Here at Edison HQ, we love these little programmable robots. Edison is so much more than ‘just a robot’ to us: it’s a complete STEM teaching resource for coding and robotics education designed to open up incredible opportunities for learning and exploring.
Yeah, we’re a bit biased. But we aren’t alone.
Many different educators, STEAM specialists, parents and even Forbes have all reviewed and fallen in love with Edison. Edison is powerful, versatile, expandable and fun all while able to deliver valuable education to kids aged 4 to 16 years old. Edison is sure to become one of the most valuable tools in your STEM arsenal and all the robot requires in return is a little bit of TLC.
If you treat Edison to the same level of set-up and care you would give any other science tool, you are sure to be successful with Edison every time.
Edison is awesome! But you are even better
Edison, like all robots, is just a tool. And, like most tools, robots are actually kind of dumb. Your little Edison cannot think for itself, it can’t ensure its batteries are in the right way or that the volume on your computer is turned all the way up – Edison needs you to be the smart one in the relationship.
Think of it this way: Edison is no smarter than a microscope. In fact, Edison has a lot in common with a microscope.
Both are devices we use to teach, learn and explore new ideas. Both need to be treated with care and require a bit of preparation to ensure you get the most out of them. Just as you need to clean a microscope’s lens and calibrate its magnification settings, Edison requires a bit of initial set up and on-going care. It’s no surprise that the microscope needs you, the human, to be in charge. Edison is just the same.
Get the initial set-up done right
As far as getting a powerful robotics tool ready to use, setting up Edison is super easy to do. There are only two main steps:
- Get your Edison robot ready
- Get your programming device ready
Step-by-step instructions walking you through what to do are detailed in our Getting started with Edison guide, which provides all you need to know to get Edison and your computer or tablet set up. You can also use the set up for success checklist as a quick reference.
The most critical things to know are:
- Use the right batteries and make sure they are inserted correctly.
- Make sure your device’s volume is turned all the way up, especially once the EdComm cable is connected.
- Run a test program in the coding language you will be using to make sure everything is working.
Investing a bit of time into correctly setting up Edison at the beginning will help you avoid the most common pitfalls from the start, making your exploration with Edison all the better that much sooner.
Get to know your Edison
Understanding your robot’s sensors and functionality really allows you to create an incredible range of robotics and coding projects. That’s why to get the most out of Edison, you need to know where all of Edison’s sensors are located and become familiar with the robot’s three buttons.
All of the lesson plans for Edison’s multiple robotic programming languages start with an introduction and overview of the Edison robot. Further details can also be found in the Getting started with Edison guide.
No matter their age, we highly recommend you spend the time to get your students familiar with Edison as well. When students are comfortable with Edison’s sensor placements and capabilities, the three buttons and how to download programs, they are far more successful with everything that comes next.
Once you have Edison set up and are familiar with the robot, you are ready to embark on an amazing journey into coding and robotics. Give Edison just a bit of ongoing love with these simple tricks to keep Edison in great shape and this little robot is sure to win you over for good.
Be sure to download the free Getting started with Edison guide and checklist for even more great advice.
I will be using Edison for the first time this year. I was “playing” around with him programming him to “walk” around my room, avoiding the blue tiles on the floor and I noticed that he does not stay forward for a very long time. I actually had to give him a nudge to straighten him up. Could this be caused by dirt on floor?
Sounds like an interesting programming task!
Our customer support team will be happy to try to help you, but will likely need a bit more information to do so. If you can please fill in the form at https://meetedison.com/edison-robot-support/contact-us/ one of our friendly support team members will get back to you!
Hi just Wondering if you could help me program my Edison. I’d like to run an activity like the one on youtube that detects white tape on a black serface ( simulator for radioactive drums to dig up) not sure what he does when pressing play twice? Thank you
To run an activity like the one you are describing, remember that whenever you are using Edison’s line tracking sensor, always start Edison on the white surface, not the black surface. You need to do this because of how Edison’s line tracking works. Edison’s line tracking sensor uses reflected light readings to find the difference between white and black surfaces. Edison takes an initial reading of reflected light against the surface the robot starts on. Edison then uses this reading as the reading of a reflective surface – it equates this as the brightest thing it will see. Edison then looks for a sharp drop-off in the reflected light readings it receives. The robot equates that sharp drop-off as being the non-reflective surface.
To get the robot to detect white on a black surface, you also need to start your program on a white surface. Put Edison on a piece of white paper before you run your program so that when you first start your program the robot can set the ‘reflective’ value. Your program should then have Edison wait until you do something, like press one of Edison’s buttons, to move on to the rest of the program and start looking for ‘white’. You will be able to use this time to move Edison from the white paper to the black surface of your test area. Hope this helps!
I am having trouble getting Edison to do the stay in boundaries or follow a line unless I remove the skid. I have looked everywhere in the lessons and pdfs and the only information I can find about the skids is it says something like, “For most of the activities, the skid will stay on,” but I cannot find which activities require the skid to be removed. Are the Demos to stay on a line and stay inside boundaries supposed to work with the skid in place? Mine do not work unless the skid is removed. Thanks!
That’s a very unusual problem you are experiencing. In fact, removing the skid can often make it more difficult for the Edison robot to find and respond to lines or read barcodes! It sounds like there is another factor behind your trouble, like an external light that is making the surface very reflective (and, in turn, making it hard for Edison to find the lines). That would explain why removing the skid is helping: it results in Edison’s line tracker being right on the paper, reducing the glare. Try running a ‘follow a line’ program with the skid in and the lights off or in a different room to see if that works. If changing the external light doesn’t solve the problem, then I recommend you reach out to our Technical Support team at https://meetedison.com/edison-robot-support/contact-us/ and they will be able to work with you to test what else could be the issue!
As far as removing the skid goes, you are right that almost all the activities in our educational resources leave the skid in. You really only need to take the skid out for some building activities using Edison, such as connecting the top Edison to the bottom Edison in the EdTank: https://meetedison.com/edcreate/ I hope that helps!
I am having problems programming Edison in bar code mode.
Specifically the robot does not always roll over the code when the program button is depressed three times. Sometimes it does not move at all, other time in it takes off at an angle to the bar code and sometimes it just spins in place.
I have tried shutting off the robot as well as pushing the stop button. Sometimes this works sometime it doesn’t.
The other issue is that even when the robot rolls over the bar code and stops (apparently a sucessful load) the new program does not always load and the start button appears to run one of the previously loaded programs.
What are we doing wrong?
Is it possible to adjust the volume od the “speaker”. Our robots are very quiet.
Marc & Malakie
Hi Marc & Malakie,
I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble with the robots. From your description, it does sound like one or more of the batteries may be dead or low. That is the first thing I recommend you check. You can find additional troubleshooting tips for the barcodes here: https://meetedison.com/barcodes/ or reach out to our support team at https://meetedison.com/edison-robot-support/contact-us/ and one of our friendly Support Officers will be happy to help work through the issues with you.
As to adjusting the volume output on the speaker, I’m afraid that it is not adjustable. However, if the batteries are low, that might be causing the robot’s output to be more quiet than usual.
i press download and it makes the buzzing noise but no success or fail beep
Hi Tyler, we’re sorry to hear you’re having some issues getting Edison to download a program.
Feel free to get in touch with our technical support team at https://meetedison.com/edison-robot-support/contact-us/ so they can further assist!