Arduino with PictoBlox

Programming Arduino has never been this easy! This series will guide you on how to program Arduino using Scratch based block programming, interface sensors and actuators, and control your projects via your smartphone. Why waste your time reading this further, go jump on to the lessons right away!
Arduino Scratch Tutorial

Interfacing
with PictoBlox

Interface Arduino to PictoBlox

Get hands-on experience of PictoBlox’s interface and learn how to write a simple script to control the LED connected to the Arduino Uno’s digital pin 13.
Play Video
Play Video

Interface Sensors to Arduino Using PictoBlox

Learn how to interface sensors with the Arduino Uno and how to control its pin 13 LED using an IR sensor by writing a script in PictoBlox.

Interface Motors to Arduino using PictoBlox

Learn how to interface actuators with Arduino Uno and how to control a servomotor using an IR sensor interfaced with the Uno by writing a script in PictoBlox.
Play Video
Play Video

Control Motors Via Smartphone With PictoBlox

Learn how to control actuators interfaced with the Arduino Uno via a Smartphone using Dabble – an ingenious project interaction and Bluetooth controller app – by writing a script in PictoBlox.

Download PictoBlox and Start Programming!

Windows Installer (.exe)

STEP 1: Download the Pictoblox Installer (.exe) for Windows 7 and above (Release Notes).

PictoBlox is just a click away!
Enter your email address and receive installation, getting started guide and updates over email. Don't worry, it's absolutely FREE!
PictoBlox is just a click away!
Enter your email address and receive installation, getting started guide and updates over email. Don't worry, it's absolutely FREE!

STEP 2: Run the .exe file.

Some of the device gives the following popup. You don’t have to worry, this software is harmless. Click on More info and then click on Run anyway.

STEP 3: Rest of the installation is straight forward, you can follow the popup and check on the option appropriate for your need.

Installing PictoBlox

Your software is now installed!

macOS Installer

STEP 1: Download the Pictoblox Installer (.dmg).

PictoBlox is just a click away!
Enter your email address and receive installation, getting started guide and updates over email. Don't worry, it's absolutely FREE!

STEP 2: Run the .dmg file.

Linux Installer

STEP 1: Download the Pictoblox Installer (.deb) for Ubuntu (Linux) (Release Notes).

PictoBlox is just a click away!
Enter your email address and receive installation, getting started guide and updates over email. Don't worry, it's absolutely FREE!

STEP 2: Run the .deb file by clicking it or with the following command:

$: sudo dpkg -i PATH_TO_PICTOBLOX

STEP 3: Add User to the ‘dialout’ group (if not able to connect to the Serial port) with the following command:

$: sudo adduser ${USER} dialout

Your software is now installed!

FAQs

How PictoBlox is different from Scratch, ArduBlock, and S4A?

PictoBlox, the programming software is based on Scratch 3.0. It provides you all the functionalities of Scratch along with the plus features like interacting with the hardware such as Micro-controller Boards like evive, Arduino UNO, Arduino Nano, Arduino Mega, ESP32, and others. Just select the Arduino Extension in PictoBlox, and the Scratch blocks will be added. It also has extensions for most of the generic Sensors and Actuators. Also, PictoBlox allows you to work in two modes that is a real-time mode and the upload mode. Using this you can easily program your robots and other STEM projects just by dragging and dropping a few blocks.

ArduBlock is an old fashioned Arduino block programming software, which is based on Google Blockly. With Ardublock, the Arduino code cannot work with Scratch sprites in real-time.

S4A (Scratch for Arduino) is also a Scratch modification that enables block programming with Scratch for Arduino prototyping board. You cannot compile Arduino code using Scratch for Arduino, so it can only work in real time after uploading the firmware.

Which Arduino board is compatible with PictoBlox?

PictoBlox is compatible with popular Arduino boards like Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega, and Arduino Nano. Also, advanced board like ESP32 can be programmed using PictoBlox. You just have to choose your favorite board from the menu, corresponding blocks to that board will automatically appear into the Code palette. It will also show you blocks for compatible Sensors,  Actuators, and Dabble- Smartphone app to interact with hardware. You can also load more relevant extensions from the extension option. For an easy start, examples related to every board i.e Arduino UNO, Arduino Mega, Arduino Nano, evive and ESP32 are also available under the file tab.

Which sensors can be interfaced with Arduino using PictoBlox?

A wide variety of sensors can be interfaced just using simple graphical blocks. PictoBlox has dedicated scratch blocks for most of the commonly used Sensors like:

  • Analog Sensors: LDR(Light sensor), Soil Moisture Sensor, Sound/Microphone sensor Raindrop Sensor, Sound Sensor, Gas Sensor
  • Digital Sensor: Ultrasonic sensor (distance sensor), DHT11 (humidity and temperature sensor), IR(Infrared) Sensor, PIR(Motion Sensor), Hall effect sensor, Touch Sensor, etc.

Also, advanced Sensors like RFID, Fingerprint Sensor, etc. can also be programmed using PictoBlox, you just have to add an extension for advanced sensors.

Which type of Actuators can be interfaced with Arduino using PictoBlox?

PictoBlox has dedicated graphical blocks for most of the commonly used Actuators like the Dual Shaft DC Motor, Servo Motor, Relay, and Stepper Motor, etc. Just arrange few scratch blocks and easily control motors be it a simple DC motor or a complex Stepper motor.

How can I interface various displays with Arduino using PictoBlox?

You can interface various displays like the 16 x 2 LCD, 4 x 7 segment, 8 x 8 dot matrix, using the Display Extention of PictoBlox.

What if I want to control my Arduino project wirelessly via Bluetooth using PictoBlox?

You can control your projects wirelessly using the Bluetooth Modules like HC-05 or HM-10 or BLE via Dabble- one app for sensing and control. Using Dabble blocks will allow you to control your hardware using your smartphone or use Smartphone’s sensor into your projects. Just drag-and-drop the scratch like blocks from Dabble palette, complete your script, connect the Bluetooth module, and open endless possibilities using Dabble.

What is the difference between Stage (real-time) and Upload modes of PictoBlox?

The Stage (real-time) mode is where you can interact with the character a.k.a the sprite using generic hardware Like Arduino Uno, Arduino Nano, Arduino Mega, evive and ESP 32 in real-time. The Stage mode or the real-time modes is where you can create games, animations, or when you can create your own story.

Upload mode lets your project function even when the hardware is not connected to the computer. Just write a scratch script for any of your boards i.e. Arduino UNO, Arduino Nano, Arduino Nano, evive or ESP32 and upload it to the board and break the shackles binding it to the computer

How to get started with PictoBlox?

Learning PictoBlox isn’t that difficult. You can find some basic tutorials inside the software itself. Just click on “Tutorials” button in the menu bar and various Arduino scratch tutorials and examples will be displayed.

You can find the other tutorials, right from the getting started with PictoBlox guide here.

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