Print this chapterPrint this chapter

Robotics-Mobile Robots (eBot, mBot)

eBot Software Setup


There are two essential and one optional software programs for eBot:

  1. eBot App (essential): our custom program which allows you to upload our custom firmware and test all of eBot's inputs and outputs.
  2. mBlock Scratch(essential): developed by Makeblock and based on Scratch offline 2 and allows Arduino based robots to be programmed in the Scratch environment and robots to interact with Scratch Animations.
  3. Arduino IDE(optional): Allows the programming of Arduino based robots (not required for beginners)

eBot Junior and eBot Pro will accept normal mBlock Scratch and Arduino code, however for our custom eBot Extensions to work in mBlock Scratch you will need to upload our firmware into eBot by using the "Upload Firmware" button in eBot App (see Video Guide below)- additionally- this will need to be done after a compiled Arduino-Scratch program has been put on the robot in order to work in "tethered" mode with the USB cable in mBlock Scratch (Note that if you upload the mBlock Scratch firmware into eBot then our eBot extensions for mBlock will not work, however, you could then program eBot as a standard Arduino UNO using the eBot Pin Configuration.

Note: please use this version of mBlock Scratch (v3.2.2) and DO NOT upgrade as our custom blocks won't work with newer versions just yet.

Files Explained:

 1. eBot App is a program for interfacing with eBot i.e. read all its sensors and control the motors, claws and LEDs etc.  You don't have to use eBot App but it just makes debugging very easy.

 2. eBot Junior mBlock Extensions and  eBot Pro mBlock Extensions are the programming blocks that go into mBlock Scratch so that you have a group of "eBot" programming blocks.

 3.  eBot Makeblock Program Files need to be installed into the Arduino directory of the Makeblock program for eBot program blocks to work and for you to use the simplified eBot script when writing code in Arduino IDE.

Download mBlock Scratch (Windows) unzip and install.

Download eBot File PackageUnzip package which contains all required eBot files separated into folders.

Install eBot Files into mBlock Scratch:

 In the unzipped eBot file package inside the "eBot Makeblock Program Files" folder there are 3 custom eBot files to install: eBotPro.cpp, eBot.h and eBotPro.h

 These must be copied to the source location of the Ardinio IDE inside the Makeblock installation- in a 64 bit system it most likely will be at -

 C:\Program Files (x86)\mBlock\Arduino\libraries\makeblock\src

 Put all three files there - it will be the same directory that has MemCore.h in (so you can always look for it...).

Install Custom eBot Extensions into mBlock Scratch:

In the unzipped eBot file package inside the "eBot Makeblock Extensions" folder there are "zip" files which are the scratch extension blocks.  Install your desired extensions into mBlock Scratch-  open mBlock program and go to "Extensions" then "Manage Extensions" then "Add Extension" ensuring that you select "zip file" not "json" as the file type- navigate to the where you saved the zip file of the eBot Extension Blocks and then "Open" - please ensure that you remove the old version of the extension before adding the newest version.  Close and reopen mBlock- the new custom eBot extensions will be available under the "Robot" tab.

Install eBot App:

In the unzipped eBot file package inside the "eBot App" folder is the latest version of eBot App (executable i.e. *.exe) and beside that is a folder called "firmware" which has our ebot firmware plus the program from the chip manufacturer to program the ebot.  You can move the whole "eBot App" folder to program files on c: drive if you wish but its not necessary as it will run from wherever you put it except a network drive perhaps. You could send a shortcut of eBot App to the desktop or add it to your program menu.