It is great to see that the little Edison robots are getting some software love. In the not too distant future, they’ll have yet another form of programmability. Currently, there are three ways that they can be programmed:
- They can be driven across pre-printed bar codes, which select from built-in algorithms like robot Sumo, line following or light seeking;
- They can be programmed from any device using the EdWare graphical programming software; and
- They can also be programmed in Python using the use the EdPy web app.
Some time in the next few weeks, though, this programming menu will be extended by one, when Edison also gets its own block based programming app. EdBlocks is its name, and it is specifically aimed at younger users. I was pleased to see, too, that the firmware enhancements that had previously been applied only to version 2 of the robot were also going to be made available for version 1. This was potentially great news, as it meant that I could use EdPy with all my Edisons.
So off I went to the web site to upgrade my three V1 Edisons that have been a bit neglected since the V2s came out. Sadly, though it wasn’t to be. The first part of the upgrade asks you to type in the serial number of the robot, and when I did, I was told that actually these particular Edisons weren’t compatible with the upgrades after all. Ho hum, never mind.
Overall, though, having this many programming choices for a robot that basically costs £30 is brilliant. Maybe I’ll go and spend that 10% off voucher I got when I tried the upgrade after all.