Yes, you can program mBot via Bluetooth with your computer (PC/Mac) running mBlock 3 software. There are two methods for doing so.
Recommended Method: Using the Makeblock® Bluetooth® Dongle (MB-BLE)
- Follow the pairing instructions that came included with the Makeblock Bluetooth Dongle to pair the dongle with your mBot.
- Create a program within mBlock 3.
- Programs starting with an “mBot Program” hat block must be uploaded to the mBot, using the “Upload to Arduino” feature in mBlock, before the program can be run. Programs starting with an “When green flag pressed” hat block simply require a click of the green flag.
Note: You will choose the connection to the Makeblock Bluetooth Dongle by selecting the serial port (Connection > Serial Port) rather than identifying the Bluetooth radio.
Alternate Method: Using your computer’s Bluetooth radio
You can also use your computer’s built-in Bluetooth radio to connect to mBot. Generally, we do not recommend it because the pairing process is difficult, especially in a classroom full of mBots. But if you have a single mBot or are willing to work through the process one mBot at a time, the following information will be helpful.
To connect to your mBot via your computer’s Bluetooth do the following:
- Turn on mBot.
- Open mBlock on your PC/Mac.
- From the Connect menu select “Bluetooth” > “Discover”.
- mBlock will scan for available Bluetooth devices and populate a list. In the list, mBot will appear as an item labeled “Makeblock (*string of numbers/letter pairs, separated by colons*). Unfortunately, if more than one mBot is available there is no easy way of identifying which Makeblock item in the Bluetooth list is which mBot. Select the mBot from the list.
Note: Your computer operating system may prompt you to pair with mBot in the system settings, especially the first time you are connecting to a particular mBot.
- mBlock will connect to mBot. Once connected, the blue LED on mBot’s Bluetooth radio will switch from flashing to solid and the title of the mBlock software window will indicate that mBlock is connected to mBot via Bluetooth.
- You must “upgrade” mBot’s firmware before you can connect to mBot via Bluetooth to program it in Scratch Mode. For more details on Scratch Mode and upgrading mBot’s firmware, see here: What is "Live" mode in mBlock 5? Why would I use it?
- When connected to mBot via Bluetooth, you can NOT upload programs to mBot, i.e. switch to Arduino Mode, reset mBot to its Default Program, or connect mBot to another device via Bluetooth. Via Bluetooth, you can only program mBot in Scratch Mode.
- mBlock for Chromebooks does not currently support Bluetooth connections to mBot.
- You must reset mBot to the Default Program before you can connect mBot to an iOS/Android device via Bluetooth. See How do I reset my mBot back to the Default Program?