Application of a universal language for low-cost classroom robots
Jeremiah Palmer, Tufts University, United States
Tufts University . Awarded
The goal of the work presented in this thesis is to implement an interpreted assembly language for programming a variety of small microcontrollers (MCUs) such as those used in simple classroom robots. The increasing popularity of robots in K-12 education has led to a large number of hardware platforms and programming languages. If teachers wish to move to new platforms, students must relearn to program. This is a convenient tool at higher levels for teaching new languages, but is also a stumbling block with younger students where the language itself is not the focus. The new language is implemented on two MCUs with substantially different capabilities. The two platforms successfully control motors and read simple sensors using the same assembly code, however the interpreter firmware slows the real-time capabilities of the language to millisecond resolution on the slower MCU. As a demonstration of the new language, one of these MCUs was used in a new hardware platform for the Tufts University's DevTech Research Group's TangibleK early education robotics project.
Palmer, J. Application of a universal language for low-cost classroom robots. Master's thesis, Tufts University.
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