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You can connect your Scratch projects to the physical world using several different kinds of devices.
- MaKey MaKey
- LEGO Education WeDo Robotics Kit
- PicoBoard (also known as ScratchBoard)
- Kinect2Scratch, using Microsoft Kinect
MaKey MaKey allows people to turn everyday objects into keys and use them with their computer.
How does MaKey MaKey work?:
- MaKey MaKey works by opening and closing circuits.
- If you attach two alligator clips to the MaKey MaKey board and an apple and you, when you touch the apple you complete (close) the circuit and the computer recognizes this as a key is pressed. The computer thinks MaKey MaKey is a regular keyboard or mouse even though you have made your own unique key!
Example use of MaKey MaKey (Apple moves sprite 10 steps in Scratch):
- To make MaKey MaKey work with Scratch, plug in the USB to your computer and create a program like you normally would in Scratch. For example, when the right arrow key is pressed, the sprite moves 10 steps.
- Then connect one of the alligator clips to "Earth" at the bottom of the MaKey MaKey board and touch the metal at the other end of the alligator clip with your finger.
- Next connect another alligator clip to the apple and the right arrow on the MaKey MaKey board.
- When you touch the metal clip and apple at the same time, you complete a circuit and MaKey MaKey sends a signal to your computer saying a key is pressed. Every time you touch the apple your sprite will now move 10 steps!
For information on how to buy a MaKey MaKey, visit MaKey MaKey's website.
For information on how to set-up a MaKey MaKey, visit MaKey MaKey set-up.
For information on different materials to use with MaKey MaKey, visit MaKey MaKey materials.
For information on troubleshooting MaKey MaKey, visit MaKey MaKey troubleshooting.
- Main article: LEGO Education WeDo Robotics Kit
The LEGO WeDo robotics can be used to sense things outside of your computer. It has a distance sensor, a tilt sensor, and a motor (only two can be plugged into the hub at a time).
Example uses of the WeDo parts:
- Making a car move when the distance sensor detects a certain distance
- Main article: PicoBoard
The PicoBoard provides a way for you to make Scratch projects sense and respond to things going on in the world outside of your computer.
Examples of use with the PicoBoard:
- Use the sound sensor to make your sprite change how it looks whenever there is a loud sound.
- Use the light sensor to program a sprite to hop up or down whenever a shadow passes by.
- Use the slider and button to control a character in a video game.
- Use the USB cable and four sets of alligator clips that come with the PicoBoard to measure an electrical resistance in a circuit. The alligator clips can be used to build all kinds of custom sensors.
For more ideas on what to make visit the PicoBoard website.
To get started using the PicoBoard visit the PicoBoard Getting Started Guide.
To purchase a PicoBoard visit the SparkFun website.
If you own a ScratchBoard, a product similar to a PicoBoard that was sold through the Scratch website, the support information you'll find at the PicoBoard's website is applicable to your product as well.
If you own a ScratchBoard or PicoBoard and want to know about sensors that you can connect to it, look at the Sensor Types and Sources below.
Sensor Types and Sources
The following list shows different types of sensors that have been used in Scratch Sensor Board projects. (They are typically attached to alligator clip-heads plugged into sensor board jacks A, B, C, or D.) Visit the vendor site for pricing and ordering information.
Name; Description; Vendor Part Number
- Switch; Switch lever spdt 3A PCB; http://www.digikey.com SW773-ND.
- Temperature; Thermisor NTC 10K OHM 5%; http://www.digikey.com 317-1258-ND.
- Light; Photocell 5K-20K OHM 4.20 MM; http://www.digikey.com PDV-P9203-ND.
- Magnetic switch - 1; Switch Reed 10-15AT SPST .5A; http://www.digikey.com 420-1047-ND.
- Magnetic switch - 2; Switch Reed SPST .5A 12-23 A/T; http://www.digikey.com HE502-ND.
- Humidity; Consists of a metal electrode on a humidity sensitive membrane mounted on a ceramic substrate; http://www.rhopointcomponents.com SYH-1NC.
|Note:||When using resistive sensors with the XO microphone port, it appears that the interesting resistance range goes from around 2k to 5k. (Experimentally determined; your mileage may vary.)|
If you are looking for the files that explain how ScratchBoards/PicoBoards are made, they can be found at the Sensor Board Technical Information page.