Robots are Coming

Image of a Finch robotWe’ve previously mentioned LEGO robotics, coding clubs, and littleBits machine building kits as ways to develop library STEM and STEAM programs around computer programming and machines. Today I’d like to introduce another option, the Finch robot.

The Finch was developed at the Carnegie Mellon University as a robot for computer science education. Their website has an assortment of ready-made assignments that can easily be incorporated into school curricula or used in library workshops.

Finches can be programmed through a wide range of software, making them appropriate for all grade levels, including Python, Java, Javascript, C++, Matlab, and Visual Basic, as well as the Snap! visual interface for younger users (age 4+). You can see the full list of compatible languages broken down by grade level here. They have a host of on-board sensors (light, temperature, accelerometers, and obstacle sensors), a pen mount for drawing, and a full-color LED beak.

Finch robots cost around $99 each to purchase (the price goes down if you buy in bulk), but if you’d like to grant fund your library’s robot acquisition, there is grant writing assistance custom-tailored to Finch robots available here.

Want to learn more about the Finch? Here’s a 3 minute overview:

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