Grove Hardware

The Grove system consists of "Groves" (typically small, single-purpose boards), adaptor boards (e.g., Arduino "shields") that attach to a processor board, and cables (etc) that connect each Grove to the shield.

We're using the Grove Starter Kit for Arduino as our starting point. This is designed for use with the Arduino UNO and compatible boards. We also acquired (and in some cases created or modified) additional Groves. Our Wish List contains quite a few interesting Groves; feel free to suggest others that we should consider.


Although the Grove shield makes all of the Arduino signals available (via sets of pins and header sockets), the system of four-pin cables and sockets (aka "ports") provides most of the commonly-needed signals and is far more convenient, particularly for blind users.

The kit includes several (8" long) cables. Each cable has a polarized female plug at each end. The plugs snap (reasonably securely) into sockets on the shield. There is a version of the cable that has latching clips on the plugs, but it shouldn't be necessary for most purposes.

The sockets come in two flavors, allowing either top or side access. The top access socket is far more common, but the side access socket may be used in cases where top access would be inconvenient. For example, four of the sockets on the Arduino shield are side access, allowing them to be used even when an additional shield has been added to the stack.


This area provides an annotated index to our documentation of Grove System components. Some of the Groves (e.g., button, microphone) handle input; others (e.g., (buzzer, servo motor) handle output. The Seeed wiki categorizes Groves as actuators, displays, sensors, etc. We follow this pattern, by and large, but feel free to add items, as needed. For example, we document the Button Grove as a sensor.

Arduino Shield

The Arduino Shield plugs into the top of the Arduino, using five sets of pins. Putting this together (without bending or misaligning pins) is tricky for blind users. So, sighted help would be helpful for the initial setup.

Actuator Groves

Actuator Groves make things happen in the Real World. They connect circuits, emit light or sounds, move things, etc.

Communication Groves

Communication Groves extend the connectivity of the Grove system, letting it communicate with other electronic devices. We don't have any Communication Groves at present, so this page is only a placeholder. Stay tuned...

Display Groves

Although Display Groves are unlikely to be of much direct use to a blind user, they can be used for experimentation, by sighted associates, etc.

Sensor Groves

Sensor Groves gather information, passing it to the attached computer. There are many kinds of sensors, ranging from simple buttons to accelerometers and GPS receivers.


This wiki page is maintained by Rich Morin, an independent consultant specializing in software design, development, and documentation. Please feel free to email comments, inquiries, suggestions, etc!

Topic revision: r4 - 17 Apr 2017, RichMorin
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