Scratch is a visual programming language that helps kids and budding programmers, to learn how to code, i.e. how to write a program in a fun, educational, and easy way using pieces known as blocks. This makes learning coding nothing but a jigsaw game that helps develop problem-solving and decomposition skills.
The biggest advantage of using Scratch for learning how to code is that kids don’t have to worry about the syntax, i.e. a set of rules predefined for writing the statements (which the case with most programming languages). This allows them to entirely focus and develop their problem-solving and decomposition skills.
mBlock is a Scratch based graphical programming interface. It allows you to make both Scratch based and Arduino based programs, and use evive through its Arduino plugins for making projects based on evive.
How to install Arduino IDE
Follow the steps below to install Arduino IDE on your laptop/desktop:
- Go to the Arduino download page (www.arduino.cc) and download the latest version of the Arduino software.
- When the download is finished, run arduino-1.8.5-windows.exe file and click on I Agree.
- Choose the components to install (It is recommended to install all components).
- Choose the Destination Folder (It is recommended to install in the default folder).
- The process will extract and install all the required files to execute properly the Arduino Software (IDE).
- Close the installation window when it’s complete.
How to install mBlock
Follow the steps below to install mBlock in your laptop/desktop (Windows version only):
- Go to www.mblock.cc and download mBlock3, by clicking on mBlock for PC and then clicking on mBlock3 and selecting the version suitable for the version of Windows in your laptop/desktop.
- When the download is finished, unzip the file and run the mBlock application setup file (.exe extension).
- Choose the appropriate language and press OK. In our case, we are choosing English.
- A new window will pop up. Select I accept the agreement and click on Next.
- Choose the installation directory (We suggest you to not change the directory). Then press Next.
- Select start menu folder, where the setup will place the program’s shortcuts. Then press Next.
- Select the “Create a desktop icon”, if you want to create the desktop icon. Then press Next.
- Press Install.
- After the installation, deselect the Launch mBlock option; then click on Finish.
- Next, go to the (C:) Drive in My Computer/This PC and open the Program Files (x86) folder.
- Inside the Program Files (x86) folder go to the mBlock folder and open it.
- Inside the mBlock folder you’ll see a folder named Arduino; delete it.
- Go back to the Program Files (x86) folder; there’s you see another folder named Arduino; copy it and paste it inside the mBlock folder.
- Download the extensions (Arduino, evive App, evive Inbuilt Functions, evive TFT Display, and evive Tinkering) from here.
- Open mBlock.
- Go to the Extensions Tab in Toolbar and click on Manage Extension.
- A new window will pop-up with two tabs (Available and Installed). Click on Installed, and then click on Add Extension.
- Change the file type to .zip and select the previously downloaded extensions one by one.
- After adding all the extensions, close the pop-up. In Robots palette, you can see the extension blocks.
Downloading the Scratch Mode Firmware
To work on Scratch mode, you must first upload a firmware to evive. You can the instructions for the same here.
- After uploading the script, go to the Connect Tab in the Toolbar.
- Then click on Serial Port and select the appropriate COM Port.
You are now all set to work in Scratch mode. Happy Scratch-ing!