Installing Robot Camp Software

The robot for Robot Camp uses the “Arduino” platform.  (If you want to know more about Arduino you can check out the Arduino introduction.)  The Arduino is primarily hardware and will be the “brains” of our robot.  In order to program those “brains” we will need to use the Arduino software.

The Arduino software can be a little difficult at first – it’s a lot of typing – so we will use a program called “Ardublock” which works with the Arduino software and lets us use our mouse and move blocks around to build a program for our robot.

Here are the steps for setting up both.

Download Arduino Software

Arduino software download page:

Just look for the link to the right that says “Windows Installer” or “Mac OS X”.  You will be taken to a page that will ask for a donation – you can click the words “Just Download”.

Install Arduino Software

Run the program you just downloaded.  The installation is simple and the default options are good.  When the installation is complete run the Arduino software and then close it.  This sets up the directory we will need for the next step.

Download the Ardublock Files

Ardublock is an add-on program to the Arduino software.  We just need to copy some files to the directory created by the Arduino software.  I have all the files you need in a zip file you can download here:

Robot Arduino  (If this doesn’t work on a Mac, let me know.)

Copy the Ardublock Files

Look for the directory created by the Arduino software.  It will be called “Arduino” and it should be in your “Documents” directory.

Open the zip file and you will find two directories – “libraries” and “tools”.  Copy those two directories into the “Arduino” directory.  If you get a warning that you already have a “libraries” directory, that’s ok, copy them anyway.  The files in them have different names.

Give It a Try

Now you can run the Arduino software again and in the “Tools” menu click on “ArduBlock”.  A window should open up that looks like this:

Ardublock screen

Clicking items on the left will give you a list of blocks you can click or drag to the main part of the window.  If you are curious and you want to look around, you can.  We will be using blocks mainly from the Control, Tests, Generic Hardware, and Adafruit Motorshield sections.  If it looks a little confusing, don’t worry!  I will help you next week.

If you have any problems you can send me an email ( or wait for camp and I’ll help you get it working then.