Physical Etoys

Physical Etoys is a visual programming tool that connects the virtual world of computers with the real world in which we live in. With Physical Etoys you can easily program real world objects (such as robots) to perform interesting tasks, or you can sense the world and use that information to control virtual objects (such as drawings on the screen).

Everything is just as easy as grabbing some tiles representing instructions and assembling a script. No need for programming skills, just use the mouse and explore the system and its possibilities!

Physical Etoys is actually an “extension” to Etoys: a media-rich authoring environment and visual programming system made by the very same people who created Smalltalk. We believe Etoys is a wonderful software that helps children explore their own creativity in fun and educational ways, so we wanted to give Etoys the possibility to interact with real world objects such as robotic kits and innovative joysticks. Feel free to learn more about Etoys, it’s open, it’s free, and it’s really fun!

Supported hardware

  1. Arduino, an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board.
  2. Nintendo Wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console.
  3. Parallel port, a type of interface for connecting various peripherals to the computer.
  4. RoboSapien v2, a toy-like biomorphic robot.
  5. Roboquad, a 4-legged robot that somewhat resembles a spider and a dog.
  6. I-Sobot, the world’s smallest humanoid robot in production.
  7. Lego Mindstorms Nxt, a programmable robotics kit released by Lego.

Can Math Help in LEGO Robotics Competitions?


But what exactly is success in a world of gameboards and gracious professionalism? Is the highest scorer really the biggest winner? What do students actually gain through their participation? How does it happen? And so, how should the enlightened coach choose from the multitude of competition strategies that lie open as the new season dawns?

New nxt-G book for teachers

The Art of LEGO MINDSTORMS-G Programming by Terry Griffin

The LEGO® MINDSTORMS® software and its NXT-G programming language are powerful tools that make it easy to write custom programs for your robots. NXT-G is a great first programming language, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to understand—at least not right away.

In The Art of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT-G Programming, author and experienced software engineer Terry Griffin explains how to program MINDSTORMS robots with NXT-G. You’ll learn how to work with the core parts of the NXT-G language, such as blocks, data wires, files, and variables, and see how these pieces can work together. You’ll also learn good programming practices, bad habits to avoid, and useful debugging strategies.