This will allow users to do string operations on variables in upload mode. 
    VariableExample: If you are storing the switch state in a variable and then turn on the light when switch state is “ON”, then you have to define the variable as the string data type.  
    Switch State Example
  7. Added a new data type to make custom block arguments. Now, you can choose the argument of a custom block to be a Number, Text or Boolean. This will allow the user to pass a number or a string separately as an argument in the Upload Mode.
    Make a Block
  8. Real-time communication with hardware in Stage Mode using Bluetooth: User can now connect Bluetooth Classic and BLE devices in PictoBlox and communication to the device in realtime for evive, Arduino Uno, Mega, Nano, and T Watch boards.
    To connect to the Bluetooth device, click on Connect, select the Bluetooth tab and connect to the Bluetooth module from the list. Note: You have to make sure that your computer/laptop has Bluetooth support in it and it is turned ON while connecting to the module. 
    Bluetooth
  9. Language translation support for evive, Arduino, ESP32 and T Watch board for the following language:
    1. Chinese
    2. Japanese
    3. Kannad

Updates:

  1. Beautification of the code generated in the Upload Mode.
    Beautified Code
  2. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – July 14, 2019

Updates

  1. Updated Dabble library for Arduino Boards and ESP32.

Release Date – July 9, 2019

New features:

  1. Added support for new actuators and sensors for evive, Arduino Mega, Uno, and Nano:
    1. Stepper Motor using A4988 Driver
    2. 28BYJ-48 Stepper Motor
    3. IMU Sensor – MPU6050
  2. Added extensions for evive, Arduino Mega, Uno, and Nano:
    1. Humanoid Robot
    2. Robotic Arm (4-axis)
  3. Enabled hardware control in stage mode via Bluetooth. Now evive, Arduino Uno, Mega, and Nano can interact with PictoBlox using Bluetooth.
  4. Added compatibility with ESP32 board (Currently works only in Upload Mode). Now you can program the ESP32 board using the following extensions:
    1. ESP32 basic functions
    2. Actuators
    3. Sensors
    4. Dabble
    5. Lightning
    6. Communication
    7. IoT

Updates

  1. Added examples for Arduino Uno and ESP32 board. 
  2. GUI changed for board connection via USB cable and Bluetooth module
  3. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – May 14, 2019

Updates

  1. WebGL issue resolved.
  2. Added Redo and Undo buttons
  3. GUI Changed for Upload/Stage mode button and Save icon.
  4. Added new Sprites and Backgrounds.
  5. Implemented automatic Arduino driver installation while software installation.
  6. General bugs fixed & system improvements.

Release Date – April 10, 2019

New Features

  1. Added support for new displays, actuators, and sensors for evive, Arduino Mega, Uno, and Nano:
    1. R309 Fingerprint Sensor
    2. DS18B20 Waterproof Temperature Sensor
    3. Keypad Sensor
    4. RFID Sensor
    5. LCD Display 16 x 2
    6. 4 x 7 Segment Display
    7. 8 x 8 Dot Metrix Display
    8. Stepper Motor using A4988 Driver
    9. 28BYJ-48 Stepper Motor
  2. Added new block, display (matrix) of size () px at position (), (), color () & background (), to display a 20 x 16 matrix on evive TFT display. This block works in both stage mode and upload mode.
    display Matrix
  3. Added support for new Dabble App modules – Camera module, Colour Sensing module, IoT module (Data Logger, Messaging & Notification), Music module, and Oscilloscope module.
  4. Added 16 tutorials –
    1. Getting Started with Stage Mode
    2. Getting Started with Upload Mode
    3. Make a Torch (Digital Output)
    4. Jump Around (Digital Input)
    5. Scuttle Around (Analog Input)
    6. Touch to Sound
    7. Vary the Brightness
    8. Chase the Puffer Fish
    9. Run the Motor
    10. Turn the Servo
    11. Write on the Screen
    12. Draw a Flag
    13. Interfacing Ultrasonic Sensor
    14. Dabble: Gamepad Module
    15. Dabble: Terminal Module
    16. Dabble: Sensor Module
  5. Added serial monitor, allowing the user to visualize the data coming from the hardware connected to PictoBlox and send data to the device.
  6. Added prompt message when you save the program.
  7. Added examples for evive, Arduino Uno, Mega and Nano.

Updates

  1. Firmware for evive, Arduino Uno, Mega, and Nano.
  2. New slider feature for a number input, making easy for students to change the number using the slider.
    slider

Release Date – January 25, 2019

New Features

  1. Added support for interacting and programming evive, Arduino Uno, Mega, and Nano.
  2. Added extensions for evive –
    1. evive
    2. Dabble App
    3. Sensors
    4. Display
    5. Actuators
    6. Internet of Things
    7. Communication
    8. Lighting
  3. Added extensions for Arduino Mega, Uno, and Nano – 
    1. Dabble App
    2. Sensors
    3. Actuators
    4. Communication
    5. Lighting
  4. Integrated functions of Scratch 3.0