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Published on January 4, 2008

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Contributing to the Development of Linguistic and Logical Abilities through Robotics:  Contributing to the Development of Linguistic and Logical Abilities through Robotics G. Barbara Demo Dept of Informatics, Turin University Giovanni Marcianó National Agency for Development of Schools Piedmont Ministry of Public Education ITALY Our activity environments:  Our activity environments primary schools, 6-11 years old kids also: 11-16 years old pupils in italian secondary first and second level schools LEGO RCX robots and NXT in our region Piemonte: 8 schools involved with about 500 kids cooperations with groups in the south of Italy: Salerno and Cosenza the marriage our best loved holidays we wanted it very good looking but it becomes too heavy Motivations:  Motivations a feeling of being at a crossroad: we have to change something because those who do not like to introduce TIC in schools will not change their minds and those who like it would appreciate something new this new can be micro robots becoming affordable not robotics per se but in cross-disciplinary experiences our goal is not to teach pupils how to program but through robot programming leading them to the ... LOGO philosophy G. Marcianó and his group projects with the National Agency Development of Schools Piedmont:  G. Marcianó and his group projects with the National Agency Development of Schools Piedmont LOGO in 90ties LOGO & robotics in projects 2001-2003, 2003-2005, 2005-2008:  www.robotica.irrepiemonte.it technology in schools should be introducing to a new language, the "language of the technology": experiences with Logo have already promoted teaching about C.S. as teaching Language-3 (where Language-2 is a foreign language) but many think more reasonable projects for ECDL: these are not negative unless they are the only way to talk informatics in schools from LOGO projects great experiences*:  from LOGO projects great experiences* "commas and spaces also in the italian exercise book" the dictionary cooperation in finding "how do you say to tarta..." random: "with this word tarta does what she wants and nobody can say what she will do!" kids discover by themselves: for example the use of repeat and even procedures because "I do not want to loose my time" abstraction, generalization, synthesis they teach each other what they discover * guided particularly by S. Siega and Patrizia Battegazzore after some activities using ROBOLAB:  after some activities using ROBOLAB "in the beginning you think it is easy but you do not actually understand what the robot is doing" "icons are not so easy because you do not clearly see what you are putting toghether" "pupils do not understand all these commands and where to modify when the robots moves but not in the way you meant" of course the difference is also due to the use of a compiled rather then an interpreted language Slide7:  Tangibile programming with Tern http://www.eecs.tufts.edu/~mhorn01/tern/ it is a woodden puzzle-like way to specify robot behavior particularly thought for schools where there are a few computers Tern or similar tools do not eliminate, obviously, the time for designing the robot behavior the time for thinking how to specify the decided behavior the effort of making explicit the intuition of a behavior still must be done Slide8:  Textual language textual languages allow a step-by-step learning activity that can be coordinated with children learning the writing of their native language thus helping a correct development of linguistic and logical abilities as for logical abilities we think to the ability of designing a behaviour for a robot and its specification/translation in a systematic/formal description using words and linguistic forms of a given grammar previous point abilities are unconsciously used building sentences of his/her native language and viceversa when using robot textual languages which becomes a reinforcement of the need to follow rules pupils are learning in both environments a textual language was chosen:  a textual language was chosen NQC, not Quite C Bricx Command Center (BCC) integrated development environment yet, it is a language robot oriented, i.e. not high level enough to be pupils oriented NQCBaby: a LOGO-like language:  NQCBaby: a LOGO-like language high level programming language, according to Papert suggestion “child-oriented rather than robot-oriented” native language incremental work as for the primitives to explore what is more natural for kids forward(100) for a tarta is different from forward(100) for the RCX we have built but there are discussions on differences posters are prepared with correspondences pupils find out that the behavior of their robot is different if the environment is different it is different for different robots Examples:  Examples Robby //any name forward(100) back(100) //avanti(100) indietro(100) ciao //see you Robby repeat(4) forward(100) right(90) end ciao Robby ripeti(4) avanti(100) destra(90) fine ciao Slide12:  Robbi ciao veloce(x) avanti(v) indietro(w) destra(t) sinistra(u) A teacher can choose the methodology of proposing NQCBaby to pupils in different steps by means of a dictionary, in the translator, enriched according to the pupil level of knowledge NQCBaby01: Robbi ciao speed(x) forward(v) backward(w) right(t) left(u) Slide13:  NQCBaby03: aspetta(z) sensore1_tocco se_tocca altrimenti NQCBaby02 ripeti(z) fine ripetisempre NQCBaby03: wait(z) sensor1_touch if_touches else NQCBaby02 repeat(z) end repeatalways Slide14:  Children assemble a robot, decide its behavior, describe it in NQCBabyh, and look at the resulting specification in NQC; then they enter the next step to learn the next level NQCBabyh+1 Slide15:  NQCBaby04: sensore2_tocco se_toccadietro se_toccadavanti NQCBaby05: sensore3_luce se_chiaro se_scuro sinoache_chiaro sinoache_scuro accendiluce spegniluce NQCBaby04: sensor2_touch se_toccadietro se_toccadavanti NQCBaby05: sensor3_light if_clear if_dark until_clear until_dark switchonlight switchofflight Slide16:  Robby sensore1_tocco // touch sensor goes to sensor number 1 of the robot ripetisempre // repeat always avanti(100) // forward(100) se_tocca // if hits accendiluce // switch on the light indietro(100) // back(100) destra(50) // right(50) spegniluce // switch off the light fine // end fine ciao the robot assumed here is the simplest one Slide17:  Robby sensore1_tocco repeat always forward((100) if_hits on_light back(100) right(50) off_light end end ciao NQC TRANSLATION task main() { SetSensor(SENSOR_1, SENSOR_TOUCH); while(true) OnFwd(OUT_A+OUT_C); Wait( 100); if (SENSOR_1 == 1) { On(OUT_B); OnRev(OUT_A+OUT_C); Wait(100); OnFwd(OUT_A); OnRev(OUT_C); Wait(50); Off(OUT_B); } } Off(OUT_A+OUT_C); } dealing with NQCBaby: evolution:  dealing with NQCBaby: evolution macro, i.e. #define P Q easy, language primitive but errors..... precompiler experimental feed back precompiler generated by a translator generator NQCBaby translator IDE* work of two students RosaAnna and Veronica:  NQCBaby translator IDE* work of two students RosaAnna and Veronica NQCBaby Levels Dictionary writable text area where NBCBaby programs are written errors not writable text area: here the translation in NQC appears 27 di 30 * IDE: Integrated Develop- ment Environm. Slide20:  Bricx Command Center 13 di 30 Currently under development:  Currently under development NXCBaby for the recent NXT robot a NXCBaby program has the following structure: robot description environment description behaviour specification Slide22:  example: Robbi superficie(liscia, piana); porta(A) motore-destro; porta(C) motore-sinistro; ripeti(4) destra(70, 450) avanti(100, 1000) conta ciao. english translation: Robbi ground(smooth, flat); port(A) motor-right; port(C) motor-left; repeat(4) right(70, 450) forward(100, 1000) end ciao. end of september 07:  end of september 07 meeting with three directions of work general education leisure time: our department "kids"(30-...) will show their products, robots and other initiatives Documentation on the meeting and NQCBaby translator at www.di.unito.it/~barbara/MicRobot Workshop by Simonetta Siega:  Workshop by Simonetta Siega videos from 6 years old pupils to 13 years old: the marriage our best loved holidays we wanted it very goodlooking but it becomes too heavy

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