Tag Archives: block-based programming language

Lil’Bot is the little robot that could

Created by Chris Hakim, Lil’Bot is a low-cost, open-source balancing robot powered by Atmel’s popular ATmega328 microcontroller.

Aside from Atmel’s MCU, key features and specs include:

  • Arduino Uno compatible, programmable via USB (Linux, OS X, Windows).
  • Front, right and left obstacle detection using IR LEDs.
  • Edge detection facilitated by an IR LED.
  • Buzzer plays musical tones and astromech droid sounds.
  • Wheel encoders for precise odometry-based control.
  • Open-source hardware and software.
  • Works with standard Arduino shields.

“About half of the memory and three quarters of the processing power are available after the balancing code and all the rest have taken their share,” Hakim explained in a recent Kickstarter post.

“[There is also] an optional shield that allows Lil’Bot to express its emotions through an emoticon-like LED display. Expressions [include] afraid, amused, angry, blissful, cool, crying, disappointed, embarrassed, happy, impatient, naughty, neutral, nonplussed, outraged, proud, resigned, sad, sarcastic, shocked, smiling and very sad.”

On the software side, Hakim utilizes Lil’Blocks, a block-based programming language based on Fred Lin’s BlocklyDuino, a dialect of Neil Fraser’s Blockly for Arduino.

“Blockly is the Hour of Code’s choice language to introduce children to programming. For the younger child, block programming is little more than assembling Lego bricks, yet allows a firm grasp of basic programming concepts,” he adds.

“Lil’Blocks translates all the block code to Arduino C, ready to compile and load into Lil’Bot from the Arduino environment.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the official Lil’Bot Kickstarter page here.