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Python Cheat Sheets

Experience Level




5-10 minutes

Group Size


Compatible Robots



Reference resources to support coding in the iRobot Education Python Web Playground.

Downloads & Resources

RGB Color Code Cheat Sheet Python Commands Cheat Sheet Python Musical Note Cheat Sheet

Get Started

  1. Visit python.irobot.com in a Bluetooth®-supported web browser, such as Google Chrome.
  2. Explore the pre-loaded example code file. If you have a robot, turn it on and ensure your computers Bluetooth is activated. Press the connect button and select your robot from the browser's Bluetooth devices menu. Press 'Pair' and close the window.
  3. Press the play button in the top-left section of the Python Playground window to run the example code.
  4. Press the stop button to stop the code project.
  5. Explore our menu of example projects to the right of the screen.
  6. Explore the Learning Library for other exciting projects compatible with the Python Playground.

Python Explanation

Since the python syntax may be a bit different than what you're used to (asyncio), there are some notes on some common points of confusion surrounding this event loop structure. This framework executes each function, but it does so out of order to become more efficient


If a function is "decorated" by @event, then once the "event" is triggered, all of those functions will occur simultaneously. For example, if multiple functions are decorated as "@event(robot.when_play)," then whenever "robot.play()" is written in the script, it will trigger all functions with that event tag. In functions used with events, you must use "async" due to the nonparallel nature. This is telling the script that we don't necessarily want to run that function right now. We want to call it when we want all the events to happen together, not in a partiuclar order. In other words, it is "asyncronous." Because of this, we don't use return values with event functions. Since all the event functions happen at the same time, we would never care to use the return value of one of them.

Whenever you want a function to be decorated by @event, you must use async in front of def. Since we want to run these functions when the event tag is called, it is an asynchronous function, thus never running when we get to it in the script. For example:

 async def move(robot):

 async def color(robot):


The robot.play line starts the robot's event system. It triggers all the functions decorated with @event(robot.when_play). Additionally, it will listen for other events like the ones associated with sensors. See max_obstacles.py, instrument.py, or bumper_control.py for full example. Each function that is triggered will run "in parallel," meaning they will all run at the same time. Normally, python scripts will run each function in the order that it reads. The events allow us to run functions at the same time or out of order, instead of one by one.

Since the robot uses a few different sensors, now we can take advantage of all of them at once. We don't have to wait to run the bumpers if we are using the IR sensors.

We can use the normal "def" format if we want to run that function to access its return value later. See max_obstacles.py as an example.


Async functions can suspend their execution before reaching return, and move to run a different function in that time. You can use async with or without an event decorator. This is when you have a function that you don't want to run immediately in the script (such as the normal "def" function) or if you want to run when the event is called. Async is used with a function that is called later, usually in an event function. Async functions can have return values. If you want to run a function where it is in the script, use def. If you want it to run asynchronously and run when you call it, used async def. If you use methods, put an "await" in front. "Await" can only be used in an async def function. For example:

async def forward(robot):
 await robot.set_wheel_speeds(speed, speed)

async def sensors(robot):
 sensors = (await robot.get_ir_proximity()).sensors
 avg = sum(sensors)/len(sensors)
 return avg

async def play(robot):
 await forward(robot)


A function in a class is called a method. Each method receives the 'self' parameter. In the example below, the parameter "name" is stored in the property "self.name". You can have multiple classes in a script. They can be used to organize the functions in your code. For example:


class my_robot:

def __init__(self, name):

self.name = name

def message(self, color):

print('I am ' + str(color))



The robot's methods are all called with await. Methods are lines that tell the robot to do specific actions. It basically just means wait for this to occur until called. Examples of what methods look like:


robot.set_wheel_speeds(speed, speed)

# or

robot.set_lights_rgb(255, 0, 0)

# or

robot.arc(Robot.DIR_LEFT, large_angle, arc_speed)


Methods should follow the await term such as:


await robot.set_wheel_speeds(speed, speed)



Check Out Our Python Playground Projects

Grades 6-9



Light Paint With Create 3

Use long-exposure light photography, paired with the Create 3 Robot, to create EPIC robot-infused light paintings.



Sound Off, 1-2

Code your Create 3 Robot to play musical tones and respond to button presses and other sensor input.



C3, Phone Home

Use a coordinate system to command your robot to return to its starting position.



Create 3 Robot Dance Recital

Use the Create 3 and the iRobot Education Python Web Playground to code your robot to dance the Hokey Pokey. Looking for more? Take your new choreography skills to new heights and code a dance to your own song!

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