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Python and Robotics

Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:00 am

Hello all

I'm looking for some advice regarding Python and robotics. I am new to robotics and am clueless when it comes to the hardware. I am looking to use Python to control the robots. Is this possible?

I have been teaching Python for a short time to high school 13-15 year olds. So far we have covered basic programs like - Converting a users age to dog years, guess the number between 1 and 10, dice roll simulators, compliment generators, and at the moment Hangman. This is also the extent of my Python knowledge.

However the dry nature of these programs means I need to mix things up and I thought robotics would be the trick. I would like to stay with Python instead of needing to switch languages (using the Arduino script, or sphero's javascript). Our new syllabus also dictates that text based programming is mandatory for senior student (16-18 year olds), so no drag and drop interfaces for me.

I've seen robotics kits based on Arduino but if I want to stick with Python I'll need to use the Raspberry Pi right? If so, bearing in mind our tight budget, what are the hardware basics are I'll need?

Online retailer suggestions are welcomed too.

Moderators, apologies if this is in the wrong section :)

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Re: Python and Robotics

Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:40 pm

If your not up htere on all the different hardware options and your using it for teaching then possibly looking at buying a kits with everything on it for a plug and play option.

I would suggest the Dexter GoPiGo3, I have 1 here and am pretty impressed on how well it is setup and it was designed for teaching high school kids. It was designed around being programmed in python and the latest version the GoPiGo3 also has a blocky language version like scratch. Dexter also make a lot of classroom lesson plans and projects see https://www.dexterindustries.com/gopigo3/

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Re: Python and Robotics

Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:03 pm

Take a look at: https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pro ... -computing

That doesn't answer your question about what to buy. It shows you what is possible with an RPi and some simple components.

There is saying around here along the lines of: First learn how to blink an LED. If you can control an Led you can control a motor. If you can control a motor you can build a robot...

Alternatively, learn to detect when a button has been pressed. Then you can ask: "What will your button do?"

But there are plenty of RPi-based robotics kits available if that's how you feel comfortable.

And you can implement your solution in Python directly on the RPi if that is what you are familiar with.

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Re: Python and Robotics

Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:03 pm

For a source of components, this is worth considering: https://camjam.me/?page_id=1035

The same team are behind Pi Wars – the Raspberry Pi robotics challenge competition

(Too late to enter the upcoming competition, but still a possible source of inspiration.)

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