Now you have BlocklyProp Solo open in Chrome, and the Launcher installed. It is time to run your first project!
- Plug the large end of your USB cable into your computer's USB port.
- Plug the small end of the cable into your S3 robot's USB port.
- Hold down the red power button on your S3 for 3 seconds until the blue light above it comes on.
Build and Run your Project
BlocklyProp programs are also called "projects." In the Edit pane, you build a project by making selections from the gray block menu to the left of the Edit pane. Some menu items expand to give you more choices.
- In the Block Menu, click Actions, then click Communicate.
- A list of Terminal blocks will appear. Hold your pointer over each one, and you will see a message appear with hints on how to use it.
- Click on the Terminal send text block to place it in the Edit pane.
- Click inside the block's text field, and type Hello.
- From the port dropdown menu, select the COM port connected to your S3 robot.
- Click the Arrow button. This will load the program into the S3 robot's memory and run it.
You will see a message that says Compile....Download....then a terminal should open and display your text exactly as you typed it into the block:
- If you isntead get an error message that says "Download Failed!" try these steps:
- Make sure your USB cable is connecting your S3 robot to your computer.
- Make sure your S3 robot is turned on: the blue light above the red Power button should be lit. If it is not, press and hold the power button until it comes on.
- If you see an COM port number in the error message, compare it to the COM port numbers in the drop-down menu. If there is another COM port number shown there, try it instead.
- Add a second Terminal send text to your project and update the messages in both blocks.
- Run the updated project. Did the Terminal show you what you expected to see? Or are the two phrases smooshed together like this?
- Try putting a Terminal send command block in between your two Terminal send text blocks, then run the program again. Did that help?
Saving to the Computer
It is good practice to save your BlocklyProp projects to your computer frequently while you work. In fact, a message will pop up every 20 minutes to remind you.
Once you load a project to your S3 robot's memory, you cannot get the project out and back into BlocklyProp. But, if you save a copy on your computer, you can always open it again to run it or to make changes.
- Click the Save button.
- Use the Save As dialog to choose a file storage folder, and to rename your project if you like. BlocklyProp Solo saves projects as a specialized .svg file type.
- If your browser is set to automatically download to a default location. If there is already a file by that name, it will append a number to the end, such as Hello (1).svg.
- To use a saved file, just click the Open button and browse to the file.
Special thanks to Parallax friend Whit Stodghill for his assistance in writing, editing, and testing material for these S3 tutorials.