Arduino’s New Alvik: Unleashing Creative Learning Opportunities

May 28, 2024 by Austin Futrell

Building on a robust history of microcontroller (and now PLC) design, Arduino has launched a new robot, introducing learners to coding and sensor interfacing with adaptable and expandable hardware.

Arduino is thrilled to introduce Alvik, a programmable robot designed for coding and robotics education, yet still promising opportunities that advance far beyond entry-level skills. Alvik features a beginner-friendly programming interface, advanced sensor integration, and versatile expansion capabilities. Alvik welcomes students, teachers, and innovators to join the exciting field of robotics.


Arduino's Alvik robot

Arduino’s new Alvik is the first robot from the popular microcontroller manufacturer. Image used courtesy of Arduino


Alvik’s Design and Functionality Capabilities

Alvik is powered by the Arduino Nano ESP32 and includes many sensors and motion control systems. This allows Alvik to interact with its environment without the need for custom additions. With adaptable sensor ports and connectors, users can transform Alvik into different forms, such as a rover, bulldozer, or delivery robot, enriching classroom learning and DIY projects. This adaptability encourages a creative learning journey with endless possibilities.

Alvik's extension capabilities broaden its functionality to cater to diverse user preferences. With LEGO Technic connectors, users can effortlessly incorporate LEGO components for extensive customization, while M3 screw connectors enable compatibility with personalized 3D-printed or laser-cut designs. These features promote Alvik's creativity and integration into various projects.


Programming Arduino’s Alvik

Alvik is revolutionizing the learning experience by simplifying programming with MicroPython. This allows users to bring ideas to life with minimal code in a short amount of time. The platform is designed for young learners to make robotics education accessible to everyone. Additionally, it will soon integrate block-based programming, making coding fun and easy even for primary school students.


What is MicroPython?

MicroPython is a Python programming language that is specifically designed for microcontrollers. These small computing devices are commonly used in robotics, IoT, and embedded systems. MicroPython features a simplified syntax and a smaller memory footprint than standard Python, making it well-suited for resource-constrained environments.


MicroPython code example

A simple example of using MicroPython to give a conditional statement based on temperature shows just how easily students can begin getting satisfying results. Image used courtesy of the author


Communication Flexibility

Alvik's adaptability is enhanced through servo, I2C Grove, and I2C Qwiic connectors, allowing users to explore multiple movement possibilities. Whether incorporating motors for precise control or integrating additional sensors for data analysis, users can customize Alvik to meet their project requirements. These extensions provide versatility, empowering users to create innovative robotic systems to meet their project needs.

According to Fabio Violante, CEO of Arduino, “Alvik isn’t just a robot; it’s a bridge to advanced robotics. It’s meticulously crafted to ensure that anyone interested in robotics can start with the basics and advance to complex projects.” Violante reports that the engineering team was challenged to make no compromises on technology, making it suitable for learners, makers, and professionals. In true Arduino fashion, the team encourages any sort of user-designed hacks and creative applications.


Learn to Use Arduino’s Alvik

Arduino provides a free, user-friendly Explore Robotics and MicroPython course that aligns with CSTA and NGSS standards. This course is designed for educators, students, and self-learners, offering a structured approach to learning robotics and MicroPython. It focuses on project-based learning concepts to effectively grasp core principles.

Whether used in classrooms or for self-study, beginners can enhance their understanding and skills in robotics and programming with Arduino’s new Alvik.


If you think that our Control Automation engineering team won’t be getting one of these robots right away, you are wrong. Very wrong. In fact, we already have one.