Saturday, July 29, 2017

BlocklyProp - A Way In

The more I play with, experiment with, and use BloclyProp, the more convinced I am that this is truly a way in for programmers and roboticist of any age. It so simple and intuitive, a child can learn to use it in minutes, yet it allows complex programs to be written as well! This is a way in the door for a new group of hobbyists and makers who have longed to write their own code but were intimidated by syntax and the all the choices of programming languages. By generating C code (easily viewed), BlocklyProp is a teaching tool for learning C that is very accessible.

Thanks to Google for providing the open source tools and to Parallax's team for developing their own version for the Propeller Chip. BlocklyProp is fun to use, and a wonderful teaching tool. It is a new way for more folks to join the process of learning to create their own programs!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Robot Sightings in Dallas!

On a family trip in Dallas and saw these goodies and visited the electronics' wonderland of Fry's!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Parallax's S3 in China!

Fantastic news at the Blockly for Microcontrollers Facebook page from Parallax about a workshop for young roboticists held in China featuring their S3 robot. Ken Gracey's brother, Chip Gracey (the designer of the BASIC Stamp and Propeller Chip) can be seen in the video with these enthusiastic teachers and very excited and engaged students! Sorry, you have to enable flash to watch it here - or just see the link above for the original post on Facebook.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

BlocklyProp Continues to Amaze!

This Parallax ActivityBot is controlled by sms, and it's coded with BlocklyProp. Thanks to Michel Lampo for posting this on Blockly for Microcontrollers Facebook page. The power, ease, and flexibility of BlocklyProp continues to expand and amaze.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Where's Wall-E Poster

This is so cool! Hat tip to erco again - Parallax Forums here and to the post here on Reg's Microcosm

You can buy the poster on Etsy directly from the artist,  Richard Sargent - Thanks, Gordon! Same Parallax Forum link.

< Look here!
A key to all the robots, along with version 2, follows the jump...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Things Are Always Hopping at U.C. Berkeley! - Check Out the Jumping Robot

IEEE Spectrum has a great article by Evan Ackerman about the Salto-1P, a bouncing robot.  You can read the whole article about Salto-1P here, but this video explains more than words ever can. Hat tip to Eric (aka erco) for posting this on the Parallax Forums.

One of the coolest and most frustrating thing about all of this is that this was developed at UC Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab (there is all sorts of stuff posted here! See also Biomimetic Millisystem Lab Youtube channel,  Expo21 linkUCB Robotics on Facebook).

Long before I was experimenting with robotics, I went to seminary at The Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley - I could have walked there!

I also could have driven to Rocklin, California (Home of Parallax) in an hour and a half. Ugh!