Open Roberta

The Open Roberta® Lab is an online IDE introducing kids to the world of coding, by teaching them how 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 program 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 225 000 visits in 2018 across more than 100 countries.

The backend is written in Java. It provides user management and robot support in the shape of an evolving plugin system. Each robot subsystem handles code generation and communication with the robot. As of now the project comes with 10 different robot plugins:

  • EV3 LEGO Mindstorms
  • NXT LEGO Mindstorms
  • BBC micro:bit
  • Calliope mini
  • Bot’n Roll, Arduino-based
  • NAO
  • Bob3
  • Nepo4Arduino
  • mBot
  • SenseBox


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.

Primary Open Source License: Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0)

Programming Languages:

  • java
  • javascript
  • nepo


  • education
  • robotics
  • visual programming
  • web