Tom Laurs, the lead researcher for CMU’s robotics institute came to visit class this week. He develops learning robots for computer science education at the newbie level and we’re one of the lab rat groups. Frankly a little robot like that is more “Friendly” to learn with than say a mountain of code. Without sounding too girly, it makes programming seem not so hard or scary when you’re telling a robot to move vs being confronted with “Write a program to mimic photoshop” or some nonsense like that.
Finch robot has a beak that can be programmed to be in any color like the Mathmo Aduki. It can see shapes and lights and can thus follow a person if told to. It can sense temperature to a point and it can move around on the floor on its leash. The Finch can tell how it’s held (upside down, on its side, etc) using an accelerometer from the Wiimote. It can also “speak” through computer speakers.
As we work with the finches I’ll post more on this posting. It’s cute for a tiny robot on a USB cable. Here’s the website of one of the guys who’ programmed it and a pic of it.
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