On November 2, 2013, The Atlee High School Robotics Team and Computer Club collaborated together to host a Pilot “Boy Scout/Girl Scout Badgeathon/Patchathon” for robotics and programming.
The goal of the program is to have boys and girls together to satisfy the same badge or patch requirements:
Patches/Badges for Girl Scouts:
1. Juniors only – Entertainment Technology Badge
2. Brownies only – Computer Expert Badge
3. Allowed to do a “Make Your Own Badge” every year to satisfy the patches/badges about programming and robotics that are no longer in the girl scout program: “Girl Scout badges were recently refreshed to reflect girls’ interests and to focus on 21st century skills.”
Tom Lauwers, Owner of BirdBrain Technologies LLC supported our pilot by providing 50 Finch Robots from the Finch Loan Program BEFORE the Computer Science Education Week December 9-15 scheduled launch of the Hour of Code.
The Hour of Code program is a “one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify ‘code’ and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator.”
Robotic Finches cost $99.00 each and can be ordered from the Finch Robot site.
I created a set of Snap! Finch Cards for Scouts of the youngest ages to be able to program:
00_BirdBrainRobotServer This gives the directions on uploading the software to have your computer recognize the finch robot.
01_ActivateFinchRobot Once the BirdBrainRobotServer software is loaded, this gives directions on how the physically tether your finch robot and launch the Snap! robot programming window. Snap is a programming environment very similar to MIT Scratch.
02_StartingStopping The motion commands operate the two wheels (left and right) below the robot finch from a range of 0 to 100 percent power forward. Backwards would range -1 to -100 values.
04_BeepSpeak There is a sound command block to have the computer (not the finch itself) speak your text in a synthesized voice. You can also have the finch robot itself beep in Hertz (Hz) from a range of 20 to 20000 frequency for a designated amount of time in seconds. Note: Discomfort is generated past the 5000 Hz range.
05_Temperature The temperature sensor returns the current temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
The sensor is located centrally above the beak.
06_LightSensor The light sensors return the intensity of light for both sensors from a range of complete darkness (0) to total light saturation (100).
The light sensors are located above what looks like the eyes (obstacle detection systems) for the finch robot.
07_Orientation Orientation I believe is determined through something called an accelerometer (which measures tilt and position information on the finch).
The accelerometer is located in the internal center of the finch robot.
The photogallery of the event is pending following final permissions to photograph.