CHERP (Creative Hybrid Environment for Robotic Programming) is a hybrid tangible/graphical computer language designed to provide an engaging introduction to computer programming for young children in both formal and informal educational settings. With CHERP you can create programs for robots like the LEGO Mindstorms RCX and Lego WeDo, as well as the KIWI research prototype. CHERP was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation ( NSF grant # DRL-0735657 ) by the Developmental Technologies Group at Tufts University
CHERP allows you to create both physical and graphical computer programs to control your robot. You can create physical programs using interlocking wooden blocks, or onscreen programs using the same icons that represent actions for your robot to perform. With CHERP there is no such thing as a syntax error. The shape of the interlocking blocks and icons creates a physical syntax that prevents the creation of invalid programs. CHERP programs can be compiled in a matter of seconds with the press of a button.
How It Works
With LEGO WeDo:
CHERP's wooden blocks contain no embedded electronics or power supplies. Instead CHERP uses the computer’s embedded camera or a standard webcam connected to a desktop or laptop computer to take a picture of your program, which it then converts into digital code using the TopCodes computer vision library. Then, your LEGO WeDo robot can act out the program while it is plugged in to the computer.
Unlike the LEGO WeDo hardware, the KIWI robot does not require the use of a computer. The robot has an embedded scanner that allows you to scan barcodes on the CHERP block and send a program to your robot instantaneously. For more information on KIWI, please visit the KIWI page.
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