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Programming with Robots by Albert W. Schueller

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Albert W. Schueller works for the Department of Mathematics at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. In his impressive 78-page text, “Programming with Robots” he uses ROBOTC with the LEGO Mindstorms NXT to teach programming. Here’s an except from the introduction of “Programming with Robots”:

“Why Robots?
Why learn the basics of programming using robots instead of more traditional method? For the last 50 years mainstream computer science has centered on the manipulation of abstract digital information. Programming for devices that interact with the physical world has always been an area of specialization for individuals that have already run the gauntlet of abstract information-based computer science.

In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of processing devices that collect and manage information from their real-time environments via some physical interface component-among them, anti-lock brakes, Mars rovers, tele-surgery, arti cial limbs, and even iPods. As these devices become ubiquitous, a liberally educated person should have some familiarity with the ways in which such devices work-their capabilities and limitations.”

“Programming with Robots” is broken down into 10 sections:

  • Introduction
  • Hardware and Software
  • The Display
  • Sensors and Functions
  • Decisions
  • Loops and Arrays
  • Motors and Motion
  • Tasks and Sounds
  • Files
  • Inter-Robot Communication

Each section contains background information, thorough explanations, sample code, and practice exercises, making it a comprehensive and valuable tool for educators. The full text is available here:

Written by Jesse Flot

December 2nd, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Posted in General News

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