FlowPaw turns programming into a physical experience that engages the senses. It's an electronics toy that allows you to build all sorts of gadgets and gizmos. Its four "claws" are mikroBUS ports into which you can plug Click Boards. Four Click boards are included in the package: a proximity sensor, an 8×8 red LED display, an accelerometer, and a buzzer.
Programming the FlowPaw is easy with the included FlowStone STEM graphical programming software. Programs are built by picking and connecting pre-existing components in a flowchart. You can start by tweaking one of the 25 provided examples. Some FlowStone components are actually nuggets of Ruby code. As you refine your creations, you'll start hacking — a variable here, an expression there — and your coding confidence will grow. FlowPaw responds in real time to anything you do in FlowStone, so you can get immediate feedback and learn by trial and error.
The FlowPaw board itself contains a powerful STM32F415RG ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller, four digital inputs, four analog inputs, four pushbuttons, four LEDs, eight servo motor connectors, and a USB port used for powering and programming the FlowPaw (a USB cable is included). Rubber pads on the bottom allow it to be used on a desk safely. There are mounting holes as well in case you want to secure it, e.g. to a robot. The FlowPaw is 131mm wide at its widest point, and 80.43mm wide at the heel. It is 105mm long and 24mm high without Click boards installed.
The board also has an external power connection pins, a screw terminal for external power to your connected servos, and a jumper to select whether servo power comes from the FlowPaw's main power or from the screw terminal.
With the ease of programming, the ability to customize with different peripherals, and the cute design, FlowPaw is an excellent way to introduce children to microcontroller programming.
More advanced users can program the FlowPaw through its 2×5-pin JTAG port which is compatible with the mikroProg for STM32.
FlowPaw Usage Notes The FlowStone software runs in Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8 on a PC with at least 512MB of RAM. Although there are more than 200 Click Boards available, the FlowStone software only supports the following as of 4 January 2016: RELAY click, IrThermo click 5V, 7seg click, 8x8 click (any color; red included), Accel click (included), SpeakUp click, Proximity click (included), Bluetooth click, Buzz click (included), CapSense click, Gyro click, RFID click. Other click boards will be supported in the future.