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Génération Robots presents: Sawyer + Scratch

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Genesis of the Scratch + Sawyer project

To celebrate the 2017 Scratch conference taking place in Bordeaux as we write these lines, Génération Robots has decided to mix for this one of a king demo, technologies from the factories of the future (Sawyer) with Scratch, a great tool to teach kids and beginners alike to code.

Although different, these two technologies both have their roots at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology):

  • The visual programming interface Scratch has been developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group, a group within the MIT Media Lab.
  • The Sawyer robot is developed by Rethink Robotics, a company founded by Rodney Brooks, the former director of the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Below is our teaser video for teh demo that premiered at the 2017 Scratch conference:

Scratch + Sawyer project development

Step 1: install ScratchX, a version of Scratch that enable developers to create custom Scratch blocks for third party softwares.

Step 2: install Rosbridge, a protocol that will create a connection between ROS (Sawyer’s OS) and §ScratchX.

Step 3: create a ScratchX extension (Javascript) that will allow you to create your own Scratch blocks for Sawyer. Each block will come with a specific function for the Sawyer robot (open/close gripper, move motor1 to a 90° angle). These functions suscribe to ROS Topics, while memorising the values to send them to SrcatchX. By doing so, we will have a feedback on the different states of the robot. The other functions that will make the robot move will publish values in different ROS Topics. These values will then be read by Python script that we created. These values will then suscribe to the ROS Topics and launch the different moves via Sawyer SDK.

Step 4: in order to make everything easier, we put everything a local servor, not to have internet connection issues.


Our GR Lab engineers specialise in developing innovative, customised robotics and artificial intelligence solutions for professionals, like the robot created for EDF.

If you have an idea for a project, feel free to contact us so we can help you bring it to life. Our service and software will make the difference!

Contact us at contact@generationrobots.com or by phone at 05 56 39 37 05.