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!

Elephant Robotics launched ultraArm with various solutions for education

In the past year, Elephant Robotics has launched various products to meet more user needs and help them unlock more potential in research and education. To help users learn more knowledge about machine vision, Elephant Robotics launched the AI Kit, which can work with multiple robotic arms to do AI recognition and grabbing. In June 2022, Elephant Robotics released the mechArm to help individual makers and students get better learning in industrial robotics.

Nowadays, robotic arms are used in an increasingly wide range of applications, such as industry, medicine, commercial exhibitions, etc. At the very end of 2022, ultraArm is launched, and this time, Elephant Robotics doesn’t just release a new robotic arm, but brings 5 sets of solutions to education and R&D.

Small but powerful

As the core product of this launch, ultraArm is a small 4-axis desktop robotic arm. It is designed with a classic metal structure and occupies only an area of A5 paper. It is the first robotic arm equipped with a high-performance stepper motors of Elephant Robotics. It is stable and owns ±0.1mm repeated positioning accuracy. What’s more, ultraArm comes with 5 kits together including slide rail, conveyor belt, and cameras.

Multiple environments supported

As a preferred tool for the education field, ultraArm supports all major programming languages, including Python, Arduino, C++, etc. Also, it can be programmed in Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. For individual makers who are new to robotics, they can learn robotic programming with myBlockly, a visualization software that allows users to drag and drop code blocks.

Moreover, ultraArm supports ROS1 & ROS2. In the ROS environment, users can control ultraArm and verify algorithms in the virtual environment, improving experiment efficiency. With the support of ROS2, users can achieve more functions and objects in the developments.

Five robotic kits with for Robot Vision & DIY

In the past year, Elephant Robotics found that many users have to spend large amount of time creating accessories or kits to work with robotic arms. Therefore, to provide more solutions in different fields, ultraArm comes with five robotic kits, which are devided into two series: vision educational kits and DIY kits. These kits will help users, especially students program easily for a better learning experience on practical exercises about AI robot vision and DIY robotic projects.

Vision educational kits

Combined with vision functions, robotic arms can be used for more applications in industry, medicine, education, etc. In robotics education, collaborative robotic arms with vision capabilities allow students to better learn about artificial intelligence. Elephant Robotics has launched three kits for machine vision education: Vision & Picking Kit, Vision & Conveyor Belt Kit, and Vision & Slide Rail Kit to provide more choices and support to the education industry. With the camera and built-in related AI algorithms (Yolo, SIFT, ORB, etc.), ultraArm can achieve different artificial intelligence recognition applications with different identifying ways. Therefore, users can select the kit based on their needs.

For Vision & Picking Kit, users can learn about color & image recognition, intelligent grasping, robot control principle, etc. For Vision & Conveyor Belt Kit and Vision, the robotic arm can sense the distance of materials for identifying, grabbing, and classifying the objects on the belt. Users can easily create simulated industrial applications in this kit, such as color sorting. Users can have deeper learning in machine vision with the Vision & Slide Rail Kit because the robot can track and grab objects through the dynamic vision algorithm in this kit. With the multiple programming environments supported, the vision educational kits are preferred for school or STEM education production line simulation. Moreover, Elephant Robotics also offers different educational programs for students and teachers, to enable them to better understand the principles and algorithms of robot vision, helping them operate these robot kits more easily.

DIY kits

There are two kits in the DIY series: the Drawing Kit and Laser Engraving Kit. Users will enjoyonline production, nameplate and phone case DIY production, and AI drawing with the multiple accessories in the DIY kits.

To help users quickly achieve DIY production, Elephant Robotics created software called Elephant Luban. It is a platform that generates the G-Code track and provides primary cases for users. Users can select multiple functions such as precise writing and drawing, laser engravingwith, only with a few clicks. For example, users can upload the images they like to the software, Elephant Luban will automatically generate the path of images and transmit to ultraArm, then users can choose drawing or engraving with different accessories.

There is no doubt that ultraArm with different robotics kits certainly provides a great deal of help and support to the education field. These kits offer better operating environments and conditions for students, and help them get better learning in robotic programming. Elephant Robotics will continue to launch more products and projects with the concept of helping more users to enjoy the robot world.

Now ordering ultraArm in Elephant Robotics Shop can enjoy the 20% discount with the code: Ultra20

Luwu Intelligence Technology Announces Launch of XGO 2 – World’s First Raspberry Pi Robotic Dog with An Arm

Luwu, a STEM education technology company focused on the research and development of advanced robotics, has announced the launch of XGO 2, an advanced desktop-sized AI quadruped robot with an arm. This state-of-the-art robot brings a new level of intelligence and functionality to the world of robotics. XGO 2 is now available on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/xgorobot/xgo-2-worlds-first-raspberry-pi-robotic-dog-with-an-arm

XGO 2 is an intelligent and agile robotic dog, capable of sophisticated movements, 12 degrees of freedom, and a variety of motions. Its open-source nature allows users of all programming levels to program and customizes it with Blocky and Python. Additionally, the advanced AI modules built into XGO 2 allow for visual, voice, and gesture recognition, enabling the robotic dog to hear, understand, and respond to users like a real dog.

One of the most notable features of XGO 2 is its robotic arm. This arm allows it to perform tasks such as grasping and manipulating objects, making it more versatile and opening up a whole new realm of possibilities for the robotic dog to be used in various scenarios.

XGO 2 is also incredibly easy to control. Its user-friendly interface allows for easy programming and control, making it accessible to users of all skill levels. Whether you’re looking to create a new robot application, enhance your research, or simply have fun with a cutting-edge piece of technology, XGO 2 is the perfect choice. Its unique combination of intelligence, agility, and affordability makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking to add a robotic dog to their collection.

XGO 2, the World’s First Raspberry Pi Robotic Dog with an Arm, is an incredible robotics platform for entertainment, STEM education, and exploring creativity. XGO 2 is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter with special pricing for early supporters. Learn more here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/xgorobot/xgo-2-worlds-first-raspberry-pi-robotic-dog-with-an-arm

In Celebration of National Robotics Week, iRobot® Launches the Create® 3 Educational Robot

Robot’s Smartest Developer Platform, Now with ROS 2 and Python Support

BEDFORD, Mass., April 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in consumer robots, today is expanding its educational product lineup with the launch of the Create® 3 educational robot – the company’s most capable developer platform to date. Based on the Roomba® i3 Series robot vacuum platform, Create 3 provides educators and advanced makers with a reliable, out of the box alternative to costly and labor-intensive robotics kits that require assembly and testing. Instead of cleaning people’s homes,1 the robot is designed to promote higher-level exploration for those seeking to advance their education or career in robotics.

In Celebration of National Robotics Week, iRobot launched the Create® 3 Educational Robot – the company’s most capable developer platform to date. Now with ROS 2 and Python Support, Create 3 provides educators and advanced makers with a reliable, out of the box alternative to costly and labor-intensive robotics kits that require assembly and testing. Create 3 is designed to promote higher-level exploration for those seeking to advance their education or career in robotics.

The launch of Create 3 coincides with National Robotics Week, which began April 2 and runs through April 10, 2022. National Robotics Week, founded and organized by iRobot, is a time to inspire students about robotics and STEM-related fields, and to share the excitement of robotics with audiences of all ages through a range of in-person and virtual events.

„iRobot is committed to delivering STEM tools to all levels of the educational community, empowering the next generation of engineers, scientists and enthusiasts to do more,“ said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. „The advanced capabilities we’ve made available on Create 3 enable higher-level students, educators and developers to be in the driver’s seat of robotics exploration, allowing them to one day discover new ways for robots to benefit society.“

With ROS 2 support, forget about building the platform, and focus on your application: 
The next generation of iRobot’s affordable and trusted all-in-one mobile robot development platform, Create 3 brings a variety of new functionalities to users, including compatibility with ROS 2, an industry-standard software for roboticists worldwide. Robots require many different components, such as actuators, sensors and control systems, to communicate with each other in order to work. ROS 2 enables this communication, allowing students to speed up the development of their project by focusing more on their core application rather than the platform itself. Learning ROS 2 also gives students valuable experience that many companies are seeking from robotics developers.

Expand your coding skills even further with Python support:
iRobot also released a Python Web Playground for its iRobot Root® and Create 3 educational robots, providing a bridge for beginners to begin learning more advanced programming skills outside of the iRobot Coding App. Python, a commonly used coding language, enables users to broaden the complexity of projects that they work on. The iRobot Education Python Web Playground allows advanced learners and educators to program the iRobot Root and Create 3 educational robots with a common library written in Python. This provides users with a pathway to learn a new coding language, opening the door to further innovation and career development.

With more smarts, Create 3 lets you do more:
As a connected robot, Create 3 comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Ethernet-over-USB host, and Bluetooth. Create 3 is also equipped with a suite of intelligent technology, including an inertial measurement unit (IMU), optical floor tracking sensor, wheel encoders, and infrared sensors for autonomous localization, navigation, and telepresence applications. Additionally, the robot includes cliff, bump and slip detection, along with LED lights and a speaker.

A 3D simulation of Create 3 is also available using Ignition Gazebo for increased access to robotics education and research.

Create 3 Pricing and Availability
Create 3 is available immediately in the US and Canada for $299 USD and $399 CAD. It will be available in EMEA through authorized distributors in the coming months. Additional details can be found at https://edu.irobot.com/what-we-offer/create3.

iRobot Education Python Web Playground Availability
The iRobot Education Python Web Playground can be accessed in-browser at python.irobot.com.

Nabot by Ximpatico

Nabot is a programmable robot that can autonomously perform tasks such as sanitizing packages, mopping the floor, vacuuming, collecting small objects, and playing with pets. Nabot is both the robot to play with and a tool to explore the world of AI and coding. Nabot was previously marketed as a remote control robot but we upgraded it with artificial intelligence and a coding interface and turned it into a smart and autonomous robot. Nabot can introduce children to the coding concepts and make them interested in STEM fields. It can also be a great assistive technology for the disabled and elderly and help them with activities of daily living. That has been the topic of Ph.D. research of the founders.

How does it work?

Nabot’s coding interface consists of blocks, which users will drag, drop, and attach them together to write a code for Nabot. These coding blocks enable the user to move the robot forward/backward, rotate the robot left/right, move each of the joints individually or all together, create custom categories of objects and write code for when the robot detects an object from a certain category, mark/assign objects to one of these custom categories, create variables and use them in various math equations, and other basic programming logic blocks such as if, else, repeat, loop, while. There is also a more advanced Python API for hackers to program complicated and useful tasks.

User’s privacy is our priority. Nabot does not send or store any information outside the user’s phone. All the processing is done on the phone and the application doesn’t even need an internet connection (except for logging in).

About Ximpatico

We are Ximpatico, a venture-backed startup based in the US with offices in San Jose, CA and Orlando, FL. Founders are a couple of Ph.D. graduates in computer science and engineering behind the state-of-the-art in AI and robotics. We developed a cutting-edge AI technology back in 2016 in our research lab.

Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ximpatico/nabot-ai-trainable-and-programmable-robot?ref=brgm6n

ArcBotics Launches Hubert the Humanoid on Kickstarter, Funded In 2 Hours

HAYWARD – ArcBotics, a leading educational robotics company based in California, is pleased to announce the launch of Hubert the Humanoid: Your Advanced Robotics Study Buddy, a research-grade open source humanoid robot, on Kickstarter.

ArcBotics’ mission is to help anyone learn robotics, no matter their background or current skill level. It is undeniable that robots will play a part in every part of our collective futures, and in many ways, they already do. They believe that by understanding how robots work can we control our own futures, rather than allow technology to control us.

Hubert is designed for anyone pursuing robotics and want the most affordable, top-to-bottom college-level robotics class you’ll ever find – while getting to use your own humanoid robot. Hubert is designed for educators, roboticists who want to compete in robotics competitions, researchers, pro-users, and hobbyists new to robotics who are looking for a humanoid robot that is ready-to-go.

They have created Hubert to make a full suite of college-level robotics lessons cheaper than the cost of a single robotics class. Hubert runs the same software that today’s leading robotics companies and universities are running. Similar robots have been used in the leading universities – but starting at 10x the price. Hubert is starting at $599 USD on Kickstarter, retailing for $1,199 USD, and is 100% Open Source Hardware.

ArcBotics will be releasing in-depth, free web tutorials to help train anyone to become a robotics engineer in the latest topics such as: ROS, Arduino, OpenCV, Object Recognition, TensorFlow, Inverse Kinematics, Control Theory, MoveIt!, Power Management, Path Planning, Legged Mechanics, Python, and so much more.

Hubert’s core features:

  • Dual-camera stereo HD vision cameras
  • On-board Raspberry Pi 3, preloaded with all necessary software
  • Custom smart servo – incredibly high torque, voltage independent, embedded sensors with serial communication
  • Custom Arduino-compatible Python-powered servo controller, with on-board 9-axis Motion and Bluetooth 4 LE connection
  • Rigid aluminum frame
  • Removable outer sheet metal shell – easily remove, design, and attach your own shell or parts
  • Functional grippers
  • Speaker and microphone
  • Touch-screen LCD head
  • Independent emotive ears
  • 100% Open Source Hardware
  • Future-proof with Raspberry Pi 3, C.H.I.P., and ODROID-XU4

About ArcBotics Since 2012, ArcBotics has been making robotics accessible by creating full-feature robots designed for different age groups and skill levels, with extensive, step-by-step documentation and open sourcing the hardware and software. They previously launched 2 successful Kickstarter campaigns for Hexy the Hexapod and Sparki the Easy Robot for Everyone, raising $360,000 and shipping to over 2500 backers. Since then, they have grown to ship tens of thousands of robots to homes, STEM programs, and universities around the world like Stanford, MIT, and Northwestern. Their robots can be found at global retailers like Barnes and Noble, Adafruit, RobotShop, DFRobot, and more.