[Edu-sig] suggestion on using python robotics in class

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 05:43:21 CEST 2007

Hi Matt --

Thanks for your excellent questions.

I feel we should clarify though.  Is it specifically the Lego Mindstorms
bricks (previously the RCX, and now the NXT) that you're targeting?

A lot of us have worked with "screen robots" or "virtual robots" that
aren't actual mechanical devices.



On the mechanical front, there's also this Tux Droid for like $90 per
unit that is Python programmable, but the experience isn't the same
as Mindstorms (the Droid talks in a human voice, but doesn't walk).


Article from 2001:

Here's something only a year old about programming the NXT in
Python (the newest brick):

Re NXT (for those needing background):

Speaking for myself, I'm more into exploring Tux Droid these days,
bought one at OSCON having seen it demoed at EuroPython in

The Lego franchise is plenty huge yet doesn't circumscribe what's
meant by "robotics".

Python bindings to hardware:  still in its infancy.  Nokia a pioneer.


On 10/2/07, Matt K <matt.kameron at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm new to this list and have poked around on the net and such for a way to
> program robotics using Python, but have only found "annoying" ways which
> would involve more effort on students' behalf than I'm hoping for.
> I'm a highschool teacher teaching 15 year olds. They are of very mixed
> ability and it can be assumed that they've got a handle on based flow
> control using conditionals but nothing on functions of loops. I'd then like
> them to switch to robotics (which we do atm any) using Python (atm we do
> robotics using the mindsotrms GUI which is terrible).
> The following year they are more formally introduced to loops by writing
> cgi-scripts, and it is only the year *after* that in which application-level
> programming is considered (translation: they get to write computer games).
> So, what I'm after is esentially a simple way where they can type Python
> code and then upload it somehow to the bricks, when can be run and do their
> thing. Basics is all that is needed, reading inputs, sending outputs, some
> ifs and some loops. Maybe functions too.
> Can anybody either help me by answering this question, or directing me to a
> previous thread which might contain the answer?
> Thanks!
> Matt
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