Scribbler Observations with Angelica

Date: 07/05/2012

Teacher’s Name:         Angelica Gunderson

Robot: Power


I introduced the Scribbler robot and briefed her about the sensors and actuators that come with the robot including the sensors on the fluke. I also talked to her about Calico and how it applies to the Scribbler and Myro. Unfortunately most of our time was spent installing the software on her Macbook and trying to connect with the new robot but in the process she became familiar with all the step necessary for setting up the Calico environment.

Her first impressions of the Robot:

One of the first thing she pointed out about the robot was that it was “complete”. By complete she meant that the robot was already assembled and that all the sensors were already prepackaged which was quite different from the LEGO Mindstorms they had been using in their curriculum.

After getting to know about Calico, she felt that it would be a great tool for getting the students to focus on programming rather than building a robot. She recounted that during the preparation for the Robotics Competition, which the middle school participated in, students did not get enough time to actually program the robots and test it out fully. Most of time, she said, was spent on designing and adjusting the parts of the robot. With Scribbler on the other hand, the students who are more interested in programming the robot would not have to worry about building the robot and would be able to program the robot out of the box. This way their programming skills would be improved and then they could be better prepared to do RobotC for the mindstorms or the VEX robotics that they were introducing this year.

After showing her sample code, she also felt that python was a very natural language and would not “scare off” students like RobotC.

One thing she also pointed out was that the fluke was “bare.” By bare, she meant that students will be able to see how the inside of a microprocessor looks and how chips are manufactured. She thought that it might develop more interest in the robot.