Hey all,

I’ve not been much of a fan of Minibloq myself for several reasons. It’s great work, but it just hasn’t done what I’ve wanted, including the ability to teach high level programming, object orientation, easy function definition, etc. It does seem really good for creating some basic C code from blocks, which may be what a lot of people are looking for – it’s just not how I was looking to teach. So I started rethinking the problem a bit from the top down, using my past experience to try to come up with a solution that would make things (hopefully) a bit easier to work/teach and allow further expansion. I’ve just got to a point I think I can push out to others (you!).

[li]I wanted something wireless, using the Bluetooth module, because I don’t like a lot of hands touching delicate robot pieces, breaking them. Also, recompilation and plugging in/out can take a lot of time. From there, I decided I wanted the code to run on a mobile device[/li]
[li]I wanted something that could teach high level language concepts and has real-world applicability. JavaScript is built into lots of devices and seemed optimal[/li]
[li]I wanted to maintain the ease (and lack of syntax programming issues) of the visual programming, but provide more capabilities that what is currently available on Minibloq.[/li][/ul]

Anyway, what I’ve come up with is something I’m calling JSparks. I’ve put up a landing page with some instructions on how to use it and the links you’d need at sparki.eskibars.com/ . If others like to use it, great – I hope it gets more usage than just myself! I’d love to hear additional feedback as well. There are likely some bugs and several features which I haven’t implemented yet, so please don’t hesitate to let me know!

  • Shane

Very interesting programming approach…do you have any YouTube videos to show examples.



[quote=“jgavlik”]Very interesting programming approach…do you have any YouTube videos to show examples.



Hi John,

Good idea! I’ve created an youtube video to go through the basics of how to use the platform and run it on Sparki.


If you have other suggestions (videos or otherwise), let me know!

  • Shane

Holy crap, this is amazing! We’re definitely going to have to meet up with you when we move out to San Francisco in January!

This is, indeed, a game changer for robot programming and execution…and for general education.

Thanks for all your work thus far…jg

This is a FANTASTIC application. I just downloaded it and it worked perfectly the first time. The voice recognition is great! I’m running the program on a ZTE Awe N800 phone, with a 4" screen, and Android 4.1.2 and it works fine. The fonts are a little small on the smaller screen, but everything seems to work correctly. Thank you very much and let us know if you come up with any other gems like this.

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Hello Shane,

This seems like a fantastic application! I am a curriculum developer for a K-12 STEAM education program run through Northwestern University. We serve over 4,000 kids every week and I had considered rolling out a new robotics module using Sparkis but was concerned about the programming environment. You have now solved the problem for me and I have a few questions:

  1. The locations that run our program do not have guaranteed access to android devices. Is there a way to send the code to the sparki from JSparks through USB?
  2. If not would it work to just copy the full code into Sparkiduino?


Henry Mann

How do you use the IR reciever and LED? Thanks!

Hi everybody;

Dear eski, great idea jsparks :smiley: ;
I am interested in translating jsparks in Italian, so that this language become available in the upper right corner.
How can I collaborate with you?
Is there a language file I can translate and send back to you?

Thanks again

Here again,
I am trying using the IDE and the app; maybe I am loosing something as newbie.

I didn’t find some features I would find useful, but maybe is my foult in searching in the correct location:

  1. is there a a way to duplicate a project in the IDE so that you can reuse functions and blocks?
  2. is there a way to access and edit directly the javascript code?
  3. is there a way to push js files written by hands to the jspark app?

thanks again