Block coding for all modern LEGO® hubs

Endless creativity and fun with smart LEGO® bricks using Pybricks

November, 2023 – Pybricks Headquarters: Today, the Pybricks team presents the first beta release of block coding for all modern LEGO® hubs. For the first time, fans of all LEGO themes can bring their smart bricks together in a single app for endless possibilities and creativity.

Whether you want to make smart train layouts, autonomous Technic machines, interactive BOOST creatures, or super-precise SPIKE and MINDSTORMS robots, you can do it with Pybricks.

Pybricks is beginner-friendly and easy to use. There’s no need to install complicated apps or libraries either. Just go to https://beta.pybricks.com, update the firmware, and start coding.

And now for the first time, no prior Python coding experience is required. You can code with familiar but powerful blocks, and gradually switch to Python when you’re ready. The live preview makes it easy to see how your blocks translate to Python code.

Meanwhile, more seasoned builders and robotics teams will enjoy advanced features such as color sensor calibration or builtin gyro control for drive bases.

The new block coding experience is exclusively available to our supporters on Patreon. You can sign up for a monthly subscription or make a one-time pledge in our shop for lifetime access.

Python coding remains entirely free and open source, and continues to be supported by a community of developers and LEGO enthusiasts around the world. Improvements are made almost every day, with the lead developers actively engaging with the community for ideas, bug fixes, and brand new features.

So grab your LEGO sets and start coding!

ABB is the first manufacturer to provide intuitive, block-based no-code programming for all cobots and six-axis industrial robots

  • First-time users can program their collaborative robots and industrial robots for free within minutes
  • System integrators and experienced users can develop, share, and customize sophisticated programs for application-specific features

ABB Robotics has expanded the scope of its free Wizard Easy Programming software for collaborative robots to include all six-axis industrial robots running on an ABB OmniCore™ controller. This makes ABB the first robot manufacturer to offer an easy-to-use no-code programming tool for cobots and six-axis industrial robots. This lowers the barriers to automation for early adopters and provides ecosystem partners and integrators with an efficient tool to support their customers.

„If we want to promote and advance the use of robotic automation on a global scale, we need to address the challenges and opportunities of the industry,“ says Marc Segura, head of the robotics division at ABB. „By adding our six-axis industrial robots to Wizard Easy Programming, ABB Robotics is responding to the skills shortage and increasing demand from manufacturing companies for simple and easy-to-use programming software for their robot fleets.“

Create robot applications without prior training

Wizard Easy Programming uses a graphic, drag-and-drop, no-code programming approach designed to simplify the development of robotic applications. The software allows both first-time and experienced robot users to create applications in minutes – a task that typically requires a week of training and another week of development work. Since its launch in 2020, Wizard Easy Programming has been used in a wide range of applications in conjunction with ABB’s YuMi, SWIFTI™ and GoFa™ collaborative robots.

Wizard Easy Programming, previously available for ABB’s collaborative robots, is now available for all of the company’s six-axis industrial robots. (Image: ABB)

The software offers users the opportunity to create complete programs for applications such as arc welding or machine tending without prior training. An intuitive graphical user interface allows you to customize existing programs and pre-programmed blocks to control various actions – from robot movements to signal instructions and force control – for added flexibility.

Efficiently generate specific codes for specific applications

Wizard Easy Programming also includes Skill Creator, a tool that helps system integrators and experts create custom, application-specific wizard blocks for their customers. Skill Creator simplifies the creation of new blocks for highly specific tasks such as machine tending and welding, but also for difficult applications such as medical tests. Ecosystem partners who develop accessories such as grippers, feeding systems and cameras will have access to a digital tool that allows them to share product-specific functionalities regardless of the type of robot to be used.

Wizard Easy Programming is pre-installed on all cobots and new six-axis industrial robots running ABB’s OmniCore controller. The leading robot controllers of the OmniCore family are characterized by an energy saving potential of 20 percent on average and a high degree of future-proofing – thanks to integrated digital connectivity and over 1,000 scalable functions.

More information about Wizard Easy Programming is available here.

Sony Global Education Launches an Indiegogo Campaign for KOOV, a Coding and Robotics Kit for the Next Generation of Young Innovators

SAN DIEGO, CA (June 20, 2017) – Sony Electronics in conjunction with Sony Global Education announced today the launch of a limited Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for KOOV, a new coding and robotics kit for the next generation of young innovators.

The Sony Global Education team developed KOOV as a fresh approach to learning robotics and programming. KOOV is already available in Japan and China, and Sony is now looking to expand the program to the US in order to gain feedback and insight into the American market.

KOOV is a robotics and coding educational kit made up of blocks, sensors, motors, actuators, and a companion app that teaches children core concepts about design, coding and robotics. The app also features a secure social space, where children can share their designs and code with other young inventors from around the world.

The blocks can be assembled into any shape, with the final figure capable of being controlled as a robot. The kit encourages learners to „Play“ by building with 7 kinds of translucent blocks, „Code“ by controlling the assembled figure through the KOOV app, and „Create“ by embracing their creativity and imagination.

Sony Global Education believes that the teaching materials for robotics and programming will play a major role in cultivating STEM literacy and nurturing the next generation of problem solvers.

KOOV was built on the belief that STEM learning tools should be accessible to all children. Through the use of inclusive colors, shareable design and the goal of building a foundation for future STEM learning, Sony hopes to attract parents of children 8 to 14 years old, with equal emphasis on boys and girls.

Pre-orders are available for a limited time beginning June 20th via an Indiegogo, with product scheduled to ship to backers in early December. The suggested retail price is $359 for the Starter Kit and $499 for the Advanced Kit with limited quantities available at discounts of up to 40% for early backers. Interested consumers can learn more about KOOV, and place preorders at https://igg.me/at/KOOV.

 

BlocksCAD Teaches Children Math and Programming while they Design their Own Toys

Have you ever discovered that you can’t find the exact toy your child wants? Your daughter loves robots, but she wants them to be pink. Your son wants a length of track for his race car set that doesn’t exist. Your nephew loves elephants and wants his own My Little Elephant set.
You could find someone with a 3D printer and a good grasp of CAD to design a novel toy for you.

But why do that when you can let creative children do it themselves?

BlocksCAD, a new application  developed by Einstein’s Workshop, helps children as young as eight to design and create their own toys.
Einstein’s Workshop launched a Kickstarter campaign on September 6, 2014, to fund further development and release it under an open source license, free to everyone, everywhere.

BlocksCAD uses a simple drag-and-drop interface to create designs for 3D objects. It offers basic geometric shapes: cube, sphere, cylinder, cone, etc. Kids can combine these shapes to create their own unique toys. They assemble the building blocks of the object, like snapping together LEGO or assembling a jigsaw puzzle. The interface is so simple, even third-graders can use it.

Students have used BlocksCAD to create a wide range of objects, from doll furniture to Daleks, snowmen to strategy game pieces, rings to rocket ships. Annie, 10, is designing a table. She opens BlocksCAD and selects a rectangular block, thin and flat, to form the tabletop. She drags in another rectangular solid and makes it long and skinny – a table leg. Then she copies the leg three times and positions them to support the table. She saves her design and sends it off to a nearby 3D printer. Soon, the table is finished, three inches tall, just right for her dollhouse. She turns back to the computer and begins to design a chair.

Einstein’s Workshop, a STEM education startup in Burlington, MA, developed BlocksCAD to address a specific need. “We were seeing a lot of demand for 3D printing classes for younger children,” says Rebecca Rapoport, COO and co-owner of Einstein’s Workshop. “When we tried it out, we found that kids younger than fifth or sixth grade really struggled.
“On our staff, we have some talented developers who are also educators and experienced fabricators. So when we saw a need for software that’s easy for younger students to use, we did exactly what we encourage our students to do: we built it ourselves.”

“It’s a wonderful way to teach the practical side of math,” says Creative Director Katy Hamilton. “We can tell students that variables are useful, or how to describe a parabola, or we can give them real, concrete reasons to learn these concepts.”
The development team think BlocksCAD could be useful in schools and makerspaces everywhere.
“That’s one of the reasons we chose to do a Kickstarter,” says Henry Houh, president and founder of Einstein’s Workshop. “Not just to raise funds to make this application even better but also to get the word out that it’s going to be open source and freely available to the public.”

Einstein’s Workshop hopes to raise at least $42,000 by October 4, 2014. They offer a wide range of rewards to contributors, from T-shirts and 3D-printed models of the BlocksCAD mascot, The Blockhead, to a training class anywhere in the continental U.S. To support BlocksCAD, please visit the Kickstarter page at http://www.einsteinsworkshop.com/blockscad