robot-programmable-avec-python-1

Our Python-programmable secondary school robots

This entry was posted in Education: resources for teachers, Robotics news and curation and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by .

In 2018, the French Higher Committee on Curricula (CSP) decided to make Python the official computer language for programming classes in secondary schools.
The Ministry of Education has provided more information about these new programmes on the CSP publications page of its website (in French).
Python will be used for lessons in digital science and technology, digital and computer science and mathematics.

Why choose Python for secondary schools?

  • Python is an easy to learn and intuitive language. It was designed for creating complex code in a few lines.
  • Python code is also very readable, it requires programmers to present their code cleanly and encourages good presentation habits.
  • Python is a language used widely in many fields, including aerospace, biology, artificial intelligence, data mining, big data and web development.
  • There are lots of libraries that you can pick from to adapt codes to meet your needs, so there is no need to always start from scratch!
  • Python is stable and kept up to date.

Why use robots to teach programming?

  • Learning programming with robots is more stimulating than with a computer. In a classroom, robots bring pupils together and encourage group work.
  • Robotics is a concrete discipline that encourages pupils to develop their creativity. It allows them to invent devices and to discover electronics, mechanics and even design in addition of course to computer programming.
  • It also helps them better understand the technological world around them (autonomous cars, drones, space exploration, etc.).

Our Python-programmable robots

Below is a list of robots that can be programmed using Python and that we already supply to secondary schools and higher education establishments. This is not an exhaustive list and includes only a selection of our most popular robots.

The GoPiGo mobile robot by Dexter Industries

The GoPiGo mobile robot by Dexter Industries

GoPiGo is a small mobile robot that uses Raspberry Pi and that you need to assemble yourself. It can be upgraded by adding a selection of sensors, available individually.
GoPiGo can be programmed using Python, Scratch and NodeJS.

Cozmo robot by Anki

The Cozmo robot stands out from the others for its AI and its human-machine interaction possibilities. It has an SDK for coding in Python.
This means you can program much more complex applications, especially since the Cozmo API can interface with other APIs (Google Home, weather apps, Twitter, etc.).

Cozmo can be programmed using Scratch Blocks and Python.

Cozmo robot by Anki

The open-source 3D-printed Poppy platform

The open-source 3D-printed Poppy platform

The open-source 3D-printed Poppy platform (Poppy Humanoid, Poppy Torso and Poppy Ergo Jr) can be programmed in Python. There is a large community of users working in education always happy to help or share educational content on the Poppy Education website!

Poppy can be programmed using Snap! and Python.

The Marty robot by Robotical

The Marty robot is a small, inexpensive humanoid robot that you build yourself. It is open-source and can be improved for example with a Raspberry Pi (as well as compatible sensors). You can also 3D print its structural components. The Marty robot can be programmed using a wide variety of computer languages, which is one of its great strengths!
Marty can be programmed using Python and Scratch and it is V-REP and ROS compatible.

The Marty robot by Robotical

Lego Mindstorms

lego-mindstorms-colours-sorter

Lego Mindstorms are programmed using a derivative of the National Instruments LabVIEW G language. This is a visual programming language.
But it is equally possible to program Lego Mindstorms using Python. You can find out how here, you simply need to make sure you have a microSD card!

The Dobot robotic arm

The Dobot robotic arm is extremely versatile thanks to its numerous ends (suction cup, gripper, laser, pen holder, etc.).
Not only is it hard-wearing and open-source, but you can upgrade it with new sensors.
The Dobot arm can be programmed using Python, Blockly, C, C, C++, Java, VB, and more. It is ROS compatible.

The Dobot robotic arm

The open-source, mobile TurtleBot3

The open-source, mobile TurtleBot3

The open-source, mobile TurtleBot3 base is ideal for learning Python and familiarising yourself with the ROS environment.
Its parts are 3D printable. This robot is based on a Raspberry Pi, so it can be upgraded by adding sensors, actuators, etc.
TurtleBot3 can be programmed using Python and Blockly.