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22 July 2014

VBB 5.05 Available Now!

This release is a big step forward for the SVG graphics engine and a much needed website clean-up. VBB uses a type of iterative development model where new features and product lines are released quickly to see what 'sticks'. It's a bit of a messy process but things are coming together now and each release iteration is sharpening the look and feel of the platform and filling in the gaps.

  

The big feature for 5.05 is the upgaded support for SVG sufficient to import most patterns that are produced from Illustrator and InkScape. This really opens up some fantastic opportunities. Importing Fritzing components is an important step but even more exciting is you can now import clipart and other graphics into the Component Development Kit for use with the VBB animation engine.

  

iGadgART - My inner artist has been patiently waiting for this because there is a whole art-form I have been wanting to explore. I called it Interactive Gadget Art or iGadgART and now VBB can be the development platform for this new artform. I have included one example of iGadgART in 5.05, it's called 'Feed Monkey' and it's a servo based animatronic that I am building for real also. It's a type of Virtual PET where when you press the FEED button , a servo controlled sequence of monkeys swings through the forest to grab the banana. My kids already love it but I will be adding sounds and maybe even virtual PET logic where you have to feed him to keep him happy. This is all part of the exploration of iGadgART and already I can think of countless projects to work on.

/images/info.png mouseover to feed monkey

  

How it works is you use the Component Dev Kit to create the model of the iGadgART and then you import the interface to that model onto a Breadboard and hook it up to an Arduino or a Piping Board. I have extended Piping to support Servo's and have included an example of using Piping to implement 'Feed Monkey'. This means everyone can preview iGadgART because Piping is free for everyone to play with. I have also included an Arduino version of the code but you won't see that until you have a Arduino Toolkit license. I am going to have to release a bunch of followup tutorials on how to 'roll your own' clip-art based components and much more so that's all coming up over the next few weeks.

  

Fritzing - Is a complementary Breadboard centric tool that has a nice library of SVG Breadboard component graphics which you can now use in VBB with the Fritzing Module. Read More ...   

/portal/vbb/doc/Fritzing/Fritzing-Dev.png

    

Arduino Developer Bundle - Many of you have been asking about bundles and here it is! The Arduino Developer Bundle puts together everything the serious developer needs to really get their teeth into VBB

  • Arduino Toolkit
  • Component Development Kit
  • Fritzing Importer
  • Communications
  • Atmel AVR
  • JARVIS

All for $99! which is a less than half the price if you purchased seperately.

But wait there's more! -- For a very limited time you pick up the Arduino Developer Bundle for only $49 which is more than 75% off!

  

Forum - I have setup a forum and am ready to answer questions. Virtual Breadboard Forums

In the past I have struggled to maintain forums faster than hackers have torn them down. Hopefully will have better luck this time. Forums are like nightclubs, when they are empty nobody wants to be the first to go in! Makes it hard to get the ball rolling. Please post your questions to the forum so we can generate some content worth visiting.

  

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