[Sugar-devel] TurtleBlocks driving lego NXT 2.0 -

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Fri Jan 7 16:54:13 EST 2011

On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM, Rafael Enrique Ortiz Guerrero
<rafael at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
>> is there a standard-ish Arduino robot + sensots kit I can buy? I don't
> No that i know, best shot for now is hacking or working with
> handmade analogue and digital sensors, like the ones used for turtle-art
> sensors.

Hmmm. Looking at the NXT, and the little I know of Arduino, it's clear
that to work in a user-friendly manner in something like TA, you have
to make some assumptions about which sensor goes into each input;
which motor to which controller, and how to pair up the tachometers
with the right motor.

That is because in a graphical programming environment, you want to
offer "easy" sensor and motion blocks. To make that happen, you need
those assumptions.

For a full-blown programming env (C, python, etc), where users are
expected to have variables, and can call functions with many named
parameters, it's ok to use "raw" input/output ports. It's up to the
user to "map" those using variables or constants.

So for example, in the case of NXT, if you are going to use the
graphical NXT-G you have to put the right sensor in the right port,
same with motors. So NXT-G has a "read distance sensor" block  that
you can put in an if condition. And "run left motor" block. And "run
both motors forward, synchronized via tachometer".

Those blocks make it easy and fun and that's where I think we need to be headed.

So I'd strongly suggest (for an initial implementation) settling on an
arduino set that has a couple of sensors, and 2 motors with
tachometers. Light-color sensors are great because you can get started
with "follow the border of the thick black line" programs.

If we go that way, we can have various "modes", matching the robot and
motor/sensor configurations -- NXT, various Arduino models, etc.


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
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