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Parallax Insider News

Program the Shield-Bot for Arduino from a Chromebook! Parallax, NICERC, and Codebender partner to give you FREE access.

  • By: Ken Gracey Published: 02 October, 2018 0 comments

The Parallax Shield-Bot is the most popular Arduino educational robot and edu.Codebender (owned by Codeanywhere) is the best cloud programming environment for Chromebooks. Today, Parallax and Codeanywhere announce that the edu.Codebender programming environment is FREE through September 30, 2019, when used with the Shield-Bot for Arduino!

Parallax is making this service available to our customers for no additional cost to students and teachers.

Previously, users were asked to pay for this tool by the month or choose whatever alternative programming environments they could find. Some educators had access to a Windows or Mac lab where they could run the Arduino IDE. But “one-to-one” Chromebook schools didn’t have many choices. The other Chromebook choice for programming the Shield-Bot for Arduino is to use Arduino Create, which requires a payment plan of $0.20 to $0.40 per student, per month. The Parallax plan with edu.Codebender is totally free to educators and students.

Who is eligible?

All classrooms using the Shield-Bot for Arduino! This includes all Parallax-equipped educators and those trained by our partner National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) using their FREE Arduino-based curricula. NICERC also supported this effort and warrants recognition for their contribution.

How do I get my classroom signed up?

  • Educators may complete this simple form. We use this form to keep track of the keys we distribute.
  • Parallax will reply to you by e-mail (usually the same day) with a Coupon Code.
  • Go to scroll down until you find this option and click “Use Coupon Code”. Enter your code, press the green check mark, and “Buy Now”. It looks like this:


  • Enter your credit card information. A 100% discount will be applied to the cost and your credit card will not be charged. The credit card is required to process the coupon code.
  • A screen will appear which provides a link which your entire classroom will use until September 30, 2018. The link is not specific to your Chromebook login or computers - it is intended to be shared with the whole class. How easy is that?


How do I configure my Chromebooks to use Codebender?

Also easy! Log into your Chromebooks and go to the Chrome Web Store Search for “Codebender App” and install. It looks like this:


What about after  September 30, 2019? Will it still be free?

Hopefully! We will work with Codeanywhere to try and renew the free service but no promises are made for future years. The first year gives us an important opportunity to weigh the business benefits against the cost of server and software maintenance (like Parallax’s, this system runs on auto-scaling Amazon Web Services servers which are paid for based on load demands). Codeanywhere leadership is committed to microcontroller education in the same way as Parallax so we will work together to make this possible.

What about COPPA compliance?

The Federal Trade Commission Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) does not apply because Codebender does not collect, use or disclose personal information from system users.

Now your whole class can program the Shield-Bot for Arduino from a Chromebook! Contact Parallax via if you need a quote for more Shield-Bots or if you have any trouble setting up Codebender.

Ken Gracey, Parallax CEO
Ivan Burazin, Codeanywhere CEO