GrovePi for Raspberry Pi

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Dexter Industries GrovePi Kit
The Dexter Industries GrovePi is an Internet of Things device built on the Raspberry Pi. The GrovePi can be programmed using the native Scratch installed on the Raspberry Pi (Scratch 1.4 or NuScratch). You can write programs that read plug-and-play sensors, and control everyday devices.

The GrovePi can be used with the Raspberry Pi Models A, A+, B, B+, 2 and 3.


The board is connected to the Raspberry Pi using the standard GPIO header. Fifteen plug-and-play ports are provided for hundreds of sensors [1]

The Base Kit [2] comes with twelve of the most common sensors:

  • a light sensor
  • a sound sensor
  • three LEDs
  • a temperature and humidity sensor
  • a relay
  • a two-lines LCD screen
  • a rotary angle sensor
  • an ultrasonic sensor
  • a button Sensor

Setting Up Scratch on the GrovePi

Raspbian For Robots

There are three methods for setting up Scratch on the GrovePi.

  1. You can purchase Raspbian for Robots, a pre-installed SD card SD card with all the required software ready to go.
  2. You can download Rasbpian for Robots here and install it on an SD Card using the directions found here. You should use an SD Card that is at least 4 GB.
  3. You can install it yourself on your own version of Raspbian (Wheezy or Jessie). Installation requires some knowledge of Python and running Python scripts in the Linux environment. You can find directions to do this here.

This installation is the same as if you had a GoPiGo [3] so knowledge is transferred from one project to the other.

Quickstart Video

This video is written to get you started using the GrovePi with Scratch, and writing your first Scratch program with the Raspberry Pi. This video covers writing your first Scratch program for the GrovePi.

Starting Scratch on the Raspberry Pi

Start the Scratch for Robots communicator. Double click the “Scratch” icon to start the program which handles all communications between the GrovePi and Scratch. This will be located on your Desktop.

The GrovePi has all characteristics of a robot. It senses, it computes and it actuates, all three characteristics that make a robot [4].

Scratch for Robots

Two windows will open up for you simultaneously.

  1. The Scratch Controller is the black Terminal window, with white text. It's very important NOT to close that window! This is the communication hub between Scratch and the board. GrovePi depends on that window!
  2. The second window is the Scratch for Robots window. Select the GrovePi option if it's not already there. The board should get displayed in the picture.

Scratch for Robots

Start Programming Your Own Project

In the Scratch for Robots window, click the Start Programming button.

Robot Selection

Whether you decided to take a look at the Dexter projects, or to jump in right away, you will get the Scratch Robot Selector window. Select the GrovePi in the dropdown menu, and press “Start Programming”.

You will get a warning that all the Scratch programs running will be closed. You can only run one Scratch program at a time.

After clicking the Ok button, you will get into Scratch itself, either with a blank project to start your own, or with one of the provided examples. You will see an alert that communications have started. Click “Ok” and begin!

  • This page was last modified on 2 January 2017, at 18:23.