Cubit - Prototyping tool

by Fatih Aydemir, Carina Häfner, Halil Karacaoglu, Cezmi Sürmeli
Bachelor project 2015

Cubit is a physical computing tool for students to learn how to prototype easy and fast. It is separated into two parts, hard - and software. The hardware is a simplified comparison to other prototyping tools. Elements can be linked without previous soldering or sticking wires in plucks. The Software teaches you how to build the code in an easy way. It can be written by visual or textual coding. You learn more about the physical elements and how to use them individually or in cooperation. At the lower end is an image video which displays a use case.


Hardware


COLOUR AND SHAPE CODE
The breadboard is the interface between the computer system and the elements which transmit information. There are two ways to transfer information in physical computing. The digital which just transmits on or off and the analog which delivers values between 0 to 1023. To differentiate them we separated in two different colours as visible on the breadboard below. A second divider separates the input from the output modules. The input modules which collect information and transmit it to the computer are denoted as square elements. The output modules, which send information, are symbolised as circle modules.

CUBES
The out- and input elements are represented as cubes. You can plug them in easily by placing them on the breadboard. The colour and shape differentiators help you to place them correctly. A magnet system connects the two elements and a 3 point spring contact links the interface. An LED light shines on top of the cube when it is connected correctly.
breadboard
cubes

visual and textual coding window, serial monitor

Software


VISUAL CODING WINDOW
As you can see this is the main view of the Cubit Software. It is separated into four different windows. In the first one on the left-hand side, the visual coding window is visible. Here you can puzzle your functional code together by using code blocks. They can be found in the library, which is on the left. The shapes of the code blocks explains which blocks are compatible. Values inside the code can be changed by overwriting them. Pins, the square fields on the breadboard, can be given an identity from default names, found in a dropdown list. This also works for the name of the values. The colour separation in the code as well as on the breadboard. This is shown as a graphic in the lower part of the window. It shows which pins are already occupied by a cube. On the top right, you have the option to check your code and upload it to your cubit box.
TEXTUAL CODING
In the second window from the left, you can see the textual coding window. The coding language is made by Arduino and merely a set of C/C++. During visual coding, the software co-writes and transforms into a textual code. This works the other way around as well. The student gets two ways of comprehending the code.

SERIAL MONITOR
The serial monitor window shows the values of input cubes and helps to understand which values are coming in and how to use them correctly.
REFERENCE WORK
The reference works help you to answer users upcoming questions. It explains each module by a step by step example. The structure arranged by plugging the module correctly and entering in the visual and textual coding.
reference work window
search window

SEARCH WINDOW
The search window enables searches for modules and their feature. By typing in the searched request the software gives suggestions of modules and their possible combinations.