Programming the Blue-Bot
Blue-Bot is Bee-Bot’s big brother. It almost looks like Bee-Bot, but it has a transparent shell. Blue-Bot offers a programming interface, however, which is based on a Bluetooth connection - a wireless connection that works over a distance of up to about 30 ft (10 m).
If your PC or Mac has a built-in Bluetooth radio (most modern PCs and Macs do), you can use Terrapin Logo to control Blue-Bot from your PC or Mac. This page provides step-by-step instructions to help you get connected to Blue-Bot. Using Terrapin Logo to control Blue-Bot offers more commands than just the buttons. Blue-Bot can turn in 45-degrees increments, and a simple repeat loop is available as well.
First, download and install a copy of Terrapin Logo. Note that the free-to-try version does not let you execute any code on Blue-Bot. You need to purchase and install a license before you can actually run any code on Blue-Bot. Note that you must have version 4.1 of Terrapin Logo. Older versions do not support the Blue-Bot commands. If you are not sure which version you have installed, use the VERSION command to display the program version.
Then, turn on Blue-Bot and connect it to your computer.
Finally, use the BLUEBOT.OPEN command to open the connection to your Blue-Bot, and program away!
Install your Blue-Bot
Before you can work with Blue-Bot, you need to connect it to your computer. This means to turn on Blue-Bot, and to use your computer’s settings to connect to Blue-Bot.
It is possible to use Windows XP SP2 to connect to a Bluetooth device. We did not test this feature, however. Please refer to your Windows XP documentation to read about how to connect a Bluetooth device.
Install on a Windows 8 PC
- On the Metro desktop, move your mouse to the lower right corner, until the right side band pops up. Click Settings.
- The Settings pane pops up. At the bottom, click Change PC Settings.
- The PC Settings window opens. Select Bluetooth. If all goes well, and you have Blue-Bot turned on, you will now see Blue-Bot in the list of visible Bluetooth devices.
- Click BlueBot, and click Pair. This will take a while, while drivers are being installed.
- Finally, the text underneath BlueBot will read Connected. Congratulations! You have just connected your Blue-Bot!
Install on a Windows 7 or Vista PC
- On the Start Menu, click Devices and Printers.
- The Devices Connection Wizard appears. Click Add Device.
- The Devices Connection Wizard will now search for visible Bluetooth devices.
- As soon as the BlueBot device appears (do not worry because it disguises itself as a headset), click the device, and click Next. Another screen appears where you can watch the progress of the driver installation.
- Finally, the Devices and Printers wizard displays the connected Blue-Bot “headphone”.
Install on a Mac
Your Mac needs to support the Bluetooth 4 Low Energy profile (BT4LE). Most newer Macs support this profile out of the box. If they don’t, you need to buy a Bluetooth dongle that supports BT4LE; these dongles are not expensive. Just plug it into any USB port on your Mac, and you should be good to go. Do not worry about the speaker symbol; your Mac thinks that Blue-Bot is a sound device.
Open System Preferences, select the Bluetooth panel, and turn on your Blue-Bot. It should appear as follows:
If the “Pair” button reads “Connect”, you probably have a Mac that supports BT4LE. Click that button. If all goes well, you will see a success message:
If the “Pair” button does not cause any connection, and the little wheel spins forever, you need a Bluetooth dongle.
Please note that the
BLUEBOT.OPEN Logo commands open a
very similar dialog if you did not connect Blue-Bot via the System
Preferences panel. On Mac OS X 10.10.3 (the latest Yosemite version), we
found that Terrapin Logo crashed sometimes when attempting to show the
dialog; we recommend that you use the System Preferences panel to
connect to Blue-Bot.
Testing the Blue-Bot Installation
Launch Terrapin Logo and enter the commend
BLUEBOT?. If the command responds with
TRUE, Terrapin Logo has found the installed Blue-Bot driver.
You are now ready to program your Blue-Bot. Before you issue any Blue-Bot commands, you need to open the Blue-Bot connection. Enter the command BLUEBOT.OPEN to open the connection. Once the connection is established, Blue-Bot’s eyes turn blue, and its buttons are disabled. Now, Blue-Bot listens to your commands.
If you want Blue-Bot to resume normal operation, enter the BLUEBOT.CLOSE command. After a while, Blue-Bot’s eyes turn white again, and its buttons work again.
If you have to stop a runaway Blue-Bot program, there is only one way: lift Blue-Bot, and turn it off and on again. This also breaks the connection between Terrapin Logo and Blue-Bot; you will have to re-issue the BLUEBOT.OPEN command to re-open the connection.
The BLUEBOT.RUN command lets you issue a quick set of commands to Blue-Bot, which Blue-Bot executes immediately. The command takes a list of commands. To make Blue-Bot run in a square, for example, try this command:
BLUEBOT.RUN [REPEAT 4 [FD 1 RT 90]]
Blue-Bot stores a maximum of up to 200 commands. Please note that a Logo
command may consume more than one Blue-Bot command. If you get an error
message that your code is too complex, consider using a repeat loop, or
fewer movements. A
FD 10 command, for example, would store 10 FD
commands into Blue-Bot’s memory.
Blue-Bot does not understand many commands. The following table provides an overview over all available Logo commands that Blue-Bot understands.
|FORWARD||Blue-Bot moves forward in fixed-size units. A value of 1 does not mean a single pixel as the screen turtle, but one Blue-Bot movement unit, which is about 6 inches (15 cm). If you, for example, use the command
|BACK||As with the
|LEFT||Blue-Bot turns left or right in 45-degree increments. Terrapin Logo calculates the amount to turn in as few commands as possible. Therefore, Blue-Bot may make brief stops while turning.|
|RIGHT||The same limitations that are valid for the
|WAIT||This command corresponds to Blue-Bot’s
|REPEAT||Blue-Bot has a simple built-in repeat feature that lets it execute a list of commands between 1 and 16 times. The
Often, you will want to store commands in a procedure to execute them repeatedly. Unfortunately, Blue-Bot does not support procedures. What you can do, however, is to create a procedure that contains all of the Blue-Bot commands. You can then use the BLUEBOT.WRITE command to download this procedure to Blue-Bot. Blue-Bot will not execute these commands immediately. Instead, you can enter the command BLUEBOT.GO, which is the equivalent of pressing Blue-Bot’s GO button.
Here is the above example as a procedure:
TO MY.BLUEBOT REPEAT 4 [FD 1 RT 90] END MY.BLUEBOT defined BLUEBOT.WRITE “MY.BLUEBOT BLUEBOT.GO
Blue-Bot Command Summary
For a detailed description, please click one of the commands below.
|BLUEBOT?||Checks if the Blue-Bot drivers are installed. Outputs either
|BLUEBOT.OPEN||Opens the Blue-Bot connection. Outputs either
|BLUEBOT.CLOSE||Closes the Blue-Bot connection.|
|BLUEBOT.WRITE||Downloads a procedure to Blue-Bot. Any errors in the commands are displayed as runtime errors. Note that the procedure must not have any inputs, and that it may only contain valid Blue-Bot commands.|
|BLUEBOT.RUN||Downloads and runs its input, which is a list of Logo commands that Blue-Bot can understand. Any errors in the code are displayed as runtime errors.|
|BLUEBOT.GO||Causes Blue-Bot to execute a previously written procedure; equivalent to pressing the GO button, which is disabled when a connection is open.|
|BLUEBOT.CLEAR||Clears Blue-Bot’s memory; equivalent to pressing the CLEAR button, which is disabled during an open connection.|
|BLUEBOT.STATUS||Outputs a three-element list. The first two elements are usually