Mobile robot Thymio II

Mobile robot Thymio II

Mobile robot Thymio II
Mobsya | A-000000-00349
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Introducing the mobile robot Thymio II

The mobile robot Thymio II has been developed in collaboration by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and the Cantonal Art School of Lausanne (écal). Their aim is to provide an educational mobile robot at a low price.

This robot is totally open-source, at hardware and software levels. It is easy to manipulate, thanks to its small size (110x110x50 mm) and weight. Its beautiful white body makes it very robust and it is very attractive thanks to its capacitive buttons and colored leds.

The mobile robot Thymio II is equipped with many sensors (microphone, infrared receiver, temperature, proximity, 3 axis accelerometer, ground sensors for line following), actuators (motors, speakers, LEDs) and connectivity (USB, memory card).

Sensors and actuators of the educational robot Thymio

This robotic platform is compatible with Lego parts, so it is very easy to customize it and create many different automated systems. Place a felt-tip pen in the hole of Thymio's shell can kickstart many playful activities for the little ones, but it can also be used as a teaching aid for a geometry + programming class for older students.

How to program Thymio ?

5 programming languages are available for this robot. This makes Thymio suitable for different audiences, from primary school to university. Some research labs even use fleets of Thymio robots to study swarm robotics!

Thymio Suite: 1 software for 5 programming languages

With Thymio Suite, program and manage our robot with 5 programming languages: VPL3, Python, Scratch, Blockly and Aseba (textual programming). This software is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux and can be used on iPads.

Program Thymio with a computer

  1. Download the Thymio Suite software
  2. Install the software (compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux)
  3. Connect your robot (turn it on, then connect it via cable or wireless dongle)
  4. Choose your programming interface (VPL, Scratch, Python...)

The 5 programming languages

  • VPL (Visual Programming Language): an event-driven programming language, based on pictogram associations. Very easy to learn, perfect for young children who are just discovering programming.
  • Scratch 3: a visual programming language based on blocks of instructions that must be logically nested to create a more or less complex program.
  • Blockly: use math, logic, loops, variables and discover more programming concepts!
  • Python: text-based programming language. Largely used among developers and robotics engineers, it is also the computer language that is taught in French high schools.
  • Aseba: a text language developed for Thymio that allows, among other things, to collect data from sensors and actuators and to create much more complex programs.

Thymio is ROS-compatible. ROS is a middleware widely used in robotics laboratories and in R&D departments. A dedicated webpage is available with all the documentation and the link to the Github repo.

Programming Thymio with an iPad

Note that only the Wireless Thymio can be programmed with an iPad. They use the ZigBee wireless communication protocol. If you have a standard robot (not wireless), you need the Wireless DIY Kit for Thymio. Programming from an iPad requires computer, that will be used as a connection hub. The reason is that iPads don't have any USB type A port, where to plug the robot USB dongle. To program the robot with an iPad, follow the steps below:
  1. Download and install Thymio Suite on a computer
  2. Download the Thymio Suite Mobile app on each iPad (from the App Store)
  3. Make sure the computer and iPads are connected to the same WiFi network
  4. Connect the robots USB dongles to the computer (or to a multiple USB charger plugged to the computer)
  5. Turn on the robot
  6. Open Thymio Suite on the computer, the list of the robots connected to the Ipads is displayed
  7. Open Thymio Suite Mobile on your iPad and start coding!
The diagram below shows the configuration required to run Thymio Suite on a tablet.
Programming the Thymio robot on an iPad

Thymio robot firmware update

To update the firmware of the robot, and access its latest features, follow these steps:
  1. Connect your robot to your computer with the USB cable
  2. Open the Thymio Suite software,
  3. Launch VPL or any other programming language, if an update is available, an icon appears on the robot
  4. Click on the update icon

Technical details

  • Dimensions: 11 cm x 11.2 cm x 5.3 cm (base box: 13.5 cm x 15cm x 7.5 cm)
  • Weight: 270 grams
  • Li-Po Battery: 3.7 V, 1,500 mAh, rechargeable via a MicroUSB port
  • Autonomy: More than 2 hours (much more generally since it recharges as soon as it is connected to a computer during programming)
  • Max speed: 14 cm/s
  • The Thymio Suite software suite can be installed on Linux, Mac OS and Windows
  • 9 Infrared sensors (range approx. 10 cm)
  • 5 Touch Buttons (capacitive technology)
  • 1 Three-axis accelerometer
  • 1 Thermometer
  • 1 microphone
  • 1 Infrared sensor (receiver for remote control)
  • 39 LEDs
  • 2 Wheels-related DC motors
  • 1 speaker

Resources of the mobile robot Thymio II

Data sheet
Age group
6-8 years
Specific References
    Is it possible to program the Thymio educational robot with a tablet ?

    It is possible to program the Thymio educational robot from an iPad, thanks to the Thymio Suite Mobile application (see our Thymio product sheet for more details).

    The Thymio robot battery is defective. Can I replace it?

    Yes, there is a replacement battery for Thymio, that is available on Génération Robots website. Open the 4 screws on the bottom, open the case and carefully remove the battery from the mainboard.

    The battery is fixed with a doubled sided tape on the case. Replace the battery and reassemble the robot in the inverse order.

    The thymio drifts when it is supposed to go straight.

    Check link and if it's not working send back us the robot. Intructions are on this link.

    My Wireless Thymio doesn't seem to be paired with its WiFi dongle.

    You will just need to follow the manufacturer pairing instructions on this link.

    Is it possible to use several thymio wireless robots in a small perimeter?

    Thymio won't charge when plugged to its power supply.

    Try to charge the robot with a different USB cable. The robot might also be deep discharged. If it's the case, you might want to check our article 'How to check if your Thymio is functioning correctly ?'.

    Can I turn my regular Thymio II into a Wireless Thymio? If yes, how can I do that?

    Yes, it is possible. You just need to buy the WiFi module for Thymio and follow these instructions to install it (please note that some soldering is required). Just follow this link.

    How can I update my Thymio firmware? (the firmware is the software inside the robot, it needs to be up-to-date)

    You just need to follow instructions on this link.

    For which age group is Thymio best suited?

    Thymio will be interesting for a very wide age range: 6 to 14-year old!

    Is Thymio compatible with Scratch?

    Yes, you can program Thymio with Scratch from the Thymio Suite software. Thymio Suite offers you the possibility to program Thymio with Scratch, Blockly, VPL, Aseba, on computer (Windows, MacOS, Linux) and iPad.

    Where can I find exercises and activities for my lessons/workshops?

    We have gathered the best educational resources, classified by levels or by robots on our website. They are accessible via this link.

    One motor of my Thymio robot is not working

    Please contact support on this link.

    Is Thymio compatible with Chromebook (ChromeOS)?

    Thymio Suite, the software bundle that was developed for Thymio is not compatibel with ChromeOS.

    The tactile arrows on the robot are not working.

    Please contact support on this link.

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