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Here you will find all information about the Open Roberta Lab and about our "Open Roberta operating system" (also called Open Roberta Firmware). Initially we describe the menu items in the Open Roberta Lab and what is behind the menu items. We tried to keep the Open Roberta Lab as simple as possible.

There are five menu items on the left: Edit - Robots - Help - User - Language.

 edit menu

In this menu item you'll find everything you can do with your program. In addition, you can chose NEPO blocks you want to program, e.g. beginner blocks or experts blocks.

 run on robot

By selecting this submenu you run the program on the robot. For this purpose your program and the configuration of your robot will be sent to the Open Roberta Lab servers. There the readable robot machine code is generated and sent to your robot. The robot runs the program as soon as it is completely transferred.

If a robot is connected you will receive a direct message. You can see in the right concer of the menu an existing connection besides the green robot icon.

The "start" of a program can be detected at different points within the Open Roberta Lab and at your robot:

  1.      A message appears In the top center of the Open Roberta Lab, indicating for some seconds that your program will be processed.

  2.      The NEPO logo appears at the robot display prior to starting the program on the robot.

  3.      While your program is running, the robot icon in the right of the Open Roberta Lab menu flashes red and green.

You can start a program by a single click from the programming area.

 run in simulation

This command starts your program in the simulation environment. The program will be sent to the simulator and may be executed with the simulation start button. The robot configuration is a standard configuration.


In a future release of the software you may check that your program and the robot configuration match and that the program execution is possible from the Open Roberta Lab. This submenu item has not yet been entirely completed, so possibly it is not yet clickable.

new ...

Clear the programming window to create a new program. If the current program has been changed there will be a warning that you should save the changes.

my programs ...

Displays all your saved programs. For this, you need to log in the menu »user« or you have create a new user account with »new«.

 share program

Share your program with friends.

multiple robot simulation ...

Start two or more programs in the simulation environment.


  1. Logged-in user

  2. At least two stored programs.

example programs ...

Some example programs to choose for initial experiments.


If you are logged in and your program has already been given a name with »save as«, you can save program changes. The same functionality is available by using the button in the lower right corner of the screen.

 save as ...

If you are logged in, you can save your program by entering a new name for the program.

message-typing.png Show Documentation

You can use this window to describe your program.

Show code

A code windows will be rolled out to show the java code that was generated from the blocks program.

 Open Source Code Editor

Edit and build the text-based source code in the Open Roberta Lab and then run it on the device.

 Build the Source Code

Edit and build the source code. When you are finished, click on the wrench to build the code.

Make sure that you type everything in correctly, otherwise you will get an error message from the lab.

 Run on robot

To run your program on a robot, simply press Start.

Download program

Programs can also be downloaded and saved on the PC.

Export program

Using the export program command is used to store the current program on a local storage device. An explorer window will be opened to browse for an export folder. XML code will be generated end stored. This is always useful if the Open Roberta cloud is not available.

Import program

The import program command is useful to restore a program stored on a local storage device. An explorer window will be opened to browse for the program to import.

Warning! Importing a program will overwrite the current program. You should definitely save it first. 

NEPO-Blocks beginner

Clicking the button above the block toolbox will switch the toolbox to the beginner toolbox, which contains a reduced selection of the blocks that are available in the Open Roberta Lab, which is ideal for beginners.

NEPO-Blocks expert

Clicking the button  above the block toolbox will switch the toolbox to the expert toolbox, which contains all available blocks in the Open Roberta Lab.

 Robots menu

Select Robot

Your choice of robots to perform simulations on.

 Connect Robot

If you want to test your program not only in simulation but also with a real robot, you can connect it to the Open Roberta Lab.

Help menu

The Help menu is linked to the Open Roberta Wiki. In addition, the following further sub-menus are available:

general help

This is a direct link into the Open Roberta wiki which gives all the information around the project and programming with NEPO.

Programming with NEPO

Direct link to the Open Roberta Wiki with comprehensive information about the project and programming with NEPO.

Robot preparation

  • currently not available


Frequently asked questions and answers to them.


Here you can find some information about the project Open Roberta and about Fraunhofer Institute IAIS.

show welcome note again

If you click on this submenu the starting welcome note will be shown again. There the most recent innovations about the latest release of the Open Roberta Lab are listed.


Showing all your actions that done within the Open Roberta Lab.

Help view

Here you will find a detailed description of all blocks that exist for your robot system. The button for this is located on the right side of the programming environment.


Using this menu item you can manage your user account within Open Roberta Lab. For this you may use the following submenus:


Logs in to an existing user account. If you don't have one you will find a button to create a new user account.

reset password ...

If you saved an email address with your user account, you can use this feature, which you can access over the login form. Just add your email adress into the form and press "Send now" to receive an email with a special link with which you can set a new password for your user account. This is especially handy if you forgot your password and need to reset it to be able to log in again.


If you do not have a user account yet, you can optionally create one with this feature, which you can access over the login form. Just enter the necessary data in the form (you do not have to enter an email adress or name, if you do not want to) and press "Register now" to create an user account. Afterwards, you will be directly logged in to your new account.


Leaving your user account, but you are still able to program and run NEPO programs on your robot.


Change some of your user account data, as your user name, the display name, the e-mail address, or the password. If you still have to confirm your e-mail address, you can have the confirmation e-mail sent to you again here.

delete user

Your user account and all your stored NEPO programs will be deleted.

state information

Display some state information like user name, program name, robot configuration name, and user mode.

Language menu

The Open Roberta lab is being translated in more and more languages. Choose the language in which the program shall be displayed.

Help information is currently only available in English and in German. If you select a non-German language the help information is in English.

Open Roberta Sim

The Open Roberta simulation environment lets you test your programs. This is very useful if there is no real robot at hand.

Open Roberta programs may be run on real robots or in the simulation environment. In the simulation there is (currently) just a simple 2D robot model available. Possibly not all programming commands may be performed.

How to enter or leave the simulation environment?

The simulation environment with a simple 2D robot model will be shown by clicking the SIM button at the right of the programming environment. This will roll out the simulation environment.

The same SIM butten may be used to close the simulation environment.

In the simulation environment there are less programming blocks executable than in the EV3 environment. This is due to the simple robot model currently available in the simulation environment.

The 2D robot

For simulation purposes a basic robot is available. It will be shown by clicking the "ROBOT CONFIGURATION ORSim" button. Currently the EV3 robot has the following components:

  • Actors
    • 2 wheels powered by motors
    • 1 LED that may show red, orange or green light
  • Sensors
    • 1 color sensor to detect colors on the ground
    • 1 ultrasonic sensor in the front
    • 1 touch sensor integrated in the bumper

All these components may be used in simulation programs.

Simulation models for other robots are different from the EV3 model.

Start a program in Open Robera Sim

A program will be started in the simulation environment by clicking the simulation start-button.

The display window changes.

  • In the left segment a part of the program is displayed.
  • In the lower left corner there are some  buttons to control the simulation.
  • The right segment shows the 2D robot in the currently selected environment.

Control buttons in Open Robera Sim

In the lower left corner of the simulation window there are some buttons to control the simulation.

The available buttons in the simulation environment are different for the selected robot system

The picture above shows buttons for the EV3.

You can move robots and items in the environment. You can see an example on the right.

There you can also find an example of how to easily bring the robot back to the initial position after you have started the simulation.


Simulate multiple robots

You can start two or more programs in the simulation environment.

How to proceed:

  1. Log in to Open Roberta under "User" or create a new user account.
  2. If you are logged in and have already saved several programs, proceed with step 4.
  3. If you don't have any programs yet, create two or more programs and save them in your user account.
  4. A click on "Edit > multiple robot simulation" opens a selection window where you can select the programs you want to simulate. You can use it to call two or more programs in the simulation. After selecting the programs, the simulation opens with one robot for each program.
  5. The programs can be executed as in the normal simulation via the "Start" button.

The view of the sensor data or the view of the system can be changed by double-clicking on the respective robot or via the dropdown menu in the view of the sensor data.

Change Scene

There are different scenes for the simulation. Each scene consists of different objects and backgrounds. Depending on what you want your program to do, you can choose a suitable environment. 

If you can't find a suitable scene, you can upload your own.

Show the robot brick

By clicking the corresponding button in the simulation environment the robot brick will be displayed.

All the programmable buttons of the brick are clickable with the mouse cursor.

The status light of an EV3 may show green, orange, or red light.

Show sensor data

Sensor data and their changes of all used sensors can be observed.

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