Scribbler Introduction

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An Introduction to the Scribbler


Park Science Bldg, Room 251

Bryn Mawr College

101 North Merion Ave

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Tel. (610) 526-5024

To Whom it May Concern:

We hope you find using the Institute for Personal Robots in Education’s Scribbler Robot kit both enjoyable and educational. The mission of the Institute for Personal Robots in Education, abbreviated as IPRE, is to find creative, fun, and useful ways for students to learn computer science by programming robots. The institute, created with a grant from Microsoft Research, is jointly run by Bryn Mawr College and Georgia Technical Institute. For more information, take a look at IPRE’s website at

We have enclosed your robot kit, which includes the following.

  • Scribbler robot, by Parallax.
  • The “Fluke”, IPRE’s Bluetooth camera dongle. Has extra sensors for the robot, including a camera, and allows the robot to send messages to and receive messages from the computer.
  • Bluetooth USB dongle. Allows the computer to send messages to and receive messages from the robot.
  • A nifty carry bag for the robot.
  • Three Sharpie pens. For use with Scribbler drawing.
  • Six double-A batteries. Note that rechargeable batteries work with the Scribbler as well.
  • Also included are the original Scribbler manual, cd, and serial cable, as well as the Bluetooth USB Dongle manual, CD, and USB wire. None of these last set of items are necessary for programming of the Scribbler using the Myro library (a set of functions for use with the robot). We have included them so that in case you wish to use any of them, you can.

Learning to program the Scribbler in the programming language Python using the Myro library is fun and relatively easy. We currently have introductory level computer science courses at both Bryn Mawr College and Georgia Technical Institute in which students use the Scribbler to learn how to program. For an introduction to the Scribbler and much, much more information on using Myro with the Scribbler, go to our Wiki Online Textbook at Robots.

To set up the Scribbler for use, you will need to connect the Fluke into the Scribbler’s serial port and connect the Bluetooth USB dongle into your computer’s USB port. By the serial port there is a black on-off switch and a useful red restart button.

To use the Scribbler, you will need to download the installer for the programming language Python, as well as the library Myro, a collection of functions that can be used with the Scribbler. Both are freely available on the web. For instructions on how to install Myro as well as on how to set up the Bluetooth connection between your robot and the computer, go to On that page, there is also a link to Python 2.4, which is what is used in the Wiki online text. Alternately, you can get Python 2.4 as well as newer versions of Python at (go to Quick Links and look under Releases, both located on the left-hand side of the webpage).

We hope you enjoy working, playing, and learning with the Scribbler robot and Myro. You can email any questions or comments to


The Institute for Personal Robots in Education Team

Georgia Tech:

Associate Professor Tucker Balch, IPRE Director

Professor Mark Guzdial, Co-PI for Curricula

Gaurav Gupta, IPRE Fellow M.S. Student

Keith O'Hara, Ph.D. Student Instructor & Robot Hardware and Software Design

Jay Summet, Postdoctoral Fellow Curriclum Development & Evaluation

Monica Sweat, Instructor Curriculum Evaluation

Daniel Walker, Research Scientist Lead Hardware Design Engineer

Bryn Mawr:

Associate Professor Douglas Blank, IPRE Co-Director Lead Software Design

Professor Deepak Kumar, Co-PI for Curricula

Natasha Eilbert, 2007-2008 IPRE Fellow

Georgia State University:

Associate Professor K. N. King, IPRE Associate Curriculum Evaluation

The University of Georgia:

Assistant Professor Maria Hybinette, IPRE Associate Curriculum Evaluation

Professor Don Potter, IPRE Associate Curriculum Evaluation

Microsoft Research :

Dr. Stewart Tansley, Program Manager Microsoft Research

Jared Jackson, Software Development Engineer Microsoft Research