GLOBAL SITE AUSTRALIAN SITE

EdBlocks programming language

EdBlocks is a fully graphical robot programming language for the Edison robot that is super easy to use. A drag-and-drop block-based system, EdBlocks is intuitive and fun, even for younger users. Perfect for introducing anyone to programming, EdBlocks is ideal for students aged 8 to 12 years old.

EdBlocks programming environment

The online EdBlocks programming environment is simple to use on both computers and tablets. EdBlocks contains more than 150 blocks, making it easy to experiment with programming. All the blocks are accessible through the main menu, organised into five different categories. Simply open one of the menus by clicking on it in the app, then select the block you want. Drag and drop each block to the ‘start’ block in the main programming area to add it to your program. It’s that easy!

You can access EdBlocks online at www.edblocksapp.com

Resources

These free, downloadable resources can help you get the most out of EdBlocks.

EdBlocks lessons

 Lesson activity worksheets

The EdBlocks activity worksheets are designed to allow students to work through activities independently, gradually learning about both the Edison robot and EdBlocks. This set of lesson activities is perfect for students in year levels 3 to 6.

Download the EdBlocks lesson activities set (complete set)

 Teacher’s guide to EdBlocks

This guide offers teachers and instructors overviews, activity extensions and other supporting information for the EdBlocks lesson activities to help make teaching EdBlocks easy and fun. Each EdBlocks activity is included in this guide along with any relevant supporting information for that activity.

Download the teacher’s guide to EdBlocks

EdBlocks teachers guide

Curriculum linking guide

This resource serves as a guide as to how the EdBlocks lesson activities to link to standards and requirements in the Australian Curriculum (v8.3).

Download the EdBlocks curriculum linking guide

 

EdBlocks block guide

Need an offline reference to the blocks in EdBlocks? This guide includes images of the blocks in EdBlocks and the tooltip helper text for each block from the online application.

Download the EdBlocks block guide

EdBlocks programming projects with EdCreate

Give your students the opportunities to program solutions to real-world robotic challenges using EdBlocks and EdCreate, the Edison robot creator’s kit. Multiple programming challenges perfect for EdBlocks using the EdCreate EdBuilds are available in the EdCreate teaching guideOr unlock your student’s creativity and EdBlocks programming prowess with the EdCreate EdChallenges!

EdCreate build EdDigger

FAQ

Using EdBlocks
How do I access EdBlocks?
EdBlocks is available online at: https://www.edblocksapp.com/
How do I download a program to Edison?
Edison V3 computer
To download a program to Edison V3 from a computer, connect Edison’s USB cable to your computer’s USB-A port. Click on the ‘Program’ button in the top-right corner of the app. A new window will pop-up, select ‘Edison V3 – paired’ and click ‘connect’. The program will then download into Edison V3.

Edison V3 iPad
To download a program to Edison V3 from an iPad, click on the ‘Program’ button in the top-right corner of the app. A new window will pop-up. Place Edison V3 over the outline, press the round button one time and then click ‘Download program’. The round dot will flash your program code to Edison V3.

Edison V1/V2
To download a program to Edison V1/V2, first connect Edison to your computer or tablet via the EdComm cable. Make sure that the volume on your device is at maximum and all sound enhancements are disabled. Press the round button on Edison V1/V2 one time. Then click on the ‘program Edison’ button in the top-right corner of the app. A new window will pop-up. Follow the instructions on the window and click ‘program Edison’ on the new window. The program will then download into Edison. Remember to listen for the success sound before unplugging the EdComm cable to ensure the program fully downloads.

How do I run an EdBlocks program on Edison?
Once you have successfully downloaded a program to Edison and disconnected the programming cable, then you can run your program by pressing the play (triangle) button. This will immediately start your program.
How do I know what a block does?
Each block in EdBlocks has a tooltip with helper text. Hover your pointer over a block to see what it does. You can also see the full list of blocks here.
Where do I find more blocks?
EdBlocks contains more than 150 different blocks organised into five different menus: drive, outputs, wait until, control or start events. Open one of the menus by clicking on it in the app, then scroll left and right to see the items in that menu. Related blocks are grouped together inside each menu. Click on the arrow below a block to see the other blocks in that group.
What are the numbers under some of the blocks?
Blocks with a number under them allow for user input to control the block’s duration. The blocks that have a clock-face symbol allow users to input a time. You can change the time by clicking on the number and typing in your desired time in seconds, anything from 0.01 to 9999 (0.01 to 320 for Edison V1/V2).
Blocks with a number underneath but no clock-face symbol allow users to input the number of repetitions the block will perform. You can change the number by clicking on it and typing in your desired number of repetitions, anything from 0 to 9999 (0 to 320 for Edison V1/V2).
How do I save my EdBlocks programs?
To save a program to your computer go into ‘Menu’ and select the ‘Save to Computer’ option. A pop-up box will open where you can give your program a name. Once you have named your program, click the ‘Save to Computer’ button. Your program will then be downloaded as a file to your computer. You can find the program in your ‘downloads’ folder.  
How do I load an EdBlocks program?
To upload a saved file from your computer into EdBlocks, open the EdBlocks online application, go into ‘Menu’ and select the ‘Load from Computer’ option. A pop-up box will open. Follow the steps and select the EdBlocks file you want to load from your computer (EdBlocks for Edison V3 files have a file extension .edblocks, and EdBlocks for Edison V1/V2 files have a file extension .eeb). Once you have selected your file, click the ‘Load program’ button to upload and run the program in EdBlocks. 
How do I delete blocks?
Blocks can be deleted by dragging them to the bin in the lower right-hand corner of the EdBlocks app or by right clicking the block with your mouse and choosing the ‘delete block’ option.
How do I copy blocks?
Blocks can be copied by right clicking the block with your mouse and choosing the ‘duplicate’ option. You can also copy a block by clicking on it in the workspace and using keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C, then Ctrl+V.
How do I use the start events?
The ‘start events’ blocks allow a user to make a sub-program begin from a specific event while the main program is running. Perhaps the most advanced set of blocks in EdBlocks, these blocks emulate the coding idea of ‘interrupts.’ Start events allow users to vertically layer programs, with secondary programs interrupting the main program when the start event is triggered.
To use a start event, simply add it to the working space in the EdBlocks app and drag and drop program blocks after it, as you would the normal start block. The main start block cannot be removed, because that is the beginning of the main program. When you download your program to Edison, both the main program and the sub-program beginning with the new start event will download. When the play (triangle) button on Edison is pushed, Edison will run the main program. If the condition of the start event occurs, Edison will run the start event sub-program to completion, then return to the main program and continue the main program. This will happen whenever the conditions of the start event are met. If no blocks are attached to the main program, Edison will wait until the condition of the start event is met, then run the start event sub-program.
How do I use the coloured envelopes?
Edison robots can send and receive infrared messages to one another. In EdBlocks, the coloured envelopes are the blocks used for this messaging function. To use the messages, you will need at least two Edison robots. You will need to write a separate program for each robot. One robot will need to send one of the coloured messages out as a part of its program. The second robot will need to have a program that contains either a ‘wait until’ or ‘start event’ message block of the same colour. When the first robot’s program progress to the ‘send message’ block, it will send out an infrared message. This will trigger the second robot to begin or continue its program from the message block in the second robot’s program.
See activity 23 in the EdBlock lesson plans for an example activity using messages.
How do I use remote controls with EdBlocks?
To use a remote control with an Edison robot in Edblocks, select one of the remote control start event blocks. Use that block to create a sub-program and download it to Edison. Before you run the program, you will also need to scan the corresponding ‘TV/DVD remote control barcodes – programmable commands’. You can find the full list of the barcodes and further details about using these barcodes on the barcodes page.
Once you have scanned the correct barcode and downloaded the program, you can run it like a standard start event sub program.
Troubleshooting in EdBlocks
Why isn’t Edison playing music?
If you have a V1 Edison, you will need to update your Edison’s firmware to be able to make your Edison compatible with the music components in EdBlocks. Please follow the steps on our firmware update page to make sure your Edison is updated.
Why isn’t my program downloading?

Edison V3 computer
Edison V3 and EdBlocks use a special feature found in the Chrome and Edge browsers called WebUSB that allow Edison V3 to be programmed via USB. This means that browsers such as Firefox and Safari will not allow Edison V3 to be programmed via USB. We recommend the Chrome browser for use with EdBlocks, which can be downloaded for free here: https://www.google.com/chrome/

Edison V3 iPad
When programming Edison V3 using an iPad it is important to check the following:
– The Edison V3 is aligned to the outline displayed on the screen
– Move away from any bright sources of light, especially sunlight
– Ensure you have up to date firmware in your Edison V3 (update via computers only)
– Ensure the battery in the iPad is well charged as features such as power saver mode can reduce screen brightness
Different models of iPads have different screen resolutions, brightnesses and responsiveness. If you are unable program Edison V3, then experiment with the following:
– Adjust the download speed. Usually slower is more reliable, but it is worth experimenting
– Adjust the screen brightness to between 80% and 90%, but again it is worth experimenting and testing above and below that range

Edison V1/2
Depending on the type of computing device you have, there are a few different things that can cause problems downloading programs with Edison V1/V2 and EdBlocks. Make sure your programming device is set up to work with EdBlocks. Follow the step-by-step guide on setting up your device for EdBlocks beginning on page 5 of the Getting started guide.

You can also find additional troubleshooting help in our online troubleshooting guide.

Also, please note that when many users in a single location, like in a classroom, are downloading programs at the same time, you may experience slower internet speeds. This can cause the program to take longer to generate the ‘program Edison’ pop-up box and for the program to download to Edison V1/V2. With a very slow connection, you may need to try again. Press the stop (square) button on Edison, then press the record (round) button one time. Restart the download by clicking on the ‘Program’ button in the top-right corner of the app. 

About EdBlocks
What kind of language is EdBlocks?
A drag-and-drop block-based system, EdBlocks has been developed using the Scratch Blocks code base developed by the MIT Media Lab from the Blockly code base developed by Google.
What age user is EdBlocks for?
The fun, colourful, intuitive design of EdBlocks makes it a great tool for introducing coding to anyone no matter their age. EdBlocks was created specifically for younger users and is ideal for students aged 7-12 years old. Free, downloadable lessons targeted to students in grade levels 3-6 are also available.
Which browsers are compatible with EdBlocks?
Edison V3 computer
Chrome, Edge and Opera

Edison V3 iPad
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera

Edison V1/2
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera

What do the different blocks in EdBlocks do?
EdBlocks contains more than 150 different blocks. In the app, each block has tooltip helper text. Hover over a block to access the tooltip. You can also see the full list of blocks here. All of the blocks are grouped by type and then organised into one of five different categories: drive, outputs, wait until, control or start events.

 

 

Drive

The drive blocks allow a user to control how Edison moves. The basic four blocks in this section allow users to select the direction and determine the duration of Edison’s ‘drive’ abilities by changing the time input. Other drive blocks utilise Edison’s built-in sensors to control the drive behaviours. Users can also use drive blocks to control Edison’s speed and pause the drive motors.

Outputs

The output category contains the different non-drive outputs Edison can create. There are three main groups in this category: lights, sound, and outbound messages. Lights include turning Edison’s lights on or off, individually or together. Sounds include a simple beep, a range of musical notes and the ability to control the pace at which the notes are played. Outbound messages allow an Edison to send one of six infrared messages out to other Edison robots.

Wait Until

All of the ‘wait until’ blocks tell Edison to wait for something to happen before continuing on with the program. These blocks allow users to create longer and more complex programs. Many of the ‘wait until’ blocks utilise Edison’s sensors while others allow for external inputs to change the program, such as having one of the robot’s buttons pushed or hearing a loud clap. Another group of ‘wait until’ blocks instructs the Edison to wait until it receives one of the six infrared messages before continuing with its program.

Control

This category contains blocks which allow additional controls, such as loops, to be added to a program. These blocks offer additional ways to create more complex programs. Loops, which make up the majority of the control blocks, enable Edison to repeat elements of a program infinitely, a set number of times or until something happens, such as a button is pressed.

Start Events

The ‘start events’ blocks allow a user to make a sub-program begin from a specific event while the main program is running. Perhaps the most advanced set of blocks in EdBlocks, these blocks emulate the coding idea of ‘interrupts.’ Start events let users tap into even more of Edison’s abilities, including being controlled by remote controls. Start events also allow users to vertically layer programs, with secondary programs interrupting the main program when the start event is triggered.

Is there an EdBlocks iOS/Android app?
You can use EdBlocks through the online app at https://www.edblocksapp.com/ with devices running either iOS or Android. Dedicated iOS and Android apps for EdBlocks are being considered but are not currently in development. Please be sure to sign up to our newsletter to be informed about future app releases.
Is there an offline version of EdBlocks?
At this time, there is no offline or downloadable version of EdBlocks in development. As such, you do require an internet connection to use EdBlocks.
EdBlocks requires the code you program in the environment to be compiled to be downloaded into the Edison robot. To ensure the compiler works correctly across all platforms and keep costs such that we can deliver EdBlocks at no charge, delivering through an online solution is the best option for EdBlocks. This online solution also enables us to ensure that we are able to provide updates and improvements into the live system for all users on an ongoing basis.

Additional resources

Looking for more ideas on what to teach with EdBlocks? Check out these articles:

 

EdBlocks resources translation kit

Looking to translate the EdBlocks resources into another language? Download the translation kit to get the editable files you will need.

 

XMs Ed

Are you an educator?

Take advantage of our special classroom set discounts.

Click here to get a quote!
Ms Ed
  • Keep up with Edison

    Sign up for our newsletter to get all things Edison delivered straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Heads up

The Australian Federal Parliament has passed a law that extends goods and services tax (GST) to low value imports of physical goods imported by consumers from 1 July 2018.

This means that all customers purchasing Edison robots and accessories with an Australian shipping address must now pay GST. The GST will be automatically added to your purchase and show as a line item on your invoice.

We've detected that you are in Australia, so we wanted to let you know that we have changed your settings to view our Australian site, which displays GST inclusive pricing.

You can change back to the GLOBAL SITE at any time using the link in the top left of the page.

OK got it!    Take me to the GLOBAL SITE instead