The Simplest Way to Program Robots and Arduino
“I liked the software. It was much easier to use than what comes packaged with Raspberry Pi and Arduino. I particularly liked the uniformity in programming for both boards."
--- Douglas Cairns
Instructional Technology Specialist
Tulare County, CA
Barobo provides the simplest possible
approach to programming robots and Arduino!
Programming with RoboBlockly
Barobo's RoboBlockly is a block-based computing environment for learning math, coding, robotics, and Arduino.
Based on Google's Blockly, RoboBlockly uses a simple drag-and-drop interface to program and control Barobo's modular Linkbot robot, in both hardware and virtual (on-screen) versions. RoboBlockly makes it easy for beginners to get started learning robotics, coding, and math. More advanced students can delve deeper into C/C++ programming, the most widely used language in industry and college. (See the section on Ch programming below.) RoboBlockly can also directly control an Arduino board, allowing students to build projects involving electric circuits, LEDs, and sensors (touch, temperature, infrared, ultrasonic, etc.).
RoboBlockly has nearly 2,000 ready-to-go learning activities for a range of student levels, as well as provisions for teachers and students to create their own. All math activities in RoboBlockly are Common Core State Standards Mathematics compliant. The CCSS math, math standard, hint, solution procedures, and solutions for each activity are available. Instructors can easily extend these activities and tailor them to their class and school settings.
Programming with Ch (C/C++ Interpreter)
The C language, however, was not originally designed to be beginner-friendly. The "Ch" variant (or "interpreter" version, as opposed to the traditional compiler versions) of C was therefore developed to provide a more student-friendly introduction to C programming and programming in general. But that does not mean Ch is not powerful. It has many features that make it the tool of choice for professional programmers for rapid scripting development and deployment across platforms, especially for embedded systems.
"I used [the Ch software] to learn more about C and C++. Out of the 15 products that I tried, [it] proved to be the best and unbelievably easiest to use."
-- Nick LaVeglia, high school student.
"Although I have been teaching computer science at the high school level for 30 years, I am constantly searching for the perfect programming language for my students. In Ch, I have found the optimum programming language in terms of pedagogy, power, and ease of use. Ch is an interpreted version of C/C++ which makes it immediately useful as a mainstream language for student learning.... Ch is a clear pedagogical winner for me and my students!"
-- Dr. Stan Blank,Wayne City High School, Wayne City, Illinois
More information about Ch can be found here.
Programming with RoboBlockly and Ch
RoboBlockly has Ch built into it. This allows students to make a gradual transition from controlling Linkbots using RoboBlockly's drag-and-drop programming blocks to learning and using the actual Ch code instructions being sent to the robot. As an example, the image of the RoboBlockly Workspace on the right above shows two instruction blocks for "driveDistance" that have been dragged from RoboBlockly's center section to the Workspace. The instructions will be executed from top to bottom and the robot image on the grid will move along the number line to position 10 first and then move back to position 5, leaving the trace as shown in the image on the left (as will a hardware Linkbot, if connected). The actual Ch code for these instructions may optionally also be displayed by clicking RoboBlockly's "Show Ch" button. The image above shows the side-by-side comparison that is displayed, enabling the student, when ready, to learn more about the details of robot programming and its math application on the number line.