Low-code programming for the Arduino with Snap4Arduino

Cold Snap!

Article from Issue 277/2023

Snap4Arduino brings the power of low-code programming to the Arduino hardware environment.

Scratch [1], from MIT, is a graphical coding environment that was originally designed for young programmers. Scratch is bundled with many Raspberry Pi releases, and it lets you create digital stories, games, and animations that communicate with the Pi's General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins. There also some options for using Scratch with Arduino modules, however most of these implementations are somewhat limiting.

Snap! [2], which was created at the University of California, Berkeley, is an extended implementation of Scratch. The major difference between Snap! and Scratch is that Snap! has a rich set of technical libraries. Some of these Snap! libraries include database and SQL interfaces, graphical trends, matrix manipulation, MQTT (standard messaging protocol for IoT), and Neural Net modeling. These additional libraries and other advanced features mean that Snap! is not just a teaching tool but is also ready to serve as a low-code alternative for IoT solutions.

The graphical low-code model is often useful in IoT environments, where less-experienced programmers are sometimes forced to adapt to the ideosyncracies of unfamiliar hardware. The Snap4Arduino [3] version of Snap! offers a unique set of libraries that will upload and configure Arduino modules without the user needing any Arduino knowledge or software.


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