FAQ

Questions

Ordering Questions

  • How do the different popular educational robots compare?
  • Which Thymio should I Get, what is the difference Between Wireless and Regular Thymio, and what is included with the Education Package?
  • Can I get a bulk discount for my public or non-profit school?

Use Questions

  • Where do I find Activities that I can do with Thymio?

Setup Questions

  • How do I set up 30 Wireless Thymio Robots to work in one classroom, independently of one another?

Educational Questions

  • Is your content tied to standards?

TechyKids System Educator Questions

  • Can multiple teachers manage and see the dashboard for a classroom?

TechyKids Camp Questions

  • My child is new to coding and robotics, would they be at a disadvantage in the camp coming in as beginners ?
  • My child has played a number of coding games/apps and has the basics of if/then and if/else commands settled and has built a couple LEGO Boost creations, too. Would this camp be a good fit for him?
  • My child is experienced in coding and robotics, will they be challenged in camp?
  • Is this a camp I can register my child for more than one week?  Would they be doing the same thing?
  • Do I need to sign the Media Release?  Why do you have one?
  • Should campers provide their own lunch?

Issues

  • I’m having an issue with Thymio or Aseba Studio, how can I get help or report a bug?
  • Thymio sometimes has connectivity issues with the computer, how to fix?
  • Thymio is behaving strangely

Answers

Ordering

How do the different popular educational robots compare?

Check out our blog post to answer this commonly asked question:  Comparing the Different Educational Robots

Which Thymio should I Get, what is the difference Between Wireless and Regular Thymio, and what is included with the Education Package?

I’d recommend the education package as it comes with all the extras and allows many more interesting projects that people enjoy.  The memory card allows users to add custom sounds and to turn Thymio into a voice recorder.  The remote control allows you to press buttons from a distance and sends signals to the robot to control it and send it commands (acting like buttons on the robot from elsewhere).

Now the question of wireless and the regular Thymio.  The regular Thymio is less expensive than the wireless version.  They are both the same, but the Wireless Thymio also allows wireless programming.  Which means that programs can be sent to the robot without the use of the USB cord.  It’s pretty cool because you can update the program without plugging and unplugging the USB cord.  It’s handy for the avid programmer and the young programmer.

Now a few things to note- if the student plans on using the Scratch programming language, I strongly advise the wireless Thymio.  Because with Scratch the computer acts as the brain and needs a constant connection with the robot.  If the connection gets disrupted the reconnection process is a pain.  So, wireless is by far the best thing.

Also if you plan on using an android tablet app to program Thymio- definitely the wireless is the best.

If the user will be using with a Mac or Windows and using the Aseba or Scratch programming language the Wireless is great.  I think for a consumer option the Wireless version is the preferred.  For schools looking to save $$ the regular Thymio offers a more afforable option.

If programming using RobotMagic, right now the Wireless capability is not yet integrated.  So if they plan on using RobotMagic at home they can save the money on the robot, but the license for RobotMagic is needed.

It’s also possible to upgrade the regular Thymio with a DIY kit later on, but some soldering skills are needed.

So, biggest thing is the difference in price for the additional functionality and convenience and ‘cool’ factor of Wireless.  For young users the wireless is best because the hardest part of using Thymio is plugging in the USB Cord.

Link to the Thymio Education Package:https://www.techykids.com/product/education-thymio-package-thymio-remote-memory-card/

Can I get a bulk discount for my public or non-profit school?

Yes, please contact Sharon at info@techykids.com for bulk ordering information.

Use

Where do I find Activities that I can do with Thymio?

Thymio Activities

Educational

Is your content tied to standards?

Currently the Thymio Beginner Course and  Thymio Intermediate Course are tied to Next Generation Science Standards for Engineering Design, 3-5.

Setup

How do I set up 30 Wireless Thymio Robots to work in one classroom, independently of one another?

First it has to put 10 robots on channel 0 , 10 on channel 1 and the last 10 on channel 2. The network ID numbering as no influance, they just has to be different for the 30 robots. https://www.thymio.org/en:thymiosettingwireless  Then when they use the robots, do not use the “auto” option asebastudio, that feature saturate when so many robots are around.

TechyKids System Educator

Can multiple teachers manage and see the dashboard for a classroom?

Yes, email info@techykids.com with the classroom name, and the usernames which teacher(s) you’d like to add to manage the classroom.

TechyKids Camp Questions

My child is new to coding and robotics, would they be at a disadvantage in the camp coming in as beginners ?

They would absolutely not be at a disadvantage if they are new to coding and robotics.  Each kid starts at the level that they are at and getting kids started with TechyKids is optimal as we build help lay a strong foundation for growth.  In camp we always assume that each kid is a beginner unless we hear otherwise, and then adjust appropriately.

My child has played a number of coding games/apps and has the basics of if/then and if/else commands settled and has built a couple LEGO Boost creations, too. Would this camp be a good fit for him?

Yes!  If your child has shown an interest in coding already, and is into building and lego, this camp is a perfect fit for them.  TechyKids explains about the broader applications of robotics so it elevates their understanding from just ‘play’ to also understanding that with the skills they are learning it can be applied in real world applications.  It puts kids on a growth path towards developing their ‘playing’ into creating and giving them a desire to grow their skills to be able to rise to the occasion for larger challenges, and empowers them to do so.  TechyKids also instills the right mindset for growth and innovation, so it gives a foundation and larger framework that kids can build from.

In terms of robots, there are many of them out there, there are also many different languages.  In camp we use a robot called the Thymio robot that is a platform the imagination.  It is LEGO compatible, and kids will be building with it and also programming.  The robot is a premier educational robot developed in a university by educators and roboticist as an educational robot.  It has 20 different sensors, more than 40 programmable lights, and can be coded with a block based language and real written code in a code editor.  We get the kids writing real code- and they LOVE it.  We’ve heard straight from kids how at first they were intimidated when they saw the text language, but not for long!  Often by the second day of camp we have the kids writing real code.  And when it ‘clicks’ for them they get a feeling that now anything is possible.  And they prove it, by creating original inventions and creations.  The TechyKids program was developed by an engineer/educator, so it is a strong program that really introduces and puts them on the path of being able to ‘think’ like an engineer.

The TechyKids program with Thymio robot has been tested and granted a seal from Purdue University, a top ranked US engineering university as teaching design and engineering to kids.

My child is experienced in coding and robotics, will they be challenged in camp?

There will be a wide range of ages and abilities at the summer camp.  TechyKids is unique in this way that it is able to support the range of ages/abilities and subject matter as each child will have their own personalized logins to get high quality content at their own pace and level, pulling the appropriate resources when they want and need it.

We have helpful and experienced staff in camp that will help mentor students towards leveling up their thinking and approach.  The camp is project based, so your son or daughter will be able to work at his own pace and receive support.  Our program is adjusted and flexible to support kids of different skill levels and interest areas.

Campers ideate and collaborate together to create unique projects, learn skills and flex their abilities as they bring their ideas to reality.  The participants also learn other skills and create videos and presentations about their projects that they proudly showcase out to parents and campers during the last day of camp.

Is this a camp I can register my child for more than one week?  Would they be doing the same thing?

The camp is project and inquiry based, with new kids coming in each week.   Kids who have been in TechyKids camp in the past and also in the classroom during the year are continually challenged.  If you son or daughter would come, the first week they would be paired with another beginner.  And then the next week(s) they would paired them with a kid with more experience.  Think of it like a maker space with guidance and help.  The next week they would be gaining more knowledge and have more time for exploration and be able to bring their projects to the next level.

They would be able to do the camp more than one week and still be very much engaged, and gain further technical skill and general ability.

Do I need to sign the Media Release?  Why do you have one?

TechyKids does respect child’s privacy and especially safety.
Here are a few more details regarding what is actually done with respect to use of photos or videos – we never tie first and last name of kids and photographs of children together.
Project Media
They can choose to have their face in the video or not, but their voice and hands are usually an essential part of their project videos. These videos are usually uploaded to Vimeo or sometimes Youtube and a link to it is posted on our site along with the rest of their project deliverables to create their project webpage. Here’s an example of a video that where the kids who created the video chose to be in the video and also had their parents sign the media release:  https://www.techykids.com/max-the-robotic-bunny/
Project videos have also been filmed where the child’s face is not in the video: https://www.techykids.com/tweet-tweet/
The presentations have the kids’ first names on it to give them credit for their work and contribution.
For Promotions
We take pictures of kids while they are in camp and we take group photos and can sometimes use those in marketing materials/emails/website to inspire other kids and parents to be aware and hopefully also participate with our program.  In order to showcase the quality of our program parents often enjoy seeing the journey and outcomes of other campers.  These will not have names/identifiers associated with them.  Promotions take the form of materials such as these: https://www.techykids.com/product/2018-davis/   (Note: The spotlight on Kevin is not common and was done with special permission from his mother to help inspire other Dyslexic/Dysgraphic kids into the program, and you’ll notice there is no other personally identifying information in the video)
We also filter through the media we take to be complimentary and not embarrassing to the individual.
The hardship when a child doesn’t have the media release signed is it either means we cannot use the group photos, or we would need to actively exclude the child from the photos.  We do care about each child’s well being and safety.  And take care in being responsible with their likeness, but also the media release is important so that we legally protect ourselves as a small business.

Should campers provide their own lunch?

Yes, campers provide their own lunch.

Issues

I’m having an issue with Thymio or Aseba Studio, how can I get help or report a bug?

Aseba and Thymio are open course, and there is an active community on: https://github.com/aseba-community/aseba/issues

You can create an account and track issues, or use the website to suggest product improvements.

Thymio sometimes has connectivity issues with the computer, how to fix?

The connectivity issues often the connection between Thymio and the USB.  For that reason, there is a part in the video lessons talking about carefully plugging in Thymio- that connection point is the weakest part of Thymio (i.e. the most likely to fail in all of the robot).  So to prevent future issue, stress to the users to carefully check that the cord is blue tape up before plugging in and they never pull the robot by the cord or try and wiggle it to get it out of the robot.  Be aware of it to prevent future issues as if the usb connection the robot breaks there isn’t a way to fix it.
Now, to answer your question.  I’d recommend getting some of these cords.  They seem to latch onto the robot pretty well for a secure connection.  Thymio is very particular with the cord it uses.. so any random one you may buy or have won’t usually work, but I’ve had good experiences with that one from Amazon.  So, buy a few packs of those and it should solve your issue.  The usb cords tend to wear with repeated plugging and unplugging and lose the ability to latch onto the robot as well.

Thymio is behaving strangely

Most commonly if you have Thymio in pre-programmed modes and it is not moving, it is either not in the mode you think.

It could be in a user saved program.  Turn Thymio off and then switch to a color and then press the middle button

You could have it sitting on a very dark or clear surface and so thymio thinks there is nothing below it and it is programmed to not move

If you are using Thymio outside, the sun gives off infrared light and confuse the robot’s IR sensors