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Robots are useful tools for teaching novices programming as real and immediate outcomes of programs can be seen. However robot software development has unique problems making aspects of programming difficult compared with general software development. These problems include the robot platform, the robot's environment and its interaction in three-dimensional space and the fact that events occur in real time. We describe Ruru, a novel visual language that addresses these difficulties through a principled approach to its design. It also visualizes robot inputs intuitively in real time and allows the intuitive amendment of parameters. This improves its usefulness and user friendliness as a tool for teaching novices programming.