EdBlocks - Meet Edison
EdBlocks - Edblocks App
EdBlocks is a fully graphical robot programming language for the Edison robot that is super easy to use. A drag-and-drop block-based system, EdBlocks is intuitive and fun, even for younger users. Perfect for introducing anyone to programming, EdBlocks is ideal for students aged 8 to 12 years old.
The online EdBlocks programming environment is simple to use on both computers and tablets. EdBlocks contains more than 150 blocks, making it easy to experiment with programming. All the blocks are accessible through the main menu, organised into five different categories. Simply open one of the menus by clicking on it in the app, then select the block you want. Drag and drop each block to the ‘start’ block in the main programming area to add it to your program. It’s that easy!
You can access EdBlocks online at www.edblocksapp.com
These free, downloadable resources can help you get the most out of EdBlocks.
The EdBlocks activity worksheets are designed to allow students to work through activities independently, gradually learning about both the Edison robot and EdBlocks. This set of 23 lesson activities is perfect for students in year levels 3 to 6.
This guide offers teachers and instructors overviews, activity extensions and other supporting information for the EdBlocks lesson activities to help make teaching EdBlocks easy and fun. Each EdBlocks activity is included in this guide along with any relevant supporting information for that activity.
Need an offline reference to the blocks in EdBlocks? This guide includes images of the blocks in EdBlocks and the tooltip helper text for each block from the online application.
If the first block in your program is a ‘wait until’ block, Edison will pause at that block until the wait until condition is met.
If you are using a start event, when the play (triangle) button on Edison is pushed, Edison will run the main program. If the condition of the start event occurs, Edison will run the start event sub-program to completion, then return to the main program and continue the main program. This will happen whenever the conditions of the start event are met. If no blocks are attached to the main program, Edison will wait until the condition of the start event is met, then run the start event sub-program.
Blocks with a number underneath but no clock-face symbol allow users to input the number of repetitions the block will perform. You can change the number by clicking on it and typing in your desired number of repetitions, anything from 0 to 320. Repetitions must be in whole numbers.
Once you are logged in as a registered user, you can save your program by clicking on the menu button in the upper left-hand corner of the app and selecting ‘Save As’ from the menu.
To use a start event, simply add it to the working space in the EdBlocks app and drag and drop program blocks after it, as you would the normal start block. The main start block cannot be removed, because that is the beginning of the main program. When you download your program to Edison, both the main program and the sub-program beginning with the new start event will download. When the play (triangle) button on Edison is pushed, Edison will run the main program. If the condition of the start event occurs, Edison will run the start event sub-program to completion, then return to the main program and continue the main program. This will happen whenever the conditions of the start event are met. If no blocks are attached to the main program, Edison will wait until the condition of the start event is met, then run the start event sub-program.
See activity 23 in the EdBlock lesson plans for an example activity using messages.
Once you have scanned the correct barcode and downloaded the program, you can run it like a standard start event sub program.
The drive blocks allow a user to control how Edison moves. The basic four blocks in this section allow users to select the direction and determine the duration of Edison’s ‘drive’ abilities by changing the time input. Other drive blocks utilise Edison’s built-in sensors to control the drive behaviours. Users can also use drive blocks to control Edison’s speed and pause the drive motors.
The output category contains the different non-drive outputs Edison can create. There are three main groups in this category: lights, sound, and outbound messages. Lights include turning Edison’s lights on or off, individually or together. Sounds include a simple beep, a range of musical notes and the ability to control the pace at which the notes are played. Outbound messages allow an Edison to send one of six infrared messages out to other Edison robots.
All of the ‘wait until’ blocks tell Edison to wait for something to happen before continuing on with the program. These blocks allow users to create longer and more complex programs. Many of the ‘wait until’ blocks utilise Edison’s sensors while others allow for external inputs to change the program, such as having one of the robot’s buttons pushed or hearing a loud clap. Another group of ‘wait until’ blocks instructs the Edison to wait until it receives one of the six infrared messages before continuing with its program.
This category contains blocks which allow additional controls, such as loops, to be added to a program. These blocks offer additional ways to create more complex programs. Loops, which make up the majority of the control blocks, enable Edison to repeat elements of a program infinitely, a set number of times or until something happens, such as a button is pressed.
The ‘start events’ blocks allow a user to make a sub-program begin from a specific event while the main program is running. Perhaps the most advanced set of blocks in EdBlocks, these blocks emulate the coding idea of ‘interrupts.’ Start events let users tap into even more of Edison’s abilities, including being controlled by remote controls. Start events also allow users to vertically layer programs, with secondary programs interrupting the main program when the start event is triggered.
EdBlocks requires the code you program in the environment to be compiled to be downloaded into the Edison robot. To ensure the compiler works correctly across all platforms and keep costs such that we can deliver EdBlocks at no charge, delivering through an online solution is the best option for EdBlocks. This online solution also enables us to ensure that we are able to provide updates and improvements into the live system for all users on an ongoing basis.
Troubleshooting in EdBlocks
Sound enhancements can also sometimes cause the Edison program to not download correctly, resulting in the fail sound. For more help on sound enhancements, please visit our troubleshooting guide.
When many users in a single location, like in a classroom, are downloading programs at the same time, you may experience slower internet speeds. This can cause the program to take longer to generate the ‘program Edison’ pop-up box and for the program to download to Edison. With a very slow connection, you may need to try again. Press the stop (square) button on Edison, then press the record (round) button one time. Restart the download by clicking on the ‘program Edison’ button in the top-right corner of the app.