The Official mBot Kit is extremely versatile and easy to program. Once you have your robot built and running by using the handheld IR controller, we encourage you to dive into the world of programming with mBlock. The following is an introduction in how to get setup. Please refer to the mBot manuals for reference: English Manual | French Manual
Methods of programming include:
- Scratch mBlock Arduino (Windows / Mac / Linux)
- Arduino IDE (Windows / Mac / Linux)
- Makeblock App (IOS / Android)
SCRATCH mBot Programming Mode with Arduino
Using Scratch 2.0 you can upload a program into Arduino based boards (which means the robot can run by itself without a computer connected). Scratch is a programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations – and share your creations with others around the world. In the process of designing and programming Scratch projects, young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab for free and is the perfect way to get started programming.
Download, install and open the software. There is versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Get the Arduino drivers, for PC computers, go to the “Connect” menu in mBlock.
Install Makeblock Library for Arduino
Download the library zip package: https://github.com/Makeblock-official/Makeblock-Libraries/archive/master.zip
Be sure the “mBot (mCore)” board is selected.
Connect the USB cable from your computer to the mBot robot. Turn on your robot and open the mBlock software. Ensure you choose the correct Serial Port by going to Connect->Serial Port and choosing the Port that your robot is using. If you are unsure, unplug/re-plug your robot, taking notice which port disappears/reappears.
Getting started with mBlock is easy, use this link for more examples.
This video tutorial briefly explains how to program mBot in mBlock with Arduino.
For further assistance in troubleshooting, or for MAC instructions, see this link.
mBot Arduino programming with IDE
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. The Arduino software
consists of a development environment (aka. IDE) and includes the core libraries required for the sensors and drivers to work properly.
This brief video tutorial explains how to program mBot with the Arduino language.
When entering Arduino mode, the Arduino code is shown on the right and the “drag and drop interface” is on the left. As you write your mBlock program, Arduino code will automatically be generated in the Arduino editing window.
Upgrading your Firmware
If you want to run programs from the mBlock IDE you can connect via Bluteooth or 2.4GHz or USB. See this link for more info.
When you want to run programs through the mBlock IDE, “Upgrade Firmware” before you begin. Select Connect -> Upgrade Firmware. This will overwrite any programs currently on the robot board with firmware that makes sure the computer and robot can communicate properly.
Once the firmware is upgraded, you are ready to start programming from the mBlock IDE.
NOTE: To upgrade firmware, to reset the default program and to upload a program onto the robot board, you MUST be connected via USB.
Makeblock App (IOS / Android)
More than a robotic controller, Makeblock HD is a powerful tool for users to realize their creative ideas rapidly.
Providing more than ten Control Panels, users can control mBot easily. There are more than 30 predefined modules, which can control different sensors or execute various commands . Arrange those simple control modules and settings in any combination you choose, you can drive Makeblock robots as you wish. You may even create your own control panels.
Furthermore, Users can customize their own control modules to control different sensors or execute different commands with mBlockly (Drag-and-drop style programming similar to Scratch). Makeblock HD makes programming robots as easy as using building blocks.
Even more options
There is many additional ways to program your mBot, Be sure to check out additional options here.