Maison d'Ailleurs

This Discovery Kit is for you to discover and take your first steps with Thymio: learn about its basic behaviours, functions and sensors. You will also learn how to program Thymio with the Visual Programming Language (VPL).

The Discovery kit contains an A1-sized poster and and explanatory sheet. On the sheet you will find 6 games to play with the poster, and also advanced challenges to begin programming Thymio.


How can I get the Kit?

This kit is part of the Portrait-Robot exposition at Maison d'Ailleurs.

It is only available for sale in the museum "La Maison d'Ailleurs" in Yverdon, Switzerland.

You can also download the sheets and print them by yourself at home. Be careful, the quality of the black ink of most printers is not sufficient to use the poster at the maximum of its capabilities. For an optimal result, it is advisable to buy a poster on which the black ink is deposited by a serigraphic process.

Here is the explanatory sheet and the poster for the Yeti Discovery Kit:
- Explanatory sheet
- PDF A1 poster


The Getting started with Thymio II page explains how to take your first steps with the robot.

Basic behaviours

Friendly (green)

Explorer (yellow)

Using the 5 proximity sensors on its front side, Thymio detects and in a friendly manner follows everything in front of it. You can try guiding it with your hand. With this behaviour, Thymio is afraid of cliffs… try to bring it to the edge of a table, it will stop following you as soon as it detects the edge! You can also try putting an object in front of your robot, Thymio will turn to be aligned with the object. Brave explorer, Thymio will explore its environment while avoiding obstacles. With this behaviour, it will also stop when it detects the edge of a table. If you bought the kit, Thymio detects the black lines as cliffs and should also stop over them!

Fearful (red)

Obedient (purple)

Thymio is afraid of everything! When it detects something in front of it, it will move back. If there is something behind it will go forward to try to escape!
Thymio detects shocks and brutal accelerations. It can also detect free falls, try throwing it in the air, but be careful to catch it!
Obedient, Thymio follows the instructions given to it, according to which arrow buttons are touched. Be careful, as in this mode Thymio does whatever you tell it, it can fall down if it comes to an edge!

Attentive (blue)

Investigator (cyan)

In the attentive mode, Thymio reacts when you clap your hands:

  • 1 clap = turns or goes straight forward
  • 2 claps = stop/go
  • 3 claps = turns in a circle

You have to be quick when you clap your hands if you want to be sure Thymio understands what you want it to do.

In investigator mode, Thymio follows a broad black track on the ground.
If Thymio seems not to be able to follow the line, you can calibrate it, that is, show it when it is over black or white in order to adjust the colour it sees to its measurements.


black_setting.jpg Place the robot's ground sensors above the track then simultaneously touch the front and back arrows to calibrate the black level.
white_setting.JPG Put the robot's ground sensors over the white paper then simultaneously touch the left and right arrows to calibrate the white level.

Games with the Robots



1. Stuck!

Goal: make Thymio scream
Select the red behaviour on Thymio and put it down on the yellow robot! Place one hand behind and the other in front of Thymio and see its reaction!


2. I see a track!

Goal: follow the widest black line
One of the six basic behaviours allows to do this task, can you find which one it is?


3. Thymio has a race in the fastest time**

With the green behaviour, guide Thymio with your fingers. In the yellow one, Thymio will avoid your hands and finally in the red behaviour, it will flee… Try them all!
Time yourself and get the best time! In the lab, we finished the race in the green behaviour in 10 seconds


4. Beware of the tires!

Goal: avoid obstacles
Put small objects on the tires to create obstacles for Thymio. Can you find the behaviour allowing it to avoid them?


You did everything and want to go further? Install Aseba on your computer and launch "VPL for Thymio". You can find an introduction to VPL programming and a complete tutorial on this page. You just have to combine an event block on the left and one or more action blocks on the right! Grab your mouse!

1. Stuck!

Goal: make Thymio scream
Program the robot so that it plays music when it sees obstacles ahead and behind it.
Small hint: you will need at least 2 blocks!


2. I see a track!

Goal: follow the widest black line
Try to program the robot so that when it sees black with its ground sensors it goes forward and when it sees white, it turns.
Small hint: you will need at least 6 blocks!


3. Thymio has a race

Goal: go down the racetrack in the fastest time
Program Thymio so that it avoids the borders. Stick black tape squares on the racetrack and make Thymio accelerate when it rolls over it.
Try to stay on the racetrack!


4. Beware of the tires!

Goal: avoid obstacles
Program the robot so that when it sees an obstacle, it changes direction.
Be careful not to let it fall off the table.
Small hint: you will need at least 10 blocks!


5. On your mark, get set, go!

Goal: make Thymio talk
For this activity, you will need a microSD card. You will also need to download and install Audacity on your computer to record yourself. The goal here is to give Thymio your voice!


6. Robotown!

Goal: light effects with Thymio
It’s dark in Robotown… Program Thymio so that it follows the line with one sensor and lights up when it sees the houses with its other sensor.
Turn off the light, Thymio can see in the dark.
Small hint: you will need at least 8 blocks!


You can see that while programming Thymio with the VPL (with the 'ThymioVPL' program), the code is being simultaneously written at the side.
Most of the time, one 'paragraph' of text code corresponds to an event/action couple of blocks. If you click on one of them, the corresponding paragraph is highlighted.
You can also see that if you change some parameters on the action blocks (motor speed, LED colours, etc.), the code is instantaneously modified.
Try to understand some snippets of code, and maybe even change some values!

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