Monday, June 18, 2012

PICO boards

PICO - Playful Innovation Company - made little electronic boards so that you can interact with a Scratch program using a slider, a button, a sound sensor and a light sensor.  You can see a picture of such a board in Edward's post in July last year.

This gives programmers the opportunity to, for instance, write a game where the sliders moves a sprite from left to right and you can shoot when you press the button instead of just using the mouse, spacebar and arrow keys.

The shoot game (available on the CD that is available with the ITisgr8! @ grade 10 book) uses this beautifully

The code above uses the slider value (between 0 and 100) and modifies it to make the sprite move between -200 and +200

It also uses the button to release a bullet at the current x-position of the sprite that shoots.

This program will only work if you have a picoboard installed.

I have bought my PICO boards from Riecktron in Pretoria.  They have a website http://www.riecktron.com where you will find the contact details.  They couriered the boards to our school.  At the time (end of last year) the cost was R445.00 per Pico board and R28.50 for the USB Cable A to mini B calble to connect it to the PC.

You have to install a driver for the PICO board when you use it the first time, which can be downloaded from http://www.picocricket.com/picoboardsetupUSB.html


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