We describe work in progress on roBlocks, a computational construction kit that encourages users to experiment and play with a collection of sensor, logic and actuator blocks, exposing them to a variety of advanced concepts including kinematics, feedback and distributed control. Its interface presents novice users with a simple, tangible set of robotic… (More)
Distributed Computational Toys are physical artifacts that function based on the coordination of more than one computing device. Often, these toys take the form of a microcontroller network embedded in a children's construction kit. We present a survey of Distributed Computational Toys. Although most of the toys we surveyed were built in the last five years… (More)
The roBlocks construction kit is a tangible concurrent programming environment that encapsulates sensory, kinetic, and computational behavior in modular building block units that snap together to construct robots. The choice of a protocol for propagating values through the constructed robot affects its behavior.
— In this paper we describe an optimal reconfigura-tion planning algorithm that morphs a grounded truss structure of known geometry into a new geometry. The plan consists of a sequence of paths to move truss elements to their new locations that generate the new truss geometry. The trusses are grounded and remain connected at all time. Intuitively, the… (More)
We present progress with roBlocks, a reconfigurable modular robotic system for education. Children snap together small, magnetic, heterogeneous modules to create larger, more complex robotic constructions. The design of the system is described and the algorithms that handle data transfer and manipulation are explained. Users tend to begin exploring the… (More)
The Modular Robotics Studio will engage participants in a structured exploration (guided play) and reflective discussion of the principles and practice of building interactive experiences with a modular reconfigurable construction kit of robot components.
Graphs are a versatile representation of many systems in computer science, the social sciences, and mathematics, but graph theory is not taught in schools. We present our work on Graphmaster, a computationally enhanced construction kit that enables children to build graphs of their own and investigate their properties by experimenting with algorithms that… (More)
Design is fundamental. In various forms, it permeates engineering, management, architecture and the arts. Design aptitude separates the visionary from the technician. Although many skills, like math or technical writing, are straightforward to quantify and teach, the creativity and processes inherent in design are both more difficult to instill and more… (More)
listened to a talk by the head of a prominent design school recently. He explained that the school's philosophy is to train students to analyze the needs of their users in order to design reasonable products. Ethnographies, focus groups, cog-nitive modeling: Interaction design, at least, has become a process dedicated to catering to the user. It seems as… (More)