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The Visual Programming Environment ROBI for Educational Robotics

Authors Gustavo Galvão, Alvaro Costa Neto , Cristiana Araújo , Pedro Rangel Henriques



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Gustavo Galvão
  • Centro ALGORITMI, Departamento de Informática, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal
Alvaro Costa Neto
  • Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de São Paulo, Barretos, Brazil
Cristiana Araújo
  • Centro ALGORITMI, Departamento de Informática, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal
Pedro Rangel Henriques
  • Centro ALGORITMI, Departamento de Informática, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal

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Gustavo Galvão, Alvaro Costa Neto, Cristiana Araújo, and Pedro Rangel Henriques. The Visual Programming Environment ROBI for Educational Robotics. In 11th Symposium on Languages, Applications and Technologies (SLATE 2022). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 104, pp. 14:1-14:15, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)
https://doi.org/10.4230/OASIcs.SLATE.2022.14

Abstract

This paper presents the outcomes of a research project focused on the training of Computational Thinking, resorting to a block-based visual programming language created to program an Arduino Uno based robot. To support the design and implementation of the visual programming environment Robi, we start discussing the relevance of Educational Robotics to motivate and engage children in programming activities. Students usually face great difficulties to learn computer programming and it is nowadays accepted that young people shall be trained in Computational Thinking to acquire the skills necessary to easily solve problems within and beyond the realm of Computer Science and Engineering. The resolution of obstacles imposed by the costs and reduced availability of typical Educational Robotics kits, in combination with the benefits of existing block-based programming languages, like simplicity and intuitiveness, motivated the project here reported and analyzed. We aim at showing that Robi, a visual block-based programming language and robot programming environment, provides an easy, accessible and intuitive platform to learn how to solve problems programming a computer and support the training of Computational Thinking.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Software and its engineering → Compilers
  • Social and professional topics → Computing education
Keywords
  • Programming Languages
  • Visual Languages
  • Computer Programming
  • Educational Robotics

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References

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