A Robot for All

SERP (Special Education Robot Project)

Teachers and educators quickly took the opportunity to explore what Turtle robots had to offer Special Education Needs (SEN).  The same happened with Roamer.  Within a few months of the Classic Roamer’s launch, Valiant got reports of SEN applications for their new robot.  It seems obvious that technology has a lot to offer.  Yet, teachers had to adapt mainstream technology to meet student’s needs.   The diversity of special needs presented a challenging design problem.  Valiant Technology took the first step in resolving this issue with SERP (Special Educational Robot Project).  They sponsored several practising special education teachers working for their master’s degrees to evaluate the Roamer as a SEN asset.  Their brief: review the Classic Roamer as a SEN Teaching Aid and report on how to make it better suited for the task.  Running the course at Canterbury Christ Church College, Mike Blamires, was familiar with both Turtle and Roamer robots oversaw the production of these reports.   Because of this work, Valiant launched the SEROTA project which led to them to develop the current Roamer.  This robot forms the basis of a SEN solution.

Tactile Turtle

Explorations in space with visually impaired children and a floor turtle

This article was originally published under the title – Tactile turtle: explorations in space with visually impaired children and a floor turtle – in Vol. VII No 1 of: The British Journal of Visual Impairment , Spring 1989. Extracts were also printed in Vol 1 of Valiant’s Go Magazine, January 1990 and were on the old Valiant Web Site under the title: A Roamer in Space. In this article Roamer and Turtle floor robots are synonymous. (more…)

An Introduction to Logo and Turtle Geometry

Seymour Papert Gives a Lesson on Logo and Turtles Geometry

This is a glimpse of Seymour introducing Logo and Turtle Geometry. The videos were taken from Seymour Papert on Logo a video series made by William and Elizabeth Schwartz, Ladue, Missouri.

Introducing the Screen Turtle

Here Papert introduces the simplicity of the Turtle idea.

Extending the Idea

Now Papert shows how quickly you can use this simple idea to explore geometric ideas.

Body Geometry or Body Synconicity

Papert explains the connection between the Turtle and body geometry (technically called body Synconicity).   The ERA Principle of Embodiment claims this connection is stronger between student and physical robot compared with that of student and screen Turtle.

Exploring with Logo

What I like about this video is Seymour shows that Logo and Turtles do not simply explain mathematical and coding ideas: they encourage students to explore.  The spirit of “What if we did this?” is at the heart of educational robots.

Copyright

The On Logo and On LogoWriter videos are copyright Media Microworlds Inc.

http://research.roamer-educational-robot.com/files/2017/02/Creative-Commons-BYNCND.jpg

 

 

An Interview with Seymour Papert

Sometime in 1983 a friend said he wanted to talk to me and asked me to visit.  I duly arrived at his home near London’s  Clapham North Tube station and found another friend, Derek Deardon, also in attendance.  This was an evening that changed my life.  Our host was Anth Ginn, a primary school teacher and aspiring journalist.  In those days he was also tutoring children of VIPs who breezed into London with their families.   Derek was an electronic and I was a mechanical engineer.  Anth wanted us to design a robot Turtle he could use with his VIP students.  He proceeded to tell us about Seymour Papert, Logo and Turtles.  I had served an engineering apprenticeship, gone to University and then worked for 15 years as a contract design engineer honing my skills in industries as diverse as jet engine, oil rigs, computer simulators, car production lines… a long list.  Despite all the study, training and experience I was aware that my chief skills were the ability to think, analyse and problem solve.  Here was Anth telling me about an educator who wanted wanted to teach kids to think.  I was sold.  Yesterday I was going through Reuben Hoggett’s excellent web site Cyberneticzoo.com and there was a copy of an article Anthony Ginn interviewing Seymour Papert.  This is a reproduction of the interview first published in Practical Robotcs Nov – Dec 1984. (more…)

Talking Turtle

BBC Horizon TV Programme on Logo and Turtle Robots

In 1969, when he created the Turtle robot Seymour Papert became the father of educational robots. Papert worked for MIT and became a consultant for Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) Technologies.  As part of that work he invented LOGO a computer language for education. These were the days of before desktop computers existed. People were creating high-level computer languages for specific purposes.  For example, they’d invented FORTRAN for mathematics, science, and COBOL for business. When Papert devised LOGO he included Turtle Graphics –  a new approach to geometry.  When students programmed a Turtle robot they used mathematics to explore the world around them.  The BBC Horizon television series showed Talking Turtle in 1983.  It tells the story of Papert, his work and its development at MIT and Edinburgh University.

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Gears of My Childhood

Seymour Papert Talks About How Gears Influenced His Life

This essay was published as the Foreword to Seymour Papert’s book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas (Basic Books, New York, 1980).

The Gears of My Childhood

Seymour Papert’s Personal Inspiration

This essay was published as the foreword to Seymour Papert’s book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas (Basic Books, 1980).  It describes a seminal experience as a 2 year-old.  This experience, invisible to researchers (had they been there) was the catalyst to Logo and Educational robotics.

The Logo Memos

An Index to MITs Research on Logo and Turtle Graphics

The Logo Memos were a series of Research Papers written by various people at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab from October 1971 to December 1981.

This list was compiled by Andru Luvisi.

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Grey Walter’s Turtles

Grey Walter’s Tortoises Prequel to Educational Robots

William Grey Walter (1910 – 1977) was an American-born British neurophysiologist and robotician.  Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1910.  He was brought to England and worked in London hospitals in the field of neurophysiology.  From 1939 to 1970 he worked Burden Neurological Institute in Bristol.  Between 1948 and 1949 Grey Walter designed and built two robots called Elmer and Elsie which he called tortoises.   These were autonomous creatures that could exhibit so basic behaviours in response to their environment and internal state.  In honour of this work Seymour Papert called the Logo robots Turtles. (American English call tortoises – turtles).   In this post you will find a number of videos showing Grey Walter’s work.

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LOGO Ambulatory Executor – Turtle Robot

Historical Record of the Turtle Robot Development

In 1969 Professor Mike Paterson was young English Computer Scientist visiting Bolt Beranek and Newman.  Seymour Papert gave him the task of writing a specification for the first educational robot, which was initially referred to as the LOGO ambulatory executor and more prosaically as the Bug.  Later named the Turtle in reference to Grey Walter’s early work with Tortoise Robots.  This is the first of two documents by Mike relating to the development of Turtle Educational Robots.  This document was provided by Wally Feurzeig of BBN Technologies who led the project that invented Logo.  (more…)