TBot and 12Blocks

12Blocks is a powerful visual IDE that supports the TBot in addition to many other hardware platforms like Lego NXT, Basic Stamp 2, Parallax Propeller and the Cogmation simulator.

For TBot it features super simple blocks that coordinate robot movement and gripper actions.  12Blocks also makes it easy to read and react to the TBot’s sensors including: encoders, line sensors, ultrasound proximity, as well as input buttons, microphone and battery voltage.  12Blocks makes it easy to be successful with the Arduino-base robot with built in simulator, real-time graphs, and powerful debugging tools to let you step  through code one line at a time.

To get started with TBot:

  • Install 12Blocks using the link below.  Your OS should come with a driver for the Arduino Nano microcontroller, if not, install it from here:
  • Start 12Blocks, you should see the “Start Screen”.  If Arduino.TBot is not shown on the screen, add it using the custom configuration on the bottom left.tbotconnect
  • Select one of the activities for the TBot, or click on “New” and create your own!
  • Connect a USB cable from PC to the TBot to charge the built-in batteries and to program the robot.
  • Turn on your TBot using the switch on the bottom marked “Power” when using the gripper or to move with maximum power.

TBot Product Page

12Blocks Getting Started Guide

Learning with TBot

12Blocks Latest Version


I live in a beautiful part of the world surrounded by coastline and lots of rivers (Christchurch, NZ). I have a 2 person Kayak that I occasionally take out with my kids and wife but we’re somewhat limited in range by our muscle power. I’m starting to investigate supplementing my muscle power with a brushless electric motor powered by a lithium battery and controlled and kept safe by an Arduino programmed with 12Blocks. Here’s a photo of some of the components.


Here’s a video of the KayakJet jetting around!

Boxing Robots headed to the Robocup Nationals

This Saturday the Mt Pleasant Robotics group will compete in the Robocup Nationals in Wellington with 2 TBots programmed with 12Blocks.  They’ve turned their robots into boxing stars by customizing the robots with servos and styrofoam costumes.  If all goes well the robots will perform an exciting boxing demonstration synchronized to “Eye of the Tiger”.