Visual programming

Programming with images

The Visual Programming Language (VPL) for the Thymio robot, created by Dr. Jiwon Shin and Dr. St├ęphane Magnenat, is a module of Aseba that allows to program the robot by associating event and actions blocks.

Tutorial in PDF

ZIP with programs and answers

Teachers' guide in PDF
A4 Reference card in PDF

Foldable Reference card in PDF

Details of the environment

Start the VPL

In order to use the VPL, you need to install the Aseba software, and connect your Thymio to your computer.

Then, click on this icon:


Thymio VPL

to launch a VPL window:


If the Thymio is not connected when you launch the program, you will be shown a selection dialogue:

VPL can also be used as a plugin within Studio. That way, you can edit your visual program as text in a second phase:

How to program

Programming in VPL works by associating an event block with one or more action block(s) in a pair. You can do that by dragging blocks into the event-action pairs in the programming area.

  1. Drag an event block from the left
  2. Drag one or more action block(s) from the right
  3. Repeat 1 and 2 until the program is complete.
  4. Click the load and run button and see if the robot behaves as expected.

Several pairs of different instructions can be assembled. Once the program is created, it must be loaded into the robot by clicking the load and run button in the toolbar.


load and run button

All features of the VPL environment are described in its reference documentation.

Handling multiple robots

If you have Wireless Thymios, multiple robots can be in the same network. VPL standalone will only work with a single robot in a network. If you have several robots, you can associate them to different networks, as explained here.

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