Introducing FlowPaw—you won’t find a more kid-friendly, playful and fun introduction to the world of embedded programming.
Conceived by DSPRobotics, designed and built by MikroElektronika, FlowPaw is a development board intended to, as the speaker in the above-video says, “inspire the next generation of kids to get involved in computer science, engineering and mathematics.”
The paw-shaped PCB carries a STM32F415RG MCU and four claws with mikroBUS™ sockets, waiting for click boards.
The real power of it comes from FlowStone, an unusual programming environment from DSPRobotics that uses a combination of graphical and text programming. It works like this:
You pick a few click boards and plug them into claws, then plug the whole FlowPaw into a PC via USB. From there, making your LEDs blink, motors rotate, buttons do this-and-that, is all just a matter of drag and drop with your mouse..
It’s not just LEDs, buttons or motors, it’s sensors, various displays, communication modules, anything you can find amongst our selection of click boards.
High-schoolers would surely agree that, for instance, building robots sounds like an awesome thing to do. But when they get confronted with the huge gap between what they can imagine, and the technical skills needed to make it happen, most of them will probably turn to their Xboxes.
What FlowPaw does, is allow kids to be creative before becoming technical. They can explore their ideas, and when curiosity strikes, they can easily peek at the working code under the hood. That way, their creativity and imagination fuels their desire to learn.
See the video for the variety of examples; different click board combinations create burglar alarms, music synthesizers, game controllers, all with a few mouse clicks.
The FlowPaw should be in retail around Septembar, details coming up, so stay tuned.