Scratch4Arduino is a prototype system showing how Scratch-like programming blocks can be used to program the Arduino electronics platform. I worked on it along with David Mellis and Evelyn Eastmond. The larger goal of the project is to empower more people to engage in tinkering with electronics and the Arduino system. Programming the Arduino is simple compared to other microcontroller systems, but it is still complex and intimidating to novices. Our hope is that by using the Scratch paradigm, which makes programming more accessible, we can make it more approachable.
In January 2010, at the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction conference, we ran a workshop to test out our system. Several conference attendees had a chance to try out the system. As an example for the workshop, we created a cute stuffed toy car with blinking lights, a beeping horn, and sensors to detect darkness and tilting. The attendees created things like a light theremin, an LED array displaying light patterns, and a glowing flower. We also wrote a short paper about the system for the conference.
As we were developing our prototype, we worked with Ed Baafi who was also developing a very similar system called Modkit, which is under continuing development toward a public release.