Thymio

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A Thymio II simulation model in Webots Thymio Simulation.jpg
A Thymio II simulation model in Webots

Thymio II is an educational robot in the 100 Euros price range. The robot was developed at the EPFL in collaboration with ECAL, both in Lausanne, Switzerland. A purely-visual programming language was developed at ETH Zurich [1] . All components, both hardware and software, are open source. The main features of the robot are a large number of sensors and actuators, educational interactivity based on light and touch, and a programming environment featuring graphical and text programming. Thymio has over 20 sensors and 40 lights and integrates with third party languages such as MIT's Scratch.

Contents

One of the unique features of these robots is its design, production, and commercialization by a full open-source and non-profit chain of actors. This very alternative approach has been justified by the educational goal of the project. The design has been mainly made by universities (EPFL, [2] écal [3] and ETHZ [4] ) within research programs (NCCR Robotics [5] ). Mechanics, [6] electronics [7] and software [8] are open source. The company producing Thymio, called Mobsya [9] is a non-profit organization.

Many articles have been written about how to teach with Thymio in the classroom including the article, "Classroom robotics: Motivating independent learning and discovery [10] " on Robohub. Research and new Thymio projects are constantly being done as noted by IEEE. [11] In 2020 Thymio's pedagogical design was evaluated by Education Alliance Finland. In the evaluation, a group of teacher-evaluators in Switzerland assessed Thymio's curriculum alignment, pedagogy, and usability through using a science-based product evaluation method, developed by Education Alliance Finland and Finnish educational researchers. [12] The product evaluation was funded by Stiftung Mercator [13] and as an outcome of the evaluation, Thymio was granted a pedagogical quality certification [14] .

The robot is in production and distributors of Thymio include TechyKids.com.

Simulation

A simulation model of the Thymio II compatible with Aseba Studio is available in Webots and a 3D interactive model of the robot can be found here.

Contests

Since August 18, 2017, the Thymio II robot is used in various international online contest on Robotbenchmark.

Related Research Articles

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The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level.

École centrale de Lyon Research university in Lyon

The École centrale de Lyon (ECL) is a research university in greater Lyon, France. Founded in 1857 by François Barthélemy Arlès-Dufour in response to the increasing industrialization of France, it is one of the oldest graduate schools in France. The university is part of the Grandes Écoles, a prestigious group of French institutions dedicated to engineering, scientific research, and business education. The current 45-acre campus opened in 1967 and is located in the city of Ecully.

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References

  1. Shin, Jiwon; Siegwart, Roland; Magnenat, Stéphane (June 17–20, 2014). "Visual Programming Language for Thymio II Robot". Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC'14). Aarhus, Denmark. doi:10.3929/ethz-a-010144554.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  2. EPFL
  3. écal
  4. ETHZ
  5. NCCR Robotics
  6. Mechanical CAD files and 3D PDF of the mechanics, bottom of the page
  7. Bill of material and PCB layout for electronics manufacturing
  8. Source code pointers of the firmware and applications linked to Thymio
  9. Mobsya
  10. Classroom robotics: Motivating independent learning and discovery
  11. "Education Alliance Finland". Catalog of certified products. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  12. "Stiftung Mercator". Project: Education Alliance Switzerland. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  13. "Education Alliance Finland". Catalog of certified products. Retrieved 12 May 2020.