Propeller C Programming with the ActivityBot

Meet the ActivityBot

This compact, zippy robot matches a multi-core Propeller microcontroller brain with great hardware:

  • Versatile Propeller Activity Board (original or WX version) perched atop our classic, sturdy aluminum chassis
  • Custom-made High Speed servos
  • Optical encoders and wheels with secure O-ring tires ensure straight straightaways and consistent maneuvers
  • SD card for datalogging and file storage
  • Electronic components for building navigation systems using touch, visible light, infrared light, and ultrasonic sensors


What It's About

This tutorial is about building the ActivityBot robot and programming its 8-core Propeller microcontroller brain using the text-based C language.  By following these pages step by step, you will learn to:

  • Assemble and wire up your robot
  • Set up the SimpleIDE programming software
  • Find the special C libraries and example code just for your ActivityBot
  • Write simple programs in C for the multi-core Propeller microcontroller
  • Program your ActivityBot to navigate with encoders
  • Build sensor-based navigation systems for your ActivityBot so it can navigate on its own

Before You Start

You can start right here.  All you need is your ActivityBot Robot Kit and five 1.5 V AA batteries.  In fact, you may have already built your robot following the Mechanical Assembly Guide that comes in the box.  If not, don't worry, assembly instructions are repeated in the links below.  During this tutorial you will also be directed to other Propeller C Tutorials to get software, try example programs, and build some circuits.

After You Finish

Once you've mastered the basics, you can mod your 'bot with your newfound skills. 

If You Need Help

...we will help you!  Visit our Learn forum, or email

Ready to get started? Just follow the links below.