12Blocks: A Simple Block Language that lets Kids Program Sophisticated Multi-core Robots

Google Tech Talk
May 12, 2010


Presented by Hano Sander

Hano Sander built a simple programming language that’s used by kids to explore robotics. His talk will focus on using the block based paradigm to write programs for TBot – a wireless, speech enabled robot that communicates to form swarms- and fits in a child’s hand. He will show plenty of demos and explore how robots can be used in the classroom.

Hanno Sander caught the entrepreur bug after graduating from Stanford. He’s now developing sophisticated robots and software in New Zealand. He has co-authored the official guide for the Parallax Propeller and co-founded the OneRobot.org foundation, a non-profit bringing robots to classrooms.

Also see the Hanno’s Google Tech Talk on Dancebots here:


Duration : 0:41:13

[youtube RwQwFI1vGuE]

7 thoughts on “12Blocks: A Simple Block Language that lets Kids Program Sophisticated Multi-core Robots

  1. You should name …
    You should name variables automatically based on the connected block. For example, your LED app would name the variable “color”. A second color variable would be called color2, etc.

  2. that language is …
    that language is used on second life script LSL … god i dont remeber the name of that probject but its really cool and easy

  3. @cageorge76 I …
    @cageorge76 I lament that 12Blocks could be used as a teaching tool to introduce students to the concept of information flow that ultimately leads them to traditional typed coding. Once students experience the joy of systems design they are led to the “professional” concept of text-based syntactical state machines. Too many students bail along the way. Traditional coding should be evolving into something like 12Blocks, not the other way around…

  4. @williamlweaver:

    LabView is dataflow programming language which is very powerful idea in its own right … but its very different kind of programming than C, Java, or Python.

    12Blocks is a graphical implementation of imperative programming. So as a teaching tool it provides a much more direct path from visual programming to traditional typed coding.

  5. They should …
    They should introduce this in all US elementary schools. Our school systems are broken and we are losing to the rest of the world. Something like this would inject some greatness back into the broken system. Good stuff!

  6. I love innovation …
    I love innovation and there are some great ideas here… But how is this not a reinvention of LabVIEW?

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