For a follow-on to Turtle bots, we’ll dive into the software behind small robots and that revolves around the programming language known as Logo.
Seymour Papert teamed up with Cynthia Solomon and Wally Feurzeig at MIT to develop Logo for providing computer and mathematical education in the late 1960s.
Dr. Solomon states:
I started designing Logo, a language for learning, with Seymour Papert and Wally Feurzeig in 1966 at Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1967 we had a working version of Logo implemented in Lisp running on a time-shared SDS 940 computer. In the summer of 1969, I joined Papert and Marvin Minsky at the MIT AI Lab and the Logo Group was formed.
So what is Logo??
Imagine a robotic turtle starting at (0, 0) in the x-y plane. After an import turtle, give it the command turtle.forward(50), and it moves (on-screen and/or on the ground) 50 pixels in the direction it is facing, drawing a line as it moves. Give it the command turtle.right(90), and it rotates in-place 25 degrees clockwise. With commands like these you can get back to the starting point to draw a square. Logo can draw very intricate shapes using programs that repeat simple moves.
With Logo, kids could play with words and sentences — explore mathematics, write stories, and make games.
Logo at home: when home computers arrived on the scene, Logo was usually the second language, after BASIC, to be ported to the new machine:
- Apple Logo for II+ and Apple Logo Writer for the //e, developed by LCSI (Logo Computer Systems, Inc), was the most broadly used and prevalent early implementation of Logo which peaked in the early to mid-1980s.
- Atari Logo was released on cartridge by Atari for the Atari 8-bit family.
- Color Logo was released for the TRS-80 Color Computer in 1983 on cartridge and disk by Tandy
- Commodore Logo was released on diskette in 1983 based on MIT Logo.
- The Macintosh 128K used ExperLogo, released in 1985 by Expertelligence
- IBM marketed their own version of Logo, also developed by LCSI, for their then-new IBM PC.
You can run Logo today!
The Logo Foundation has resources for downloading several versions of Logo.
Look to see more educational robot hardware and software! Adafruit has announced their Crikit robotics control board. Perfect for a variety of robotics tasks. https://blog.adafruit.com/2018/05/01/adafruit-previews-crickit-hopes-to-make-robotics-more-accessible-make-adafruit/
I would certainly like to see a version of Logo for a Crickit-based robot. Who’s game?