Robots that can be used at school with links to self-training

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(in alphabetical order, according to the list of the Center for Government Acquisitions of Quebec)

Thank you to the team of the National Service of the RÉCIT, field of mathematics, science and technology (Sonya Fiset, Pierre Lachance, Marc-André Mercier).

For more information on robotics at school, refer to the article In the universe of robots published in the magazine École branchée, spring 2022.

Arduino: Self-training

Arduino sets contain parts to build various robots and systems (home automation, sensors, greenhouse management, etc.). They are mainly offered to more advanced students in programming since they require connections with very small parts without soldering.

Programming: ArduBlockly, Blockly@rduino, BitBloq, TinkerCad, mBlock, Arduino IDE

Bee-Bot and Blue-Bot: Self-training

Robot in the playful form of a bee allowing you to program movement sequences. Easy to use with clear mat and custom images. The robots: Botley, Mouse Code and Go, Rugged and Artie 3000 have essentially the same functions.

Programming: buttons on the robot or Blue Bot app or online simulator


Small magnetic cubes offering the possibility of programming different actions. Each cube, depending on its color, has a function that will allow the robot to program “Actions”, “Sensors” or “Reflections”.

Programming: cubes or application

Dash (& Dot): Self-training

Dash is a robot that can be programmed to move, rotate its head, turn on lights. It has distance sensors. Dot can be paired with Dash for complementary uses.

Programming: app wonderworkshop, tablet or cloud device only

Edison : Self-training

The Edison robot is one of the cheapest on the list. It has several sensors and studs to use creativity with the LEGO blocks. 

Programming: Ed Blocks, EdScratch, Edpy 

EV3 or SPIKE Prime LEGO : EV3 self-training, SPIKE Prime

EV3, and its replacement SPIKE Prime, is a set of components that dock to LEGO blocks. It contains several types of sensors as well as a smart brick.

Programming: app LEGO Classroom, EV3 or SPIKE Prime software, MakeCode EV3 with simulator, Scratch

Makey makey : Self-training

A Makey card Makey is a programmable microcontroller to control various everyday objects as if it were a touch pad. Using wires with crocodile clips and the principles of electricity, the USB-connected card facilitates the exploration, thanks to the MATIS approach, of the world around us. 

Programming: Scratch


Playful robot, connected to a control tower, allowing you to program movement sequences. Tiles are available for drawing and music extensions. 

Programming: set of tiles to be placed on a programming board, application 

mBlock: mBot, Ranger, Codey Rocky, Ultimate : Self-training

mBlock robots or assemblies offer certain mounting options, motors and sensors, while keeping the same programming application.

Programming: mBlock, Arduino IDE, Scratch

Micro:bit, Micro:bit V2 : Self-training

A Micro:bit card is a programmable microcontroller. It also allows to explore the concepts of electricity. If motors are added, it can be used to move a robot. A few sensors are integrated including a compass, an accelerometer, a temperature and light sensor, and in version 2, a speaker and a touch sensor.

Programming: Scratch, MakeCode with simulator

Ozobot : Self-training

Ozobot Evo is a small robot of about 2.5 cm that can be programmed to move and follow lines. A series of pre-programmed codes can be added to the trip. Programming with blocks is also possible for older students.

Programming: pencils with codes, Ozobot apps, OzoBlockly

Raspberry Pi 

Raspberry Pi kits contain parts to build various robots and systems. But since this card is a nano-computer on which an operating system can be installed, it offers computing possibilities that are well suited to students who are advanced in programming, including those enrolled in specialized programs.

Programming: Scratch, Python, Arduino IDE

Root : Self-training

This new robot is very versatile thanks to its three programming levels. It has sensors, and it is possible to use it vertically on a magnetic board for demonstrations. 

Programming: iRobot with simulator

Sphero: mini, SPRK+, Bolt, RVR Row, Ollie : Self-training

Products in the Sphero range can be programmed to perform movements while rolling on the ground, react to obstacles or collisions. They are fitted with sensors. The SPRK+ and Bolt models are sealed, allowing them to be dropped into liquid. 

Programming: Sphero app

Thymio : Self-training

The Thymio robot is also a versatile product intended for a very varied clientele. It is possible to add LEGO blocks to it thanks to studs on its surface. Several sensors are integrated into it. 

Programming: Blockly4Thymio and Thymio Suite

WeDo or SPIKE Essential LEGO : WeDo self-training and SPIKE Essential

WeDo, like its replacement, is a set of several parts that lends itself well to educational robotics with the MATIS approach. In addition to the brick, there are one or two motors, a few sensors, and building plans. Lessons are available.

Programming: app LEGO WeDo and SPIKE

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