[Edu-sig] Python and Robotics in Education on Slashdot (Pyro)

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Fri Jul 14 02:46:13 CEST 2006

I'm sure he's too modest to toot his own horn, :-) but here is a current 
slashdot article discussing Doug Blank's Python and Robotics in Education 
using Pyro and other things:

Congratulations to Doug!

==== The initial text (168 comments so far not included):

Robots Coming to Intro Computer Science Classes
Posted by samzenpus on Thursday July 13, @07:48AM
from the my-dog-ate-my-robot dept.
Robotics Education

BlueCup writes "Two colleges are hoping to make computer science courses
more attractive by including personal robots with the textbooks. Looking 
to boost enrollment in introductory computer science classes, Microsoft 
Corp. is working with Bryn Mawr College and Georgia Tech on developing new 
ways to bring robotics technology into the classroom. Douglas Blank, a 
computer science professor at Bryn Mawr, said the goal will be to start 
incorporating the robots in introductory courses at the suburban 
Philadelphia college next spring. Georgia Tech hopes to start during that 
term as well. The idea behind the program, Blank said, is to make computer 
science more hands-on and practical, rather than simply about debugging 
programs." Update: 07/13 15:52 GMT by T :Professor Blank wrote in with 
some clarification on one of his statements — read on below.

dougblank writes

     "Note to self: when talking to the press, don't use complicated 
technical jargon, like 'debugging' :) I think what I actually said was 
'rather than debug a program to make it give the right answer, the 
students must debug the program to make the robot behave the way they want 
it to.'

     I think many of you will actually like the hardware, software, and 
curriculum that we are designing. Check out roboteducation.org/ and 
pyrorobotics.org. The new version of the software will be based on Pyro, 
Python Robotics. We think of the hardware as something like an iPod on 
wheels. The software is also being developed with an open source license. 
This project is not what many of you guess it might be.

     The CS1 and CS2 that we are developing won't be watered down, but 
also won't be just the standard 'intro to programming, using robots.' It's 
a complete rethinking of the intro courses."


--Paul Fernhout

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