Classroom Best Practice  |  

Introducing Sketch Kit: Art that’s drawn by robots, programmed by you

Jul 20, 2018

What if robots could draw? Not only draw, but draw well, and give robot programmers the control to lift and place the pen while drawing. Imagine the possibilities! And, if it were affordable, everyone could do this at home, and every teacher could bring this capability into their school. This was the challenge we took on, more than two years ago.

Today, I am proud to introduce Sketch Kit for Dash and Cue robots, the add-on that gives users the ability to draw by programming robots — and draw with accuracy and control. You can purchase Sketch Kit on today for $39.99.

Sketch Kit puts the “A” in STEAM literally in front of your eyes, giving wings to children’s creativity and challenging them do more with math, robotics, and programming.

Introducing Sketch Kit for Dash and Cue robots.

Sketch Kit is our first accessory for the robots since we introduced the Launcher in 2015. Over the last three years, we’ve experimented with various ideas for robot accessories. With every accessory, we’ve challenged ourselves to create a unique experience that furthers interaction with our robots. When we announced our Dash robot to the world, we showcased the Xylophone accessory. In order to create this accessory and enable the robot to play it accurately, we had to design the robot with additional capabilities — in particular, being able to move the head accurately and detect the angle it’s facing at any time.


In 2015, we created the Launcher, which not only used Dash’s head to launch balls but also allowed the robot to carry extra balls with which to load the launcher. As a result, we got extended play with programming. Soon after, our teacher community invented Dash-ketball.

We’ve been inspired by the contraptions children have created to attach markers to the robots for drawing with markers, pens, and crayons.

We learned from both teachers and students that while designing and creating the drawing contraptions was fun, they wanted the contraptions to produce better drawings. We also learned that the drawing accessory needs to consistently place the marker at the center of the robot’s base and must apply the right pressure to get even, unbroken strokes.

Journey of Dash’s accessories, creating music, play, and art over the years

So, we posed the challenge to our designers and engineers at Wonder Workshop. What would an attachment look like for both Dash and Cue? How could the marker be lifted up and placed down for precise drawings? And how could the location of the marker lead to accurate drawings based on a program of movements? This research led us to creating the harness on the robots to hold the marker.

Sketch Kit harness

Once we solved the mechanical problem for attaching the marker in the right position, and the ability to control lifting and placing the marker on the surface, we found that the drawings still did not meet our bar for accuracy. We iterated on the robot’s software to improve the drawing accuracy. I am proud to share that when you program the robot to draw a hexagon with 40 cm sides on the Wonder Whiteboard Mat on a flat surface, the robot will be within 1 cm of the starting position at the end of the drawing. We welcome you to try it — and see how other robots rank in comparison.

The final result? Sketch Kit! This harness that holds a whiteboard marker snaps onto the bottom of both Dash and Cue and comes with six markers in different colors. The “Marker Up” and “Marker Down” commands are available in all the programming environments. You can also challenge yourself to create shapes based on the 10 project cards. With your programming, Dash and Cue can draw the hearts, houses, smiley faces, the hexagonal flower, or the alphabet, all with unprecedented accuracy and control.

Sketch Kit is compatible with Dash and Cue, and works with our Blockly and Wonder apps for Dash as well as the Cue apps (see device compatibility list). Read more about How to Get Started with Sketch Kit to help set imaginations free, and please tag us @WonderWorkshop to share your students’ creations! We can’t wait to see the creativity flourish.

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Wonder League Robotics Competition FAQ | Year 8

Hello, robotics enthusiasts! If you’re here, you’re probably as excited as we are about the 8th Annual Wonder League Robotics Competition! To help you and your teams have the best possible experience competing this year, we wanted to share answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Who Can Compete:

Any kid, anywhere in the world, ages 6-8 (Innovator Cup) and 9-12 (Pioneer Cup). There are two age brackets: 6-8 and 9-12 and team members have to fall within the age category at some point during the competition. Participants must be the qualifying age for their bracket on the last day of the competition, but if they gain a year during the competition, that’s OK. They won’t age out! 

Competition Brackets:

  • Innovator Cup (Age 6-8)
  • Pioneer Cup (Age 9-12)

What Makes a Team:

A team is made up of a supervising adult coach, and one or more children (up to 5). That’s right, kids can compete solo, but a coach who is 18+ is needed to help with the submission process. For multi-kid teams, each member must be in the same age bracket. Coaches may have multiple teams and can register all their teams after registering as a coach. Please keep in mind that each team will need a separate Class Connect registration.

Note: Younger students may participate in the 9-12 age category, but please be aware that the missions have been designed with older students and advanced coding skills in mind.

What a Team Needs to Compete:

Class Connect subscription

The team is made up of a supervising adult coach and one to five members

  1. Compatible device
  2. 5′ x 8′ mat of 30cm squares and basic prototyping materials
  3. Teams in 6-8 & 9-12 age brackets will need a Dash robot
  4. Internet access to download and upload materials

Teams will need one Dash robot:

Check Device Compatibility here:

We will be offering a mat image that you are welcome to use and print with your local printer, but teams are absolutely encouraged to make their own if they prefer. For more on how to make your own mat, check out this blog post.

Coaches will, of course, need internet access to download the apps and keep up with the competition as it progresses, and may want to print out some kid-facing materials that we will provide at each stage.

Class Connect Subscription:

To register for the 8th Wonder League Robotics Competition requires a subscription to Class Connect, providing additional resources like standards-aligned content assignable right inside a student’s Blockly app. Learn more about Class Connect here.

If you already have a Class Connect subscription, you have access to register a team, based on your student license amount. If you have more than one team of 5 students, you will need to purchase another Coach Success Pack or consider a larger subscription to accommodate more teams and students.

  1. A Coach Success Pack provides:
    Participation in the WLRC for up to 5 students
    Access to all Missions
    Full access to Class Connect, (including Math Activities and Dash’s Neighborhood), for 5 students and 1 teacher for 7 months
    A discount code for a Dash robot from our online store at

Please note: Teams will need a physical Dash robot to complete the Missions.
The Coaches’ Dashboard in Class Connect will help our coaches register and manage their team(s). The dashboard will be your one-stop shop for all Wonder League Robotics Competition management. You will be able to access the Coaches’ Corner–where all competition-related content and resources will be hosted–the Heartbeat community forum, and all the submission forms right there on the Dashboard.

Accessing Missions for the Innovator Cup and Pioneer Cup:

Once your purchase is completed for Class Connect, you will receive an email to activate your Class Connect license.

Once this license is activated, you will be able to register yourself as a coach and register your teams. This is done on your portal page under the Robotics Competition tab.

Once your team/teams are registered, you will get an additional email from CoAssemble, our partner hosting the missions this year. This email will state you have been registered for the “2022-2023 Coaches Corner Course”.

Click on the link to be redirected to the CoAssemble website, and you will see the course and can access the Coaches’ Corner Guide as well as the Missions (available November 3, 2022).

Still having trouble accessing all the resources in the Coaches’ Corner? If you have previously had a license to Class Connect and registered as a coach, and have not seen Coaches’ Corner added to your CoAssemble list of courses, please email us at, and we will provide assistance.

Last Year’s Missions:

Taking a peek at last year’s missions might help you get a sense of what the competition is like. Just sign in with your Class Connect subscription and register as a coach to take a peek at the previous years by going to the Coaches’ Corner and selecting the desired year.

2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition Milestone Dates:

Here are important milestone dates to keep in mind as coaches develop timelines for teams competing in the 2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition.


  1. October 21, 2022: Student Team Registration Opens
  2. November 3, 2022: Round One Opens + Five Mission Released
  3. January 13, 2023: Student Team Registration Closes
  4. January 27, 2023: Mission Evidence Submission Closes 
  5. January 28-March 5, 2023: Invitational Round Notification 
  6. February 6, 2023: Invitational Round Opens + Final Mission Released
  7. March 24, 2023: Invitational Round Submission Due 
  8. April 10, 2023: People’s Choice Voting Opens 
  9. April 21, 2023: People’s Choice Voting Closes 
  10. May 4, 2023: 2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition Winner Announcement

NEW Award Category: WLRC People’s Choice Award

Teams may opt in to participate in the WLRC People’s Choice Award category by creating a :30 second video explaining the Team’s Invitational Round Final Mission solution that will be shared with the community at in an “online crowd vote” competition. The WLRC People’s Choice Award allows teams to share and celebrate their work in the WLRC and encourage community support in voting for their team. This is an optional category for teams to enter and will not impact scoring of the Invitational Round submission as they will be judged by STEM and Coding experts using a published rubric.

Children’s Privacy:

We take our participants’ privacy very seriously and comply with COPPA when collecting any information. In the invitational round we ask only for the students’ first names, and request parents’ permission. For those that make it into the Invitational Round, we ask for full names, again with permission. We are never marketing, selling to, or corresponding with children. All contact is through the proxy of the coach.