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Personal Robots for CS1


Personal Robots for CS1 Deepak Kumar Bryn Mawr College Deepak Kumar Promising Practices in CS1 IPRE Institute for Personal Robots in Education Goals: To explore the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Personal Robots for CS1

Personal Robots for CS1
  • Deepak KumarBryn Mawr College

Deepak Kumar
Promising Practices in CS1
  • Institute for Personal Robots in Education
  • Goals To explore the use of personal robots
  • People Douglas Blank, Deepak Kumar (BMC),
    Tucker Balch, Mark Guzdial (GaTech),
    Stewart Tansley (MSR)

Deepak Kumar
Key Motivators
  • Introductory computing courses serve as a gateway
    into the CS curriculum.
  • Should provide interesting and diverse range of
    examples and exercises.
  • Alignment of course content to student interests
    to increase engagement can have a positive impact
    on students choosing to enter computing as a
    major in college.
  • Most tasks should be attainable and provide a
    basis for supportive and positive feedback to

Additional Motivators
  • Use a personal robot
  • Let the needs of the curriculum drive the design
    of the robot, software, and text
  • Use tools that are easy to use, scale with
  • Create an accessible, engaging environment for
    new, diverse population of students
  • Computer Science ? programming
  • Make computing a social activity
  • Make computing a medium for creativity
  • Performances vs. competitions

Deepak Kumar
A Personal Robot Kit
  • Color camera
  • 3 Light sensors
  • 2 IR proximity sensors
  • 2 Line sensors
  • Stall sensor
  • Speaker
  • 3 LEDs
  • 2 motors
  • Bluetooth wireless
  • Pen port
  • Myro Python Module

Myro Features
  • Simple, easy to use API even for
  • Seamlessly integrated with standard Python.
  • Plans to work with MSRS and .NET (will support
    multiple languages).
  • Design driven by curricular goals.

See Kumar et al. Engaging Computing Students
with AI and Robotics, Forthcoming in Spring 2008.
Hello World
  • Hello World
  • from myro import
  • speak(Hello, World!)

Deepak Kumar
CS1Course Contents
  • Chapter 1 The World of Robots
  • Chapter 2 Robots Personal or Otherwise
  • Chapter 3 Building Brains
  • Chapter 4 Sensing the World
  • Chapter 5 Making Decisions
  • Chapter 6 Behaviors
  • Chapter 7 Control Paradigms
  • Chapter 8 Making Music
  • Chapter 9 Communication
  • Chapter 10 Artificial Intelligence
  • Chapter 11 Computing Computation
  • Chapter 12 Applications of Robots

Programming as a social activity
Myro Example
def main() while True Left, Right
getObstacles() if Left
turnRight(turnSpeed) elif Right
turnLeft(turnSpeed) else
Avoiding Obstacles from myro import
initialize(ask(What port?)) program
settings... cruiseSpeed 0.6 turnSpeed 0.5
A CS1 Assignment Exploring a Pyramid
Some Results
  • Learned CS concepts through robots
  • Robots made learning experience more hands-on,
    tangible, and exciting
  • Most frustrating parts were dealing with robot
    hardware inconsistencies
  • Viewed CS as a type of logic and problem solving
    requiring patience thought
  • Discovered that CS and robots are applicable to
    the real world

Another CS1 Assignment
Corral Exiting/Escape Imagine a corral (an
enclosed area with maze like partitions and an
entrance) with a light source at the entrance (as
shown in the figure to the right). Given the
robot's position, can we design a behavior that
will enable the robot to exit the corral?
Some Directions
  • Ability to draw
  • Ability to take pictures
  • Ability to make music/tones
  • Ability to play sounds and talk
  • Ability to express
  • Ability for robot interaction
  • Ability to have a web presence

For more information visit
Deepak Kumar
Deepak Kumar
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