Flowboard is a research project that brings flow-based programming to Arduino microcontroller boards with an innovative hardware and software design.
With Maker-friendly environments like the Arduino IDE, embedded programming has become an important part of STEM education. But learning embedded programming is still hard, requiring both coding and basic electronics skills. To understand if a different programming paradigm can help, we developed Flowboard, which uses Flow-Based Programming (FBP) rather than the usual imperative programming paradigm. Instead of command sequences, learners assemble processing nodes into a graph through which signals and data flow. Flowboard consists of a visual flow-based editor on an iPad, a hardware frame integrating the iPad, an Arduino board and two breadboards next to the iPad, letting learners connect their visual graphs seamlessly to the input and output electronics. Graph edits take effect immediately, making Flowboard a live coding environment.
Anke Brocker, Simon Voelker, Tony Zelun Zhang, Mathis Müller and Jan Borchers. Flowboard: A Visual Flow-Based Programming Environment for Embedded Coding. In Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA '19, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
Flowboard gets an article on the Arduino blog. (Jun 10, 2019)
Flowboard is presented as an Interactivity demo at CHI 2019 (May 4, 2019)