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Edison robot FAQs

Have a question about Edison? You might just find your answer here!

New to using Edison? Start by downloading the free Getting started with Edison guide.

 

Questions about barcodes?

The special Edison robot barcodes let you kick-start your exploration of Edison using pre-set programs, control Edison like a remote-control car, or create your own remote-control programming masterpieces!

 

Questions about one of the programming languages?

Each of our robotics programming languages has its own dedicated FAQ with common questions and troubleshooting help specific to that programming language. 

  • Please see the EdBlocks FAQ for questions about or help to resolve any issues with EdBlocks
  • Please see the EdScratch FAQ for questions about or help to resolve any issues with EdScratch
  • Please see the EdPy FAQ for questions about or help to resolve any issues with EdPy

 

What is Edison?

Edison is a super-affordable programmable robot designed to be a complete STEM teaching resource for coding and robotics education for students from 4 to 16 years of age. The Edison robot is a powerful, engaging tool for teaching kids computational thinking and computer programming in a hands-on way. Edison robots work with LEGO bricks and can be controlled and programmed in three ways:

1. Barcodes – Edison can read special barcodes that activate pre-programmed functions like follow a line or avoid obstacles

2. TV/DVD remote control – Edison can be controlled from standard TV or DVD remote controls using remote-control barcodes

3. Program – Edison can be programmed from a computer or tablet using any of our three programming languages:

  • EdBlocks, a drag-and-drop, fully graphical horizontal programming language for the Edison robot. 
  • EdScratch, a vertical block-based programming language for the Edison robot based on Scratch. 
  • EdPy, a python-like text-based programming language for the Edison robot. 
What devices and operating systems can you use with Edison robots?

Edison robots are compatible with most tablets, desktop computers, laptops and Chromebooks thanks to browser-based programming languages and the EdComm cable.

All of the Edison robotics programming languages can be accessed through a browser, meaning there is nothing to download onto the programming devices you use, enabling you to program Edison on tablets, iPads and Chromebooks as well as laptops and desktop computers.

Your device does need an audio jack (that’s the place where you connect headphones) input, however, to allow Edison to connect using the EdComm cable. The EdComm cable is the special cable used to download programs to Edison robots from any of the Edison robotics programming languages and connects to your tablet, computer or Chromebook using the programming device’s audio jack input. The other end of the EdComm cable connects to the underside of your Edison robot, near the power switch. This communication method is compatible with Mac, Linux, Windows, iOS and Android operating systems.

If you are new to using Edison, you may want to download the free Getting started with Edison guide which includes step-by-step instructions walking you through getting your robot and programming device set up.

How does Edison connect to my computer?

The EdComm cable is how you connect your Edison robot to a computer or tablet. The EdComm cable is a special cable used to download programs to Edison robots from any of the Edison robotics programming languages. 

Each Edison robot comes with an EdComm cable, which is shipped in the battery compartment.

To connect Edison to a computer or tablet, plug the audio jack end of the EdComm cable into the 3.5mm (1/8”) audio output socket on your programming device. The other end of the EdComm cable connects to the underside of your Edison robot, near the power switch. This communication method is compatible with Mac, Linux, Windows, iOS and Android operating systems.

What barcode programs are available?

Each Edison robot comes with pre-set programs already loaded in the robot’s memory. To activate the program, you simply need to scan the correct barcode. Different types of barcodes activate pre-set programs, allow Edison to be paired with a TV/DVD remote control or help you calibrate the robot. All of the barcodes and instructions are available here.

The available pre-set program barcode programs are:

  • Avoid obstacles
  • Line tracking
  • Follow a torch
  • Clap controlled driving
  • Bounce in borders
  • Sumo wrestle
How is Edison compatible with LEGO bricks?

Expand, create, invent: Edison robots work with LEGO bricks!

There are three types of holes on the side of Edison: pinholes, stud holes, and cross axle sockets. The three pin holes suit full depth pegs and the four stud holes suit shorter pegs. When Edison’s wheels are removed, LEGO cross axles can be inserted to create your own robotics inventions with motorised moving parts. Edison also has two sets of 2 by 8 LEGO brick connectors top and bottom, allowing them to be stacked together and built into other projects with LEGO bricks.

Please note that LEGO is a trade mark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this web site, or the Edison robot or accessories.

What is EdCreate?

The EdCreate Edison robot creator’s kit is a construction system consisting of 115 interlocking building blocks, pegs, gears, and other parts. The EdCreate system can be used with Edison robots to complete five EdBuild projects as well as a range of open-ended engineering, design and programming challenges.

Read more about what you can do with EdCreate at www.meetedison.com/edcreate/

Can the EdMat be laminated?

Edison’s activity mat (the EdMat) contains a number of barcodes you can use to get Edison up and running quickly. However a glossy lamination on the EdMat will upset Edison’s sensor and may cause errors, so the EdMat must be laminated with a matte finish.

What types of batteries can be used in Edison?

Edison takes four AAA batteries.

If using disposable batteries with Edison, only ever use alkaline batteries. (These are the most common AAA batteries you will find in just about any shop.) If you are using rechargeable batteries with Edison, only use nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries. Never use heavy-duty, super heavy-duty or carbon zinc batteries.

Always make sure the batteries are inserted correctly. You will find detailed pictures in our Getting started with Edison guide.

What coding languages can I program Edison in?

Edison can be programmed in multiple robotic programming languages:

  • EdBlocks, a drag-and-drop, fully graphical horizontal programming language for the Edison robot. 
  • EdScratch, a vertical block-based programming language for the Edison robot based on Scratch. 
  • EdPy, a python-like text-based programming language for the Edison robot. 

In addition, Edison comes preloaded with programs which are activated through special barcodes.

Where can I buy an Edison from?

Edison is available from right here on our website, we offer free shipping worldwide and have discounts built into our bulk rates.

Otherwise, check out our growing list of international stockists to find an Edison distributor near you!

 

How much is shipping?

Shipping costs vary depending on your order and country of delivery. Please see our international shipping page to get an approximate shipping cost estimate.

 

How long will shipping take?

Shipping times differ by country, customs, and local post services. Please see our international shipping page to get an approximate shipping time for your location.

 

What do I get with Edison?

Edison arrives fully assembled in box with a quick start guide printed on the box’s sides. An EdComm cable, the special cable used to download programs to Edison robots from any of the Edison robotics programming languages, is included. The Edcomm cable is shipped in the battery compartment of the Edison robot.

All Edison users also have access to all of our free resources, including:

 

 

Can I order Edison using a school purchase order?

 

We can currently accept purchase orders from schools in the USA and Australia. For more information please see our school orders page.

 

What remote controls work with Edison?

Edison is compatible with around 75% of TV and DVD remote controls. If one of your remotes doesn’t happen to work with Edison, try a different remote, preferably a different brand. Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive ‘universal remote’ and set it to be a Sony DVD remote control, which works well with the robots.

How much memory does Edison have?

 

Edison V2.0 has 5kB of usable space for user programs.

 

What happened to EdWare?

EdWare was the original language for the Edison robot. EdWare has since been retired, replaced by our three other languages: EdBlocks, EdScratch and EdPy. You can still access information about EdWare here.

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