Monday, September 22, 2008

PicoBoard with Scratch



In anticipation of my Scratch Presentation at the Innovative Learning Conference I purchased a PicoBoard, which used to be called a ScratchBoard. This device allows your Scratch Project to interact with the real world. For instance, there is a light sensor built in, so you can program your Scratch Projects to react as the light increases or decreases in the room.

To that end, I built a Scratch Project called Make the Sun Rise. This Project uses the light sensor on the PicoBoard to animate a sun sprite and the background. When you open the Project, if the light is dim the sun stays in place. As you gradually increase the amount of light the PicoBoard is exposed to, the sun will rise and the backdrop will turn from black to blue. Conversely, once the sun has risen if you cover the light sensor the sun will set and the background will fade to black.

It took me a while to get my head around how to program this Project. After giving it a shot yesterday I came back to it today and got it working the way I wanted it to work. You will have to download the Project and have a ScratchBoard or PicoBoard to make it work. As I say in the Project notes, the effect works best if you gradually expose the light sensor to light, just like how the real sun rises.

I have been hard at work at my presentation for ILC and very much look forward to the experience. To tide you over, here is my JumpBall game, my Scratch port of a Japanese game for the Newton MessagePad. Avoid the ball! Have fun! Click on the image to play!

Scratch Project

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