MindPlus Coding Kit for Arduino

1. Introduction

MindPlus Coding Kit for Arduino is a set of tools for programming learning. As its compatibility for Mind+, a graphical coding software for starters, and Arduino IDE, this kit is well applicable to students from the lower grade to the higher grade. It comes with an Arduino Uno R3 mainboard and a sensor expansion board V7, and 18 commonly used sensors and actuators. These sensors are equipped with Gravity interfaces, which are easy to use and allow your creativity to be realized more quickly. The course for this kit will first start from lighting up an onboard LED on Arduino to help students step into the world of coding. Then more sensors and actuators will be used to realize complicated functions in later projects. Four aspects are covered in the courses: algorithms & programming, computing system, network & internet, data analysis. Students will practically participate in the projects like Express transportation detection via IoT, Mobile smart client and so on, during which they will get to know basics about coding, internet and data as well as build logic thinking skills.

What is Mind+?

Mind+ is a graphical programming software for teenagers integrating with all kinds of mainstream mainboards and open-source hardware. As it supports AI and IoT, you can build a program by dragging and snapping coding blocks, or using advanced programming language like python, c, c++. It can help you to easily experience the joy of creation!

  1. Offline programming editor

Mind+ is a programming tool, which allows you to build a program by dragging and snapping coding blocks. With tons of tutorials, sample projects and a large community, it is one of the best tools for you to learn programing from absolutely zero!

  1. Create Interactive Projects with Hardware

Mind+ supports a wide range of hardware including Arduino, micro:bit or even a series of ESP32-based educational microcontrollers, which makes it possible to let the program change your real life. Not only that you can use microcontrollers to interact with PC in real time, but also you can upload the code and let them work as standalone smart devices.

  1. Wide Range Add-on Component Support

The build-in component list allows you to one-click add electronic modules to your project. You may choose from sensors, actuators, display or communication modules to make your project fun and powerful.

  1. Convert Blocks into Coding Languages

The build-in interpreter in Mind+ converts blocks into Python or C language, creating a steady but progressive learning path for learning how to code.

For more ways to play, welcome to Mind+ column.



2. Introduction to Teaching Contents and Projects

MindPlus Coding Kit for Arduino Tutorial is well applicable to students aged 9 to 14. It is based on the easy-to-use Gravity sensors and Arduino UNO, which allows kids to convert their creative ideas into reality in a convenient and fast way. Moreover, the kit supports Mind+ and Arduino IDE programming. We choose programming software Mind+ in the course, which allows kids to learn programming regardless of their current levels. Just like Scratch, drag and snap, then a program can be made. Also the codes are displayed on the code preview section for better learning. The course for this kit will first start from lighting up an onboard LED on Arduino to help students step into the world of coding. Then more sensors and actuators will be used to realize complicated functions in later projects. Four aspects are covered in the courses: algorithms & programming, computing system, network & internet, data analysis. Students will practically participate in the projects like Express transportation detection via IoT, Mobile smart client, and so on, during which they will get to know basics about coding, internet, and different data types and parameters as well as build logical thinking skills.

Refer to CSTA curriculum standard, the course catalog and field distribution are shown below:

2.1 Project Introduction

Click on image to enter Tutorial webpage

Project Project Description Learning Contents
First let’s write one of the simplest codes to light up the onboard LED lights, which are the LED
small lights labeled L on the UNO board (pin13). This step can help us learn how to download
the program and test if our Arduino main-board works properly. Our first task is to make this
LED light blink.
1. Experience the programming steps of Mind+
2.Learn sequential structure and loop structure
In Project I, we learned how to light up the UNO onboard LED light, and then we will learn how
to control an external LED light.
1.Learn variables and constants
2.Make an LED light that flickers at an increasing rate.
Button switches, also known as key switches, were called sensitive switches in the early days.
They are widely applied in lights, socket master switches, doorbells, and car consoles, etc.
Button switches add another protective layer to the usage of electricity. As they facilitate the
controls of electrical appearance, they also further the protection of electrical components.
As we learn Arduino, we will be exposed to a variety of input devices. Among them, the button
switch is the simplest and most widely used one. Here we will use Arduino to control the LED
lights to make button pressing switch the light on and off every other time.
1.Learn the basics of digital input and conditional statement structure
2.Turn on the LED with the button
What does a timer light do? Imagine this: it’s getting late and you are going to bed. However,
the lamp is some distance away from your bed. After turning it off, you have to feel your way
in utter darkness to your bed. Students who sleep on the top beds in the dormitory have the
same trouble. In the previous project, we learned how to use buttons to control LED lights.
Next, we will further apply the conditional statement structure to learn how to make simple
timer lights.
1.What is a conditional statement structure?
2.Make a timer LED light.
In the first project, we utilized a button to make LED on when the button is pressed and off
when button released. However, in reality, the first button press switches on a light and the
subsequent press turns it off -- this is how light switches work in our daily life. If you want to
keep LED on without keeping the button pressed, then you should check out this chapter,
which turns the button into a real light switch.
1.How to eliminate button jittery?
2.Make a button switch
As its names suggests, breathing lights consist of lights that go from dim to bright and back
to dim by the rhythm of breathing. Breathing lights have been applied in many areas, including
missed calls / SMS notifications on mobile phones, mouse breathing lights, keyboard backlights,
external batteries charging lights, and cosmetic lightings on sound systems, etc.
1.What is a function?
2.Make a breathing light
In the making of breathing light in the previous section, we achieved the effect of fade-in and
fade-off through function calls. In this section, we will use buttons to control the LED module
to achieve multi-step brightness feature. Multi-step control is often used in car’s air-conditioning keys,
desk lamp, stage lighting, sound system, etc.
1.What is a PWM output?
2.Make a 3-step adjustable light
In this section, we introduce a new sensor to simulate a knob-adjustable light to achieve a
stepless brightness adjustments.
1.What is an analog input sensor?
2.What is an analog signal?
3.What is mapping?
4.Make a knob adjustable light.
To make a sound-activated light, we need “ears” first. We are using a new element here -- analog
sound sensor. Analog sound sensors can recognize sound and convert the decibels of sound into
analog signals. Like analog angle sensor introduced previously, the input signal range of the analog
sound sensor is also 0 ~ 1023.
1.Learn analog sound sensors
2.Learn the serial monitor
3.Make a sound-activated light
There are relatively few places in the life that use only sound-activated lights. If lights are activated
solely by sound, they will turn on during the day. This is not desirable. After all, everyone needs to
use electricity responsively. The two-way control light in the stairs combines an analog light sensor
and analog sound sensor, so it only turns when it’s dark and there is sound. In the previous section
we learnt “electronic ears”, the analog sound sensor. Now let’s make a new friend -- “electronic eyes”,
the analog light sensor, also known as photosensitive sensor.
1.Meet the photosensitive sensor
2.Make a stairs light
The most anticipated moment for each birthday is when you make a wish with a candle on the
birthday cake. Turn off the light, light up the candle. Make a wish with hands kept together.
At last, take a deep breath and blow out the candles. It is a heartwarming moment when your
family’s good wishes and smiles surround you, amid the shimmering candle light. However,
when we eat the cake, drops of candle wax always spoil the taste and ruin the moment. Is there a
way to do away with wax? Let's try to make some electronic candles together.
1.Understand random numbers
2.Make an electronic candle
Alarm timer device? Wow, it looks so fancy. In fact, it’s not at all. Alarm timers are already everywhere
in our life. The beeps when washing machine finishes procedure, and when memory bars or GPU
isn’t properly plugged in, are made the buzzer.
1.Learn the buzzer
2.Make an analog sound device
Nearsightedness is epidemic. Aside from genetic factors, it is mainly caused by bad habits. We know
we shouldn’t read a book with a bow-back or humpback, but we just can’t help it when we sit in
front of the desk. For our health and eye protection, let’s make a simple nearsightedness alert
device using buzzer and ultrasonic sensor.
1.Learn about ultrasound
2.Make a nearsightedness alert device
We already learnt how ultrasonic ranging works in the making of nearsightness alert. In this section,
we will learn to use an electronic screen to display the ultrasonic ranging results more intuitively.
1.Learn about IIC LCD
2.Making an ultrasonic rangefinder
In the film Entrapment, there is a breathtaking scene when Virginia steals the famous painting.
And what exactly are the red lines we see in the film? Is it visible to the human eyes? Let's find out.
1.Learn about infrared ranging
2.Making an infrared intrusion detector
Learn about the Internet of Things 1.Learn about the Internet of Things
2.Understand the IoT infrastructure
3.Learn how the Internet of Things works
Learn to collect temperature data with Easy IoT – an IoT platform. 1.Learn to use WiFi IoT
2.Easy IoT platform
3.Mind+ IoT communication settings
4.Learn about temperature sensors
5.Send data to Easy-IoT
In the last few years, e-commerce has developed rapidly. And more and more people are
shopping online. Occasionally, we receive damaged packages. What if it contains valuables insides?
Can we make a package handling sampling tester to check how many times the package is carelessly
handled, and see how much damage it receives during the transportation?
1.Learn how digital shake sensors work.
2.Test package delivery handling using digital shake sensor.
"Baby baby go to sleep…”. The mother hums the lullaby by the crib, and gently rocks the baby to
the dreamland. The mother pads out of the room for a glass of water and housework, while the
closed door silences the baby's heartbreaking cry. When the mother comes back, the baby was
already crying out of breath. The mother can only hold the baby and say sorry, with regret and
reproach all over her heart. Wouldn’t it be better if there is a smart crib that reports any situations
of the baby, and soothes the baby when the mother goes back? Let's try to make a smart crib now!
1.Make a Smart Baby Crib
First, we need to configure the Bluetooth module. It mainly needs to configure the Bluetooth
master and slave mode and naming of Bluetooth devices. This step will guide us to understand
how to configure Bluetooth modules, and check if Bluetooth module is working properly.
1.Understand Bluetooth AT commands
2.Configure the Bluetooth module
Everyone use a variety of apps on our phones. These apps are developed by various companies
and individuals for us to use immediately. Therefore, all the features and interfaces are designed
by other people. Sometimes we would want some custom interfaces and features, but as it requires
a lot to develop an app, we often struggle to implement what we have in mind. Now we can use APP
Inventor to implement our ideas. In the first section, we learned the configuration method of the
BLE Bluetooth module. Next, we will learn how to design and make a mobile app to work with the
BLE Bluetooth module.
1.Learn how to use APP Inventor
In the previous section, we learned how to use a mobile phone to send data to Arduino via
Bluetooth. Now, how to use these data to control the LEDs? In this section, we will use
Bluetooth to turn on and off of LEDs.
1.What is the baud rate?
2.What are ASCII characters?
3.Use your phone to light up the LEDs.
In the previous course, we learned to control the LED and other actuators using mobile phone
Bluetooth. In this section, we will use phone’s Bluetooth to control the rotation of the servo
to make an access control.
1.Use the phone app to control the servo.
2.Use phone to turn on and off lights in the house.
The Arduino UNO board we use can output 5V or 3.3V, and the voltage of common appliances
in the home is generally 12V or higher. It’s kind of unlikely to use Arduino to control these
appliances. So in this chapter, we will use relay to solve this problem.
1.Understanding relays
2.Using relay to control lights
We have already controlled all kinds of modules via app and Bluetooth in previous chapters.
In this chapter, we will integrate all these functions and make a comprehensive smart home app.
1.App function integration, and interface optimization.
2.Complete the smart home app

3. Documents

Click to view online tutorial: MindPlus Coding Kit for Arduino Started Tutorial

Click to download the tutorial:KIT0152-EN-MindPlus Coding Kit for Arduino-MindPlus-Tutorial-V1.1

Bluetooth Plugin and test program:Bluetooth Plugin and test program.zip

Product pictures: KIT0152-EN product pictures.rar

4. Product List

image Name Pieces
SEN0019 Digital Adjustable Infrared Proximity Sensor 1
DFR0216 DFRduino uno R3 1
DFR0265 IO Expansion Shield for Arduino V7.1 1
DFR0026 Analog Ambient Light Sensor 1
DFR0054 Analog Rotation Sensor 1
DFR0034 Analog Sound Sensor 1
SER0006 9g micro servo (1.6kg) 1
DFR0031-R Digital Piranha LED Module-Red 1
DFR0031-B Digital piranha LED module - Blue 1
DFR0032 Digital Buzzer Module 1
DFR0029-Y Digital Push Button 1
FIT0056 USB Cable A-B for Arduino 1
TEL0073 Bluno Bee - Turn Arduino to a Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) Ready Board 1
DFR0557 I2C LCD1602 Arduino LCD Display Module (Gray) 1
DFR0023 LM35 Linear Temperature 1
SEN0199 URM10 Ultrasonic Sensor 1
TEL0126 WiFi IoT Module 1
DFR0067 DHT11 Temperature & Humidity Sensor For Arduino 1
DFR0017 Digital 5A Relay Module 1
SEN0289 Digital Shake Sensor 1
FIT0141 6xAA Battery Holder with DC2.1 Power Jack 1
DFR0605 Digital RGB LED Module 1
FIT0513 4Pin I2C/UART Sensor Cable 3
FIT0031 Analog Sensor Cable for Arduino - 30cm 4
FIT0011 Digital Sensor Cable for Arduino - 30cm 7
FIT0030 Jumper Wires 9" F/F (10 Pack) 1


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