I seem to be one of the first to get the Flotilla mini-kit from Kickstarter.
It consists of a hub that is connected to the Raspberry Pi, and then a set of modules can be connected to the hub via micro USB cables. The mini-kit comes with a 4-button touch sensor and a rainbow LED stick.
There is an application called Rockpool that lets you define connections between the inputs and outputs:
It is easy connect to the same websocket using node-RED, which allows me to link Flotilla to my home automation system.
Here is it telling me when a touch button is pressed:
You send the Websocket a “ready” message and it starts sending back messages about the state of the modules. I am intercepting an update message for the”Touch” device, checking which button is pressed and then using my house control system to speak a message. I could just as easily use the buttons to switch devices in the house on or off.
Flotilla looks very promising; I will try it on my grandchildren to see how easy they find it to “program”.
There is also a python API, but this is being actively worked on, and may change.
There is an even easier interface coming called “Cookbook” with pre-defined “recipes” that should make it even easier for kids to start using it.