FlowStone is a breakthrough in real-time computer programming - you can create complex real-time systems using only a mouse!
The way computers have been programmed over the years is continually evolving first there was machine code (A9) then assembler (LDA), then came so called high level languages like Pascal, Fortran, Basic, C++ (If (x > y) ), these were then modified to become visual languages (basically the same code but you could arrange your graphics on screen). Then came object orientated languages, again the same code but with more structure. That was until now when FlowStone changed everything and gave the world Graphical Programming!
FlowStone can interface to various robotic products to provide decision making and control.Interfaces include USB, Com Ports, TTL, analogue etc.
The results of which can be sent to any robotic product and or displayed via a computer screen.
No Need to Write Code
The benefit of graphical programming is apparent on so many different levels. Firstly you don't have to become an expert in one of the many programming languages! No traditional programming is necessary; however, you will still need a basic understanding of what you are doing. Secondly your programming will make visual sense so when programming large or complex systems you can return to your software and understand what you programmed straight away. Thirdly it is hierarchal, so you can nest complex functions making your design clean and understandable, and break down large tasks into easily manageable chunks.
The Tool Box
The FlowStone toolbox is where all of the components are available to use. Some components are what we call primitives - these are the lowest level of a function (Float ADD for example).
We also have modules - these are more complex and can be made with literally hundreds of other components (A Graphical Slider for example).
The great thing about FlowStone is that if you use a module and you want to tweak it to modify its look or function, you can double click on it in your Schematic, go inside, modify it's design, then save it as your own new module. This way you can quickly build up a personal library of your own custom modules.
The FlowStone filter bar allows you to browse the toolbox by category or by connector type
Connectors & Links
The inputs and outputs on the left and right sides of a component are called connectors
Using the mouse you can click and drag the output of a component and link it to the input of a different component - simple!
But what if the input and output are different types? FlowStone auto converts the type in most cases (eg. String <-> Integer <-> Boolean <-> Float etc). There are of course some types that are not compatible (eg Audio stream <-> String) in which case the connection will not be allowed.
Since FlowStone is Hierarchical it makes sense to have a navigator that lets view and jump between levels quickly. So for example if you have a single module as your top level you can then double click and enter into that module one level down. This will be displayed on the navigator so you can see where you are in the hierarchy.
This is where you draw out your designs in FlowStone. Simply drag the module you want to use onto your schematic and start using it! The schematic window has all the features that you’d expect in an editor: undo, copy and paste, multiple selection, zooming, and context sensitive help are all fully supported.
Another feature of FlowStone is that it runs in real-time so you can continue to drag and connect up new modules while you design keeps running!
One-Click export to EXE
This is one of the most powerful features of FlowStone.
Once you are happy with your design running in the FlowStone environment you can simply the click export to EXE button and your design will be wrapped up and made into a single, standalone .EXE program file that you can run and distribute freely!
Exported executables can then be run on any PC, laptop, or even your own embedded hardware.
If you want to use the computer screen to display your results or add some interactivity you can!
FlowStone has some very powerful and versatile GUI features allowing you to totally customize the look and feel of your application.
We offer three different versions of Flowstone;
1) FlowStone FREE is available for all to use free of charge, ideal for students and alike who can work on small projects at home or school or for potential professional users to evaluate the power of FlowStone.
2) FlowStone Enterprise is for medium size projects with all the processing power of FlowStone and the deploy to .exe feature, but with limited I/O and project sizes.
3) FlowStone Professional is the full blown version including features like: deploy to .exe, networking, unlimited project sizes, unlimited I/O etc.
If you would like to download these products then please click through here http://www.active-robots.com/shop-by-brand/flowstone
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