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BeCREO - Instruction Manual
BeCREO From the maker of electronic circuits to the creator and developer of the Internet of Things. BeCREO features topics such as design, music, smart home, smart city and many more. You can design and build your own projects from electronic modules that you can snap together like building blocks and then program using the BeCREO programming environment.
- 1 Introducing BeCREO
- 2 How to download and install the BeCREO computer application
- 3 How to register?
- 4 BeCREO in 6 easy steps
- 5 Parts of the BeCREO set
- 6 How to prepare the set before starting work?
- 7 The BeCREO application
- 8 Programming with blocks
- 9 First steps
- 10 Educational scenarios
- 11 Curriculum
BeCREO is a modular teaching platform designed to teach the fundamentals of programming, electronics, mechatronics and selected aspects of robotics. The environment comprises a series of electronic modules, a programmable microcontroller board and an application that features a comprehensive programming course. With dozens of specially designed challenges and developing innovative projects, BeCREO will introduce you to the world of smart devices that you will be able to create on your own in no time.. BeCREO can help you:
- develop analytical skills and logical thinking,
- learn how to collaborate with others and use technology in a creative way,
- learn how to use programming to solve complex, practical problems in our everyday life,
- develop algorithmic intuition.
NOTE BeCREO requires you to download an application You need to download and install the BeCREO application on your Windows 7 or higher computer (laptop, 2in1 device, stationary PC). This computer is not included in the BeCREO set.
How to download and install the BeCREO computer application
- To download the BeCREO application, visit the becreo.eu website and go to Downloads, click on Download for Windows and save the installer file on your hard disc drive.
- Run the installer.
- Confirm when asked if you want to install the BeCREO application on your computer and introduce changes on your computer.
- Choose the language version that will be used during installation.
- Follow the onscreen instructions. Keep it in mind that the installation time might differ depending on the computer and last from a few minutes to under 20 minutes.
- After the installation of the BeCREO application is complete, the Installation Wizard will prompt you to install drivers for the microcontroller board. You need to confirm this installation in order for the BeCREO to function properly.
- When the installation is complete, run the BeCREO application by clicking on its icon on the desktop.
How to register?
When you run the BeCREO application for the first time, you will be prompted to register your BeCREO set. Use the licence code which you will find inside the BeCREO box. If you have purchased the extended version, type in the extension set code in the line below.
In order to unregister BeCREO, go to SETTINGS in the main menu and click on the UNREGISTER BECREO (1). You can also use this option to provide a new licence code or extension code (2).
BeCREO in 6 easy steps
- Download and run the BeCREO application. Choose a lesson from the Tutorial course.
- Place a narrative card onto the control board.
- Place the required electronic modules in appropriate places on the control board.
- Connect the electronic modules to the controller board according to the diagram in the tutorial lesson.
- Use the SCENE tab and the programming blocks available in the application to create a program to complete the task you selected.
- Send your program to the microcontroller board and test it.
Parts of the BeCREO set
- 1. A set of 11 electronic modules.
- A microcontroller board.
- An extension shield with an OLED display screen.
- A control board on which you can place narrative cards as well as electronic modules (your working space).
- A set of 10 narrative cards.
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- A set of plastic connectors that you can use to fix the electronic modules onto the control board or to connect them to LEGO® blocks.
- A USB cable.
- A set of connecting cables in two colour sets to connect electronic modules to the microcontroller board.
- An AA battery holder.
How to prepare the set before starting work?
Unpack the electronic parts
Inside the box you will find the parts of the set. Originally they are in small plastic bags or cardboard boxes. The following parts are placed in their designated slots: a microcontroller board, an extension shield with an OLED display, electronic modules, a USB cable and small connector cables. Unpack them gently and place them on your desk outside of the box.
Fix the electronic modules inside the plastic holders.
In each slot inside the box, you can find plastic pieces in the shape similar to the letter H. Take them out of the box and place electronic modules in them, sliding them in from one side (figure 1). [figure 1 showing how to do it] Connect the two larger plastic connectors crosswise and fix a microcontroller board holder you have just created onto the control board . First fasten the shorter connector by sliding it as shown in figure 2, then attach the other connector as shown in figure 3. Press it until you hear a click. [figure 2 showing how to do it ] Connect the expansion shield to the microcontroller board as shown in figure 3. Make sure all the "male" connectors from the extension shield are precisely placed in the "female" connectors of the microcontroller board and then push the two boards together. [figure 3 showing how to do it ]
Connect cables to modules
Divide the electronic modules into two groups: digital modules (marked with the letter D) and analog modules (marked with the letter A). Connect the coloured cables to each of the modules: use the green-red-black cables to connect digital modules (D), and blue-red-black cables to connect analog modules (A).
The servo and the distance sensor are equipped with their own, integrated connecting cables.
Place modules into their slots inside the box
Sort the electronic modules according to the table below. Please note that there is a symbol of the electronic module at the bottom of each slot. You can find the same, corresponding symbol on most electronic modules. These symbols will help you organise work and keep order in the box.
You will find detailed information about each of the electronic modules in the Compendium inside the BeCREO application.
The BeCREO application
The BeCREO application features training content which will make learning programming, algorithmics or mechatronics easy. Thanks to tutorial courses provided inside the application, teaching lessons with BeCREO will be fun. You do not need to come up with your own ideas for larger projects as they are also provided for you and your students. With the full version of BeCREO you will receive access to approx. 30 projects. While working on each of those projects, you can adopt one of at least two suggested approaches.
There are three main modes of using BeCREO: Tutorial Course, Projects and Free Programming Mode. You can also access a Compendium and Settings: course, projects, freeprogrammingmode oraz compendium i settings.
In the Tutorial Course mode you will perform the assigned tasks that will help you get acquainted with the basic programming concepts in a practical way. You will also learn to use electronic modules and design your own devices. In the INSTRUCTOR tab (fig. 1) you will see the instructions of an interactive tutorial, in the SCENE tab (fig. 2) you will create your programs according to the tutorial's instructions, testing the solutions to the tutorial course problems in practice. The number of available programming blocks depends on your current task and it will increase along with the new commands that you have already mastered.
The Projects mode offers you a lot of more complex educational projects. Some of them are available in the basic version of the application, while others require the extended version.
The projects are grouped in thematic sets. Each of those sets has its own, dedicated narrative card and comprises two to four projects that you can implement in numerous ways. The information about the narrative card that you should use in each project you will find in the project descriptions and the corresponding tutorials.
Each set of projects is an interdisciplinary adventure - a mission in which you will perform unique tasks. Not only will you solve problems related to computer science and programming, but also you will have a chance to develop your own devices. Learning by doing can be great fun!
You can start developing projects in two ways. In the STEP BY STEP MODE you will be accompanied by a virtual guide that will explain each step of the project . In this mode projects will be divided into smaller tasks, which will be helpful especially in case of the more advanced and complex challenges. The application screen features a few tabs that will give you access to different types of information. In the INSTRUCTOR tab you can read the instructions that you should follow while implementing the project. The SCENE tab is the space where you actually “write” your program, i.e. assemble command blocks with programming instructions. It's simple.
In the CREATIVE MODE, however, you will be presented with the project objectives and the conditions that must be met in order for the task to be completed. In this mode "all tricks are allowed", so you don’t need to follow any preset path. Just select the SCENE tab and start programming right away.
Free Programming Mode
In the Free Programming Mode you gain access to a programming environment with a full range of blocks. Here you can create your own projects in any way you like. Thanks to huge possibilities of the BeCREO set (a large range of sensors, display screen, optional Bluetooth Low Energy communication module), you can build components of a smart home, a smart city, research devices, games, etc.
The Compendium allows you to learn the basic information about the electronic modules included in the set, their functions, methods of connecting them, etc. A description of each module is accompanied by a few examples of programs and situations where those modules can be used.
In Settings you can change the application language (1), reset your progress in the courses (2), register (3) and unregister (4) your product or add a product key.
Programming with blocks
In BeCREO you can program using 80 different types of visual blocks. They look like puzzles, just like in many typically known systems for learning programming.
By dragging and dropping appropriate blocks onto the scene, you can arrange them in any order you like, either by snapping the blocks together or arranging several “programs” to work side by side.
When you snap the blocks together, you create a program code. When you send this code to the microcontroller board, you can control the device you’ve built using electronic modules placed on the control board and connected to the microcontroller board with special connector cables.
In BeCREO you can use a huge selection of blocks, including blocks that are used to control modules, read data from sensors, allow Bluetooth communication (as an option). The blocks also include typical blocks devoted to the basic programming concepts such as conditional statements or logical operators.
When you click on the PREVIEW CODE tab, you can see the program code created in real time.
- Take the control board out of the box.
- Place the narrative card A (Smart City) on the control board.
- Place the microcontroller board with an extension shield in the plastic holders in the bottom left-hand corner of the control board.
- Attach three electronic modules with LEDs (red, yellow, green) to the control board in slots marked with the 1. symbol. Use the yellow plastic holders.
- Connect each LED to the microcontroller board using green-red-and-black connecting cables.
- Connect the red LED to pin 4 in such a way that the green wire is connected to the green "male" goldpin, the red wire to a red goldpin, and the black wire to a black goldpin, etc
- Repeat the steps described above to connect the yellow LED to pin 5.
- Repeat the steps described above to connect the green LED to pin 6.
- Connect the microcontroller board to the computer via the provided USB cable
- Start the BeCREO application.
- Select PROJECTS.
- Click on the set of projects called A Smart City
- Select project A02 Traffic Lights.
- Open the SCENE tab.
- Write a program that will switch on the red LED while switching off the yellow and green LED and then wait for 5 s.
- Send the program to the microcontroller board.
- Next to the first program, write another program that should switch on the red and yellow LED, switch off the green LED and wait for 1 s.
- Send the program to the microcontroller board.
- Next to the two programs above write a program that should switch off the red and yellow LEDs, switch on the green LED and then wait for 5 s.
- Send the program to the microcontroller board.
- Next to the three programs above write a program that should switch off the red LED, switch on the yellow LED, switch off the green LED and then wait for 1 s.
- Send the program to the microcontroller board.
Test your solution
After sending the program, check if your device performs all the activities correctly. Traffic lights should display 4 cycles of lights. Red, red and yellow, green and yellow. If you have any problems with this project, you can start the tutorial at any time by selecting the INSTRUCTOR tab.
In addition to the interactive training contents which you will find in the application, we have prepared a few ready lesson scenarios. Please, select the topic that interests you and introduce your students to the world of creating unusual things.
- Ma-CREO-scott or a Mascot
- My Desk - My Treasures
- Railway Crossing
- Let's Build a Smart Home
- Sports Stopwatch
- A Small Zoo
- Computer Game
Teaching STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math can be quite difficult considering the abstract nature of some of the taught concepts. Developed in cooperation with teachers and educational experts, our curriculum not only promotes technical and natural science as well as mathematics, but also indicates a way to implement these issues in an integrated manner. The educational projects featured in BeCREO allow you to give your students enough challenges for many hours of work and play. BeCREO puts a special emphasis on the practical implementation of the taught concepts and on the possibility of their completion on various levels of difficulty.