Blocks and Components


Blocks are the smallest unit of computation in Pictorus. Blocks appear in the Block Palette to the left of the canvas. Blocks are pre-compiled functions, which are chained together to form algorithms.

You modify a block's behavior by adjusting its Parameters. You can double-click on a block to open its Settings and edit its Parameters. You can also right-click on a block to get to the Settings.

Creating and editing Block parameters

Blocks almost always emit a single output (except, of course, Output blocks). They can have zero, one, or more inputs.


Components allow us to aggregate blocks into re-usable functions. They're a powerful way to modularize your App, create new behaviors and functionality, not to mention a convenient way to clean up sprawling diagrams. The Yahboom G1 Tank API is a Component, composed of several sub-components that communicate to the robot's hardware.

To create a new Component, right-click anywhere on the canvas and select New Component. Double-clicking on a Component will navigate into it, and reveal another layer to your diagram. You can navigate in and out of these nested layers using the path links at the top of the canvas:

Component creation and navigation

Components rely on special ComponentInput and ComponentOutput blocks to pass data in and out. Adding these blocks within the Component will then appear as inputs/outputs from the level above:

Component inputs and outputs

Reusable Component Library

Components can be made reusable across different apps, allowing users to build out a library of commonly used functions. To make a component reusable, right click on it and select Make Reusable. After following the prompts and saving, the component will appear in the My Library subsection of the Block Pallette within any of a user's apps. We have also pre-built a set of components that interface with common sensors and acutators, availables in the From Market subsection of the Block Pallette.

Reusable Component

For more ways to make Components powerful, check out: