Open Roberta® Lab is an online IDE introducing kids to program robots with NEPO®


The Roberta Initiative “Learning with Robots” was started more than 15 years ago by Fraunhofer IAIS in Germany with the objective to get kids interested in technology and science by constructing and programming robotic kits. The project provides a gender sensitive course concept and materials for teachers to run coding classes. The idea behind the Open Roberta Lab is to provide a simple and easy to use programming environment for everybody.

The lab

The Open Roberta® Lab is an open source programming environment, developed to introduce kids to programming robots and microcontrollers. The software is a web application running in the browser. Users program robots using a Blockly-based graphical programming language called NEPO®. A simulation is available for those who don't have a real robot at hand. Since 2014 is online and has had more than 100.000+ visits in 2017 across 135 countries.

The backend is written in Java. It provides user management and robot support in the form of an evolving plugin system. Each robot subsystem handles code generation and communication with the robot. As of now the project comes with 7 different robot plugins:

  • EV3 LEGO Mindstorms
  • NXT LEGO Mindstorms
  • BBC micro:bit
  • Calliope mini
  • Bot’n Roll, Arduino-based
  • NAO, a humanoide robot
  • Bob3

While the software is stable and widely used, we're looking for new ideas, but also help on existing ideas to develop the project further.

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  • java
  • javascript


  • Web
  • education
  • programming
  • robotics
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Open Roberta Lab 2018 Projects

  • Akshat Khare
    Multiple robots in simulation
    To add the feature of multiple simulations for EV3 Robot. The Open Roberta® Lab provides a simulation, where users can test their programs without a...
  • Rishabhdeep Singh
    Open Roberta Standalone app for Desktop and Mobile
    The Open Roberta is a server-side Web Application and the idea of a standalone version is to bundle the server with a built-in Web Browser. This can...