Switching On and Off
Before using Thymio II for the first time, you should charge it as described below.
- To switch Thymio II on, touch the round button that lies in the centre of the four arrow buttons until the robot makes a sound and turns green. Then you can select a behaviour as described later in this page.
- To switch Thymio II off, proceed as for switching it on, touching the round button until the robot no longer shows any colour.
You can recharge Thymio II by plugging it into a computer with the micro-USB cable provided in the box. We strongly advise Windows users to download the Aseba program that will install the drivers on your computer.
If you own a standard micro-USB charger, for instance for your mobile phone, you can connect Thymio II to it to recharge the robot. The charging will be faster than using the computer. You can also employ a solar charger, should it provide a standard micro-USB plug.
When Thymio II is being charged, a red light appears close to the micro-USB connector. If Thymio II is running, the battery level also increases. Should you shut down Thymio II, the charging will continue.
When the charging is completed, a blue light appears close to the micro-USB connector.
The Thymio comes with several pre-programmed behaviours. These are always available in the robot. To select one, simply start the robot and select a colour by touching one of the arrow buttons, then touch the centre button to start the behaviour. While in a behaviour, you can touch the centre button again to return to the behaviour-selection menu.
The available pre-programmed behaviours are:
- Friendly (green)
- Explorer (yellow)
- Fearful (red)
- Investigator (cyan)
- Obedient (purple)
- Attentive (blue)
Programming your own behaviours
Thymio II can be programmed to add new behaviours, using the Aseba Studio software running on a computer. This software is open source and can be downloaded for free by clicking here. Once installed, there are two ways to program Thymio:
- Visual programming1 allows behaviours to be defined by assembling cards. This is the easiest way to program the robot and is a good starting point to understand how an actuator command (motor, led, etc.) can be linked to a sensor event (button, obstacle, etc.). The Visual programming tool generates programs in the Aseba language, which can then be further extended.
- Text programming allows the robot to be programmed in the Aseba language to exploit its possibilities more fully. The Aseba Studio environment helps with programming by providing real-time visualisation of sensor values, instant compilation, etc.
Upgrading the firmware
You can upgrade the firmware (the small program inside the Thymio that controls the basic behaviours and that allows you to program the robot) when new versions become available. These versions correct bugs, add new behaviours and more features to the programming interface.
The latest firmware is version 8, which you can get here, with instructions on how to upgrade.
Starting from firmware version 3, usage statistics are recorded on Thymio II for scientific purposes. More details on the log page.