Help me

I am teaching 7 kids in a small STEM class, and I have purchased a parallax activity bot as our project. I am a novice. We assembled the robot, downloaded the software and ran the test with it connected via usb to the computer. I am stuck. How do you get it to run without the usb cord?

I am lost in the online manual and tutorials. Please help me and my students.


  • Welcome to the forums!

    Are you using Spin or C?

    In Spin, you would use the Propeller Tool to write the programs, and then use F11 to save it to EEPROM.

    If you are use SimpleIDE, you would use F11 also to save to EEPROM.

    Then the program would run after power up without the USB cable.

  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406

    I'm not sure what you mean, but if you're running the code by downloading it to RAM then it won't survive a reset or power cycle. You must download code to the EEPROM for it to remain.

    That said, if the program reports back to the terminal window that won't work without it being connected via USB.
  • edited 2016-04-27 - 23:30:44
    cowart wrote: »
    ...How do you get it to run without the usb cord?

    If you have successfully completed these two pages:

    ...and if the example program seems to run correctly with the USB cable connected: can make sure that the program will run even after you disconnect the USB cable, turn power off/on, or press/release RST by loading the program into a storage chip called an EEPROM on the Propeller Activity Board. When the Propeller microcontroller starts up, it will load and run the program from EEPROM if it detects that there isn't an incoming program from the USB cable.

    To load a program into EEPROM, simply use the Load EEPROOM & Run button (or Program -> Load EEPROM & Run). After that, every time you turn the power off and back on (to position-2 for navigation) or press/release RST, the Propeller will load & run the program you stored in EEPROM.

    Note: Regardless of whether or not you are connected to the USB cable, make sure to use 5 Alkaline AA batteries for any robot navigation.

    You can always store a different program in EEPROM. Or even keep that old one in EEPROM, and run a different one while connected to the USB cable with either Load RAM & Run or Run with Terminal. Those two means of loading a program only load to the Propeller chip's RAM. So they run once. After that, you can either load another program into RAM, or press/release the RST button to get the ActivityBot to run the last program that was loaded into EEPROM.

  • You'll want to load EEPROM.

    Another option students have used is putting in a big 10 second pause before their main code:


    and then they quickly run to their spot and see if their robot did what they wanted. This avoids turning off the robot, and it keeps what is in RAM.
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