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Robotics and programming
Thymio is a programmable robot for education

Thymio is a small mobile robot that aims to enable young people to discover the fascinating world of robots and technology by programming and playing with its many features. With 6 preprogrammed behaviors, it is easy to find out what he can do in no time, before starting to explore the programming options. Thymio can for example follow a line, avoid obstacles or follow your hand.

With the Thymio VPL software it is possible to program Thymio with image blocks in an intuitive way. After Thymio VPL, you can program Thymio with other software (blockly, Scratch, Aseba Studio) to go further. To guide you through these interfaces, there are a lot of pedagogical resources developed for this little robot.

Age groups 
Middle school
High School
Desktop Windows
Desktop Mac
Non-digital product
Not required
Offline play 
Playable offline
Educational Quality
Learning Goals

The pedagogical analysis covers how the product supports learning of the identified skills. The student’s role is assessed by four contrary pair parameters, which are selected to cover the most essential aspects on the use of the product.

The activity book gives a lot of ideas and projects to do with the robot. Thymio offers a variety of programming platforms The user can choose to work with established software to program the robot or work with their own platforms. It is possible to use the robot without programming it at all since there are six different preset behaviors to experience. Although the activity book presents an order of activities to begin with, it is very easy to alter and select things to do.
The user can choose between 4 different programming-tools. The difficulty in the use of the robot and the overall requirements varies in each stage. The VPL-Tool is logic-based and works even for small children who can't read. It is possible to work with Scratch. The use of the Blockly-Tool is very similar to Scratch but less difficult since the tool doesn't offer as many possibilities. The Aseba-Studio's text-based programming works for older students.
The guidebook gives a good path for especially younger students, but the free selection of suitable tasks makes the solution follow non-linear, progressive, user progression. However, all the tasks are well structured and the steps are clear, so the teacher can plan their session. The solution promotes ways of abstract or computational thinking.
Thymio allows face-to-face interaction to be part of the learning experience, and most of the activities are designed to be done in small groups. The solution allows collaboration within the same school. All written programs can be saved on a computer or file-cloud and therefore be shared and reused. The use of the software and the robot is very intuitive and simple. When the basic functions are familiar, the user can act and progress autonomously

The following are the high educational quality aspects in this product.

You can choose between 4 different programming-tools one of which is text-based programming and some don't even require reading-skills.
The interaction between robot and PC is very easy to install and it works very well.
Thymio offers a good balance between theory and praxis with age-appropriate tasks. Kids and teachers have fun when using the robot for learning.

The supported learning goals are identified by matching the product with several relevant curricula descriptions on this subject area. The soft skills are definitions of learning goals most relevant for the 21st century. They are formed by taking a reference from different definitions of 21st century skills and Finnish curriculum.

Subject based learning goals

Verstehen, dass ein Computer nur vordefinierte Anweisungen ausführen kann und dass ein Programm eine Abfolge von solchen Anweisungen ist.
Können einfache Abläufe mit Schleifen, bedingten Anweisungen und Parametern lesen und manuell ausführen.
Können Programme mit Schleifen, bedingten Anweisungen und Parametern schreiben und testen.
Können Abläufe mit Schleifen und Verzweigungen aus ihrer Umwelt erkennen, beschreiben und strukturiert darstellen (z.B. mittels Flussdiagrammen).
Können logische Operatoren verwenden (und, oder, nicht).
Können durch Probieren Lösungswege für einfache Problemstellungen suchen und auf Korrektheit prüfen (z.B. einen Weg suchen, eine Spielstrategie entwickeln). Sie können verschiedene Lösungswege vergleichen.
Können selbstentdeckte Lösungswege für einfache Probleme in Form von lauffähigen und korrekten Computerprogrammen mit Schleifen, bedingten Anweisungen und Parametern formulieren.
Können selbstentwickelte Algorithmen in Form von lauffähigen und korrekten Computerprogrammen mit Variablen und Unterprogrammen formulieren.
Können formale Anleitungen erkennen und ihnen folgen (z.B. Koch- und Backrezepte, Spiel- und Bastelanleitungen, Tanzchoreographien).
Können Geräte ein- und ausschalten und einfache Funktionen nutzen.

Soft skills learning goals

Practicing to notice causal connections
Practicing logical reasoning to understand and interpret information in different forms
Using technology as a part of explorative and creative process
Using technology resources for problem solving
Understanding technological system operations through making
Practicing logical reasoning, algorithms and programming through making
Using technology as a part of explorative process
Learning to notice causal connections
Encouraging students to be innovative and express new ideas
Practicing to use imagination and to be innovative
Understanding and practicing safe and responsible uses of technology
Using technology for interaction and collaboration
Practicing to work with others
Encouraging to build new information and visions
Learning to find the joy of learning and new challenges
Developing problem solving skills
Learning to combine information to find new innovations
Practicing to notice links between subjects learned
Practicing strategic thinking
Learning to face failures and disappointments
Building common knowledge of technological solutions and their meaning in everyday life
Learning to build information on top of previously learned
Learning decision-making, influencing and accountability
Practicing to use foreign language as a communication tool
Learning to use foreign language in work context
Practicing decision making
Connecting subjects learned at school to skills needed at working life
Learning to acquire, modify and produce information in different forms
Using technology for interaction and collaboration (also internationally)
Creating requirements for creative thinking
Practicing creative thinking
Practicing to improvise
Practicing to use imagination and to be innovative
Practicing to look things from different perspectives

The Finnish Educational Quality Certificate

Our Quality Evaluation Method is an academically sound approach to evaluating a product’s pedagogical design from the viewpoint of educational psychology.

The method has been developed with university researchers and all evaluators are carefully selected Finnish teachers with a master's degree in education.

More about the evaluation