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Learning Math/CS/Engineering Design with Robotics

Release Notes

Decembe 2, 2023

  • Changed the Robot setting user interface to allow the user to add up to 12 robots and/or 6 OmniBots.

October 26, 2023

  • Added new curriculum on Engineering Design with Linkbots.
  • Added pre-defined comments in the grading module of the Learning Management System (e.g., "Nice work", "Your program needs more detail", etc.) for teachers to use when adding comments to students' submitted activities.
  • Added an "Uncollapse All" button to the Assignments page to go along with the "Collapse All" button.
  • Added the capability to monitor variable values while a program is running. See this lesson for details.
  • The Settings section and Robot section below the Grid area now can be toggled back and forth--only one will be open at any one time.
  • The labels for the "Initial Position" and "Initial Angle" of a robot in the Robot section have been changed to "Starting Position" and "Starting Angle." In addition, arrow icons now appear with "Starting Position" and "Current Position" when Simple View is selected (left arrow indicating x values, up arrow indicating y values).
  • Added a toggle button above the Grid to hide (or open) the Grid section and give more screen space to the Workspace.
  • Added a "4-unit" button in the Settings section to quickly change the Grid hash marks to multiples of 4.
  • Added a 5-minute sign-out warning message, with option to extend session for 45 minutes.
  • Enlarged the size of Symbol code blocks to make it easier for younger students to drag and drop, especially when using tablets.
  • Links to all relevant png files that are part of a student submission are now available in the instructor's grading system.
  • Added student email addresses and letter grades to the downloaded spreadsheet file for instructors.
  • Updated the icons and categories for lessons and activities (see legend on the Portal page), including removal of the "R" (Robotics) category (covered by the "H" (Hardware needed) category). 
  • Added holdJoint and relaxJoint code blocks to the menu of Hardware blocks.
  • Added openGripperNB/closeGripperNB and gripperWait code blocks to Hardware menu.

July 7, 2023

  • New Favorites menu added enabling a user to customize quick-access links to most-used RoboBlocky pages. For more information, see Section 20 of the Additional Features of RoboBlocky lesson  (and further information for instructors here).
  • To access any individual course within the Mathematics with Robotics curriculum or Computer Science with Robotics curriculum, go to the Curriculum page and click on the image for the desired grade level course.

June 21, 2023

  • The OmniBot is available (see this video of the OmniBot in action)! Barobo's new OmniBot Pack turns two Linkbots into a 4-wheeled OmniBot that can move in all directions--forwards, backwards, sideways, and diagonally! The Pen Connector and Pen Adapter add drawing capabilities to the OmniBot with endless possibilities for creating beautiful artwork using nearly any off-the-shelf markers and pencils. Full OmniBot curriculum is available for both Grades K-2 and Grades 3-12.

June 16, 2023

  • Code blocks for APCSP list operations added.
  • New robot model for APCSP robot and background for APCSP robot activity mat added.
  • Code blocks and curriculum added for OmniBot robot for Grades K-2 and 3-12.

October 8, 2022

  • Teachers can now specify the startup grid settings and Workspace blocks when creating a project as an assignment for students.
  • Blocks for image processing have been updated and added, such as dilate() and dilatexy().
  • More blocks have been added for middle school and high school math, such as for calculating linear equations in slope-intercept form.

August 22, 2022

  • "RoboBlockly" is now "RoboBlocky" (dropped the second "L") at (Loading the old version will automatically redirect to the new version.)
  • Linkbot Labs version 3.7 released, available on the Download page
  • More explicit data types for variables have been added for variable blocks
  • More Math blocks have been added for algebra and geometry, such as for calculating distances and midpoints
  • More Drawing blocks have been added for creating legends and drawing math expressions, inverses, and arrows
  • A Robot block that enables hardware Linkbots to drive in a smooth arc has been added (driveArc())
  • The Math curricula for Math 7, Math 8, Algebra 1, and Integrated Math 1 have been updated
  • The Learning Management System has been updated to make the Stop All, Mute, Set View, and Response features more robust
  • LaTeX capabilities have been enhanced for rendering mathematical expressions

May 18, 2022

  • Realeased "Ch in the Cloud" as an add-on to the regular RoboBlocky instructor license
  • The Ch in the Cloud features allow students to write, edit, and run text-based Ch programs within RoboBlocky without having to use the stand-alone ChIDE software (although that's also still possible to do)
  • In addition to all the standard mathematical and analytical operations possible with C programming, Ch code run within RoboBlocky has extensive graphing and visualization capabilities and can control hardware Linkbot robots and Arduino boards for physical computing

January 3, 2022

  • Added RoboTown Activity Mat and related backgrounds. 
  • Added Geometry Activity Mat and related backgrounds
  • Added Dive robot models and images.
  • Added Diving Pool

December 7, 2021

  • The latest homework assigned based on the due date appears at the top in Assignment. 
  • The homework assignments can be expanded or collapsed by instructors for their homework assignment in instructor's view.
  • The homework assignments can be expanded or collapsed by student themselves.
  • The appended lessons and activities for homework assignment will appear at the top in Assignment in LMS.
  •  The assigned homework is in green color in LMS.
  • The fill-out box for questions in homework assignments can be enlarged.
  • There are scroll bars at both top and bottom for Grade page in LMS.

November 28, 2021

  • Release free Hour of Robot curriculum for different grade levels from kindergarten to high school

November 21, 2021

  • traceOpacity(0.5) added to change the opacity of  robot traced colors.

October 31, 2021

  • Assign lessons and activities to All Periods at once
  • Co-Instructors can separately enable or disable the notification of late homework submission for a class for themselves.

October 25, 2021

  • Added Developer's Guide
  • Added Questions button in Lessons
  • Added Instructor's email domain and student domain for an organization

October 3, 2021

  • Added blocks for blinking a sequence of LED colors: blockLEDColors(), blocksLEDColorsNB()

September 22, 2021 Recent Updates and Additions

  • Added new blocks left/right/up/down blocks for Word style
  • A new UCOP A-G Approved C-STEM course on Computer Science with Robotics (approved for D science credit) has been added to the Computer Science with Robotics Prime Curriculum for Grades 9-12. The older Computing with Robotics course will be phased out.
  • A new UCOP A-G Approved C-STEM course on Math Lab with Coding and Robotics (approved for C math credit) has been added to the Mathematics with Robotics Prime Curriculum for Grades 9-12.
  • The “say”, “think”, "speak", "voice", and "language" blocks available in the Robot block menus to add conversation or thinking bubbles, and voice in different languages to robots—great for storytelling activities!
  • The "size" and "change size by" blocks added to the Robot block menus, allowing for dynamic and precise control of the size of the robot model
  • "Robot" button below the grid gives separate, quick access to the Robot settings
  • Visual slider indicators make it easy to set the initial position and angle of a robot on the grid (in the Robot settings section)
  • "Ch Shell" button provides a pop-up window that enables quick testing of C expressions and statements, demos of order of math operations, and numeric calculations (for authorized instructors and their students)
  • Run C code directly from RoboBlocky (“in the cloud”) using the “Edit C” pop-up window (requires Ch license)
  • Online Instructor’s Guide now available

 March 8, 2021 Recent Updates and Additions

  • The Kindergarten Math curriculum now has over 500 activities.
  • Activities that prompt the student for input or an answer are now indicated by a "P" icon next to the activity title.
  • The student view of assignments automatically lists them in order by due date, with the newest at the top. 
  • It's now easier to copy an assignment from one class or class period to another one, using the "Copy" button on the far right of the assignment list (underneath the "Edit" button). 
  • The x range and y range for the RoboBlocky grid can now be specified independently in the Settings section, which is especially useful for plotting activities.
  • A Curriculum quick access pull-down menu has been added to the right side of the navigation bar.
  • And the Arduino curriculum has a new unit using a virtual simulation of an Arduino with LED module (no hardware needed).

August 17, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Replaced "Simple View|Full View" button by  a checkbox for  Simple View inside Settings
  • Replaced "Large View|Small View" button by "Grid Size" with radio buttons for S, M, and L inside Settings.
  • Added new blocks for math functions sum(), mean(), median(), std(), lcm(), gcd(), gcf(), hypot(), 
  • Added array function multiples()
  • Added plotting function expr()
  • Added "print with newline" block in Text menu
  • Added xy-axes for both grid() and coordinate() blocks in Board->Setting menu
  • Removed "Track Width" in Robot Setting 
  • Added many new backgrounds, robot models, and images

August 2, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Swapped the displayed "Large Grid" with "Small Grid"
  • Swapped "Simple View" with "Full View"
  • Added new blocks: flipModel(), directxy(), directxyNB(), direction()
  • Use diffrent icon colors for non-hardware related blocks in Robot menu
  • Reorganize the sequence of blocks in Robot menu
  • Added  several new backgrounds including different streets and roads
  • Added several new robot models including running and walking persons
  • Added the following new features in Robot menu for Pre-Board and Post-Board
    •     set robot initial x|y|angle
    •     set robot speed
    •     set robot size
    •     set robot model
    •     flio robot model
    •     robot direction
    •     get robot drive num
    •     get robot x|y|angle
    •     get robot final x|y|angle
    •     get final time

July 24, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Added MinView
  • Added Set View for setting MinView and Simple View for a class
  • Changed Board to Pre-Board
  • Added Post Board for post processing
  • The x and y axes will have tick marks for large grids if grid lines are not displayed.
  • Added "Ruler" option in Settings

July 17, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Both teachers and their students can create lessons and activities
  • Added "Run Only" View option
  • added new playNote() using music notes
  • added melodyNB(), melodyWait(),  blinkLEDNB(), blinkWait(), driveNB(), driveWait()

July 9, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Fully support Board Activity in Create/Edit Activity and Save Files in both Workspace and Board workspace. The colors for Solution and Load buttons for Board Activity are different from those for Activity.
  • Increased the PDF, animated GIF, backgorund PNG  file size limit to 6 MB 
  • Increased MP4 video file size to 10 MB
  • Guest account can access Instructor Info

July 5, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Add Video Tutorials on How to Use RoboBlocky
  • Added  clickable cover.png inside the popup window when the icon (i) for Info ss clicked.
  • Added the feature for easily add math symbols for lessons and activities.
  • Added Teacher's Notes for classes

June 25, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Changed "New Program" to "Project" in Assignment.
  • Added cover.png inside the popup window when the icon (i) for Info s clicked. Added the feature for easily add math symbols for lessons and activities Added Teacher's Notes for classes
  • Changed "User Input" to "Question" in Assignmnet.
  • Students can sign-in using their Clever student account.
  • For an assignment of Project, the project statement will be loaded in the Activity Statement area when the student click "Project" to complete their homework assignment.
  • Instructor can add and save Answer for Question homework assignment, and use it for grading assignment.

June 22, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Share assignments with other teachers
  • Copy assnignments from one section to another section
  • Added icon (a) for activities with answers
  • In Search page, able to searh activities based on lesson/activity ID
  • The Id in Info(i) icon is clickable.
  • The result of search page can copy lessons
  • A New Program in assignment for instructor's Class is clickable, the same as for students'' class.
  • Fixed an issue for messageBox() wit the script code.
  • Instructors can create and save activities in My Saved Activities/Lesson and use them for homework assignment
  • Use separate pull-down menus for Edit Lessons/Activities and Copy lessons/Activities
  • Click Run in grading homework assignment will not be prompted for merging the loaded blocks with the existing blocks.

June 18, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • The instructor will receive a notification when a student in the class submits a late homework.
  • Instructor can easily find out if a student's homework has been graded, resubmitted, not graded, or not submitted.
  • A homework can be assigned to multiple student groups at the same time.
  • A homework can be opened or closed at a preset time.
  • When a homework is submitted for New Problem, roboblockly.png is also submitted.
  • Click a student's name, all homework for this student will be displayed.
  • June 14, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Updated curriculum Robotics 2 and C
  • oding 2 significantly.
  • Added Chapter titles for curriculum Robotics 2 and Coding 2.
  • Multiple activities can be added in a single homework problem with the sequence specified by the instructor.
  • There are five types of homework assignment to include My Saved Lessons and Activities.
  • Added description for each entry in Create/Edit page for Lessons and Activities, accessible through the icon (?)
  • Added different background color for lessons in Create Assignmnet and Assignment pages.  

June 5, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Added table() and tableArray() blocks in Drawing menu.
  • Modify the text() block in Drawing menu. Added the 2nd argument with the values of LEFT, CENTER, and RIGHT for the x position.  By default, the value is LEFT. The y position is for the center of the height, rather than for the bottom of the height.
  • Instructor can give comments to students for  submitted homework assignments before assigning points.
  • All lessons are marked "Yes" for Automatic Grading in info(i).
  • Use the default color #F0F0F0 for tick lines and labels in Lines setting.

June 2, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Added Lesson pages in addition to Activity pages with different layout. In a lesson page, examples with blockly code are optional. The color of the background of lessons are different from that for activities. Both Lessons and Activities share the same id sequence.

May 28, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Instructor can see his/her students' sign-in time in the past seven days.
  • LMS: Homework not assigned will not display in grade management page.

May 24, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Grid lines and coordinates for x and y axes can be separately controlled. The x-y coordinates can be setup with tick marks on x and y axes only and independently.
  • Added Setting menu in Board with  coordinate, coordinate label, grid line, quadrant, unit blocks.
  • Added promptAnswerCheckbox block in Text menu. Multiple solutions in multiple newlines can be added in Create/Edti page.
  • Changed the defualt font size for x and y axes lablels from 15px to 13px.
  • Added new clock backgrounds and images.
  • Change the default values for (x, y) for show image blocks from (0, 0) to (5, 6).
  • Show image blocks can specify the height of image for display. 
  • Show image blocks can specify the location (x, y) for the center or four different corners of the image. A sample Ch code for show image is image.showHeightWidth(IMAGE_CENTER, x, y, height).
  • Click the curriculum link inside info(i) for an activity will go to the curriculum page, rather than lauch the activity.

May 16, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • The top menu buttons are rearranged. Moved some original buttons on the top right to the footer.
  • Some reduandant links in three-bar pull-down menu are removed.
  • Added pull-down menu for the user to update profile, change password, and sign-out.
  • The buttons of gray color are changed to a different color after the user sign-in.
  • The Large Grid is smaller than before so that it is useful for small screens.
  • The "Default" setting uses the 1st quadrant, instead of 4 quadrants. The initial positon of the robot is changed to the first hash line instead of the origin.
  • The Background button is added and information are rearranged.
  • The Settings button is added, for both Simple View and Full View.
  • The locations for blocks and board blocks are automatically adjusted to the upper left corner of the workspace.
  • By default, when the user first time go to the web site, it will use "Simple View", "Symbol" for Robot block type, 36x36 grid in the 1st quadrant, "Settings" is closed.
  • Learning Management System (LMS): The button "Grade" in Assignment links to the page for grading all students, instead of one at a time.

May 14, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • The "New Problem" button uses a different color.

May 6, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Icons have been added for Save File, Load Blocks, and Load Board menus.
  • The saved files roboblockly.xml,, roboblockly.png, board.xmlb, will be appended with the activity number if it is related to an activity, such as roboblocklyA3.xml.  If roboBlocklyA3.xml exits, a number will be appended such as roboblocklyA3_1.xml.

May 4, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Blocks in an XML file in RoboBlockly cloud can be loaded through "Load Blocks" menu. Therefore, users can save programs for activities in development. Students can submited saved programs in homework assignment later. 
  • Board in an XMLB file in RoboBlockly cloud can be loaded through "Load Board" menu. Therefore, users can save programs in cloud. 

April 30, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Info(i) added for each activity in assignments in My Classes for both instructors and their students.
  • Added messageBox() blocks in Text menu
  • Added an interactive tutorial "Calculate Math Expressions" in interactive tutorials.
  • Added getClickPosition() and getClickPositionInteger() blocks in Text menu to get the user's input.
  • The position of blocks in workspace is automatically adjusted.

April 23, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Students can sign-in using Microsoft Class accounts in their classes.
  • Updated existing interactive tutorials
  • Added new interactive tutorials (Save Files in Cloud, Use Images, Print Text to Console, Use Arrays)
  • Instructors can generate a URL for students to sign-in their classes using Google Class accounts.
  • Background color for Not-Assigned homework assignments changed.

April 13, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Added "Example Code" button for instructors to view sample Ch solution code for activities that have multiple possible solutions and/or use randomly generated numeric values.

April 8, 2020 Updates and Additions

  • Many new robotics, coding, and math activities, bringing the total number of built-in activities to over 1,000

  • Curriculum includes:
    • Coding Level 1 and Level 2
    • Robotics Levels 1A, 1B, and 2
    • Math from Kindergarten through Algebra I/Integrated Math 
    • Arduino and Robot Sensors with LArduino
    • Hour of Code activities for different grade levels
    • AP Computer Science Principles
    • Art, Animation, and Music
  • An instructor option to give students the ability to sign in with a Google school account
  • Placed Free Curriculum and Prime Curriculum in a single Curriculum page
  • Students enrolled in a teacher's class have full access to the Prime Curriculum
  • More than 50 new robot models for onscreen virtual robots, such as animals and vehicles, for more creative simulations
  • New image processing features for creating more dynamic drawings and animations
  • An Instructor’s Guide for Getting Started with Prime Curriculum on Robotics, Coding, and Math
  • All students in a class using RoboBlockly now have full access to the curriculum, and can get going with the Student’s Guide for Getting Started with Prime Curriculum on Robotics, Coding, and Math
  • A User's Guide for Getting Started with Free Curriculum on Robotics, Coding, amd Math
  • Improvements in the Learning Management System for instructors, including the ability to release solutions to students for each assignment
  • Updates to course templates for Robotics 1A, Robotics 1B, Robotics 2, Coding 1, and Coding 2
  • Simplified activity instructions including a Read-to-Me audio feature, where RoboBlockly can read a problem statement and hint to a student, especially helpful for younger students and English language learners
  • New nature-scene backgrounds for use with new robot models
  • New array code blocks for working with data sets and plotting
  • Improved print text handling for creating output similar to Ch via a Console pane