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[DPRG] Teaching programming and technology to kids via personalrobotics

Subject: [DPRG] Teaching programming and technology to kids via personalrobotics
From: Rud Merriam k5rud at arrl.net
Date: Mon Feb 22 12:47:12 CST 2010

A long time advocate of using robots for teaching is Seymour Papert. The
phrase "turtle graphics" and the term "logo" all are part of his
contribution. 

His work should be examined in your pursuits. 

 
 - 73 - 
Rud Merriam K5RUD 
ARES AEC Montgomery County, TX
http://mysticlakesoftware.com/


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Huff, Brian L [mailto:bhuff at uta.edu] 
> Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 11:14 AM
> To: Wes Grimes; DPRG
> Subject: RE: [DPRG] Teaching programming and technology to 
> kids via personalrobotics
> 
> 
> Hello Wes,
> 
> I would be interested in contributing to your effort.  We 
> have spoken before concerning the use of C# in robotics 
> applications.  I also have a 4th Grader who I would like to 
> introduce to programming.  
> 
> I understand and appreciate software development concepts but 
> have had trouble getting over the initial learning curve of 
> C# development.
> 
> I might be able to help broaden the effort by developing 
> sub-classes for alternative hardware.  I could try to 
> duplicate your implementation on controller X and I could see 
> it I can support the same methods, attributes, behaviors on 
> controller Y that I might be more familiar with.  Hope the 
> result would be transparent to the development system user.  
> They just pick which hardware they want to use.  (Yes, I know 
> it is never that simple but that is where the challenge is 
> and where proprietary, "closed" development systems fail).
> 
> The key for me will be to try and follow someone else's 
> architecture.  In software design I do believe that too many 
> chefs can spoil the broth.  I think I could learn a lot by 
> being a prep. Cook.  
> 
> Please let me know.
> 
> Brian Huff
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dprglist-bounces at dprg.org 
> [mailto:dprglist-bounces at dprg.org] On Behalf Of Wes Grimes
> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 11:06 AM
> To: DPRG
> Subject: [DPRG] Teaching programming and technology to kids 
> via personal robotics
> 
> At the last DPRG meeting, I was really impressed by the work 
> that Ron did building a teaching platform for an elementary 
> school class.
> 
> The presentation got me thinking about how to leverage this 
> hobby as a teaching aid for kids. 
> 
> I have both of my kids, 5th and 6th grades, programming in an 
> environment from Carnegie Mellon called Alice 
> (www.alice.org). It is a great little "Java on rails" 
> environment that uses bright colors and drag and drop to 
> teach the kids basics of OOP and Flow Control without the 
> chance of making any errors. The program creates a virtual 3d 
> world that they can manipulate objects in and play back on 
> the screen. It is amazing how easy it is for the kids to pick 
> up and learn.
> 
> What I am thinking of is creating an Alice-esque environment 
> for personal robotics. 
> The screen shot of my prototype can be seen at : 
> http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4063/4370114527_6c71d84ec0_o.jpg
> A screen shot of Alice for reference can be seen at : 
> http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4044/4370865462_aba4bd2e3c_o.jpg 
> Don't worry, Alice is an
> open source project, so I don't believe there are any IP
> issues here... Besides, I am really just using their idea 
> (along with Ron's) as a muse anyways.
> 
> I wanted to know if anyone had any interest in being involved 
> in this project. 
> 
> I
> am writing the environment in C#.Net. The Robot definition 
> files will be XML documents, so that I can create plugins for 
> different hardware platforms. The communication to the robot 
> will be a custom protocol serial stream of bytes. Something 
> like: "StartBytes-CommandBytes-PinByte-ValueBytes-EndBytes'. 
> The controller on the robot would have code to interpret this 
> stream and take the correct action. It would also be able to 
> send a stream back that would fire events in the teaching 
> platform that could be wired to classes. I have not really 
> gotten that far yet, so I am open and hopeful for guidance, 
> suggestions, and involvement. 
> 
> Thanks,
> Wes
> 
> 
>       
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