Edison Robot

A little rectangular orange robot with two big black wheels on one end.

Using the Edison Robot

Request the Edison Robot

Curious about robots? Meet Edison, a LEGO-compatible robot that is fun and easy to program. Edison is a coding toy for children aged 4+ with adults’ help. With built in sensors, Edison can be programmed by using pre-loaded barcodes that activate functions like follow lines, avoid obstacles, respond to light and sound, and communicate with other Edison robots. You can program Edison to dance, make music or follow a course.

Getting Started Checklist

Edison basics

  • Batteries: Use fresh, full batteries. Only use regular disposable alkaline batteries or nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries. Never use super heavy-duty or heavy-duty batteries. Make sure the batteries are inserted correctly
  • EdComm cable: The cable initially comes in the battery compartment of Edison. Be sure to push the cable fully into the audio jack on your programming device.
  • Paper: Do not use glossy paper and only ever use matte-finish lamination. This is especially important for barcodes and line tracking.
  • Set volume to maximum: Confirm your device’s volume is all the way up when programming Edison. Double-check the volume after you plug in the EdComm cable.
  • Avoid sunlight: Sunlight confuses Edison’s sensors. Avoid using the robot in bright, direct sunlight.

Sensors and programs

  • Barcodes: Print barcodes on non-glossy paper and only use a matte-finish lamination if laminating. Make sure Edison’s skid is in before reading barcodes.
  • Line tracking programs: Always start Edison on the white surface, never on the black surface.
  • Detecting lines: Use dark (e.g., black) lines approximately 1.5cm (0.6 inches) wide on a very reflective (e.g., white) background.
  • Obstacle detection calibration: Adjust Edison’s obstacle detection with the obstacle detection barcode. View detailed instructions.
  • Detecting obstacles: Choose obstacles that are opaque but not too dark (e.g., not black) and at least as tall as Edison

Expand, Create, Invent

Edison works with any LEGO brick compatible building system. Bricks can be attached to the top and bottom of the Edison robot and pegs can be attached to the robot’s sides.

About Science World

Science World is a charitable non-profit and science centre based in Vancouver, BC that engages learners across the province in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & design, and math). Through Tech-Up, Science World delivers province-wide programs that include coding, computational thinking, and digital skills. With an emphasis on “coding to learn,” our Tech-Up team provide learners with the skills they need for STEAM courses in higher education.

Books from the ORL

Here are some book ideas to help you explore coding.

Resources and further reading

Here are some resources and YouTube videos to support your discovery and learning with Edison.

Getting Started with Edison Guide: This PDF includes instructions on how to set up your devices to code the Edison, how to prepare the Edison, instructions to the sensors, buttons, and switches, the different ways to program Edison, and lots of troubleshooting tips

Edison at Home: Whether you are looking for a fun family STEM activity or a pathway for coding education, Edison robots offer at-home educational options for students of any age and skill level!

Hour of Code activities: A variety of activities that are designed to be done in an hour. There is a variety of activities with different difficulties and programming languages

Coding with Edisons: An introduction to the different coding languages you can use to program the Edison.

Barcode Activities: An introduction to the offline coding ability of Edisons to drive over and read barcodes. There is a link to a barcode activity book that can be printed and used.


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Lending Policy

  • This kit can be borrowed for 4 weeks.
  • 1 renewal if no one else is waiting for the item. 
  • The borrower is responsible for lost, missing, and damaged pieces (see content list with prices included with kit).
  • Return the kit to a staff member at the front desk of your nearest ORL location. Do not use the book drop or leave them outside the library. ·
  • BC One Card patrons: Library of Things kits must be checked out and returned to one of the Okanagan Regional Library branches.