Program mBot Neo/mBot2 with mBlock 5 on Your PC

This page describes how to write a simple obstacle avoidance program for mBot2 with the mBlock 5 client on your PC.

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1. Preparation

Before you start, make sure that you've got:

  • A computer

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  • mBot Neo/mBot2

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If you haven't completed the building of mBot2, refer to Build mBot Neo/mBot2 to build it first.

 

2. Download and install mBlock 5 on your PC

(Skip this step if you have already downloaded and installed mBlock 5 on your PC.)

(1) Go to https://mblock.makeblock.com/en-us/download/ to download mBlock 5 to a local disk.

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Download the version compatible to the system running on your PC.

(2) Double-click the software you've downloaded to install it.

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Click Yes when the system asks you "Do you want to aloow this app to make changes to your device?" and click to install drivers if prompted.

3. Connect mBot2 to mBlock 5

(1) Double-click the mBlock 5 icon on your PC to open it.

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(2) Use a Micro USB cable (Type-C) to connect mBot2 to your PC, and power on mBot2.

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(3) Click + add on the Devices tab, select CyberPi in the device library, and click OK.

Note: mBlock 5 displays the most frequently used device by default, and you can neglect it or delect it before adding a device.

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(4) Click Connect to connect CyberPi to mBlock 5.

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4. Add the extensions required in the obstacle avoidance program

To avoid obstacles, mBot2 uses its ultrasonic sensor 2 to detect obstacles in its way and then respond to them by using the motors and wheels connected to mBot2 Shield. Therefore, you need to add the mBot2 and Ultrasonic Sensor 2 extensions.

(1) Add the mBot2 extension.

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(2) Add the Ultrasonic Sensor 2 extension.

extension-1.png

After adding the extensions, you can find the blocks in the blocks area.

extension-2.png

5. Start to write the program

(1) Set the programming mode to Upload.

Live: In this mode, you can view the program execution effect in real time, which facilitates the debugging of the program. In this mode, you must keep mBot2 connected to mBlock 5. If they are disconnected, the program cannot be executed.

Upload: In this mode, you need to upload the compiled program to mBot2. After being successfully uploaded, the program can still run properly on mBot2 when it is disconnected from mBlock 5.

coding1.png

(2) Drag the blocks required to the scripts area.

a. First, define the event for triggering the execution of the obstacle avoidance program. For example, trigger the program by pressing button B.

 

Click the Events category, drag the block when button () pressed to the scripts area, and click the drop-down list box to select button B.

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b. Define how many times the program is to be executed. For example, keep executing the program after it is triggered.

Click the Control category and drag the block forever to the scripts area.

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c. Define the specific conditions for avoidance and how mBot2 responds to an obstacle.

Define the condition

For example, mBot2 starts to avoid an obstacle when it is 9cm or less away from mBot2; and mBot2 keeps moving forward when no obstacle is found or an obstacle is more than 9cm away from it.

Click the Control category and drag the block if () then () else () to the scripts area.

The condition involves the operation of distance.

Click the Operators category and drag the block () > () to the scripts area and put it into the condition block.

coding4.png

Click the value 50 to change it to 9.

 

Click the Ultrasonic Sensor 2 category and drag the block ultrasonic 2 () distance to an object (cm) to the scripts area and put it into the operation block.

coding5.png

 

Define the responses

When an obstacle is more than 9cm away from mBot2, mBot2 keeps moving forward.

Click the mBot2 Chassis category and drag the block () at () RPM to the scripts area and put it into the condition block.

coding6.png

When an obstacle is 9cm or less away from mBot2, mBot2 turns left.

Drag the block () at () RPM for () secs to the scripts area, put it into the condition block, and click the drop-down list box to select turns left.

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Now, a simple obstacle avoidance program is completed.

5. Upload the program to mBot2

Note: The program you upload will replace the last program you execute on mBot2.

Click Upload and wait till the uploading is complete.

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6. Execute the program

Press button B on CyberPi.

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mBot2 starts to move forward and detect obstacles. When an obstacle is found and it's 9cm or less away from mBot2, mBot2 turns left for one second and then moves forward.

 

Tips:

  • You can change the parameter values on the blocks (such as changing the distance threshold or responses) or add more conditions to compile your own obstacle avoidance programs.
  • You can also compile other programs (such as a line following program) in the similar way.
  • To learn more from example programs, choose Tutorials > Example Programs on the menu bar of mBlock 5.

 

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