Calico Nifty Projects

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This is a collection of interesting project you can do in Calico.

Interactively Program an Arduino


See for complete example.

Draw Shapes with your Robot

  • Topic: Draw different geometric shapes with your Scribbler Robot. Same kinds of turtle graphics one can draw on the screen, but in the real world! Has camera, image processing, sound, sensors, and more.
  • Overview:
  • Calico modules: Myro
  • Ideas for extensions: With the Scribbler2, it has much better control, and so many more drawings are possible: letters, art, etc.

Animated Bar Charts

  • Topic: Animated Bar Charts. Create bar charts that change in a smooth manner over time.
  • Overview:
  • Code:
  • Calico modules: Graphics and Myro
  • Ideas for extensions: visualize real data

Live Stickpeople

  • Topic: Display live human stick person animation using the Microsoft Kinect.
  • Requires: Micosoft Kinect, and a Windows7 server; code works as client on any operating system
  • Background: Calico Kinect
  • Calico modules: Graphics and Kinect
  • Ideas for extensions: Change the background, and put images rather than geometric shapes on the skeleton

Laura's Brain



  • Topic: historiophotography: visual interaction for comparing old photos with modern images of the same artifact
  • Code:
  • Background: An idea that I use with my kids to explore an historic area to its modern-day counterpart. This takes some planning to do well. First, find some old photos, and study them. It helps to print them out on your trip to visit a place. Use them to get a close approximation to the old photo.
  • Requires: Calico 1.1.0 or higher
  • Calico modules: Graphics
  • Ideas for extensions: What other images can you visualize this way?

Analog Clock


Genomic Representations

  • Topic: Create a representation of items that are connected, genomics fashion
  • Code:, and
  • Calico modules: Graphics, and Myro
  • Ideas for extensions: What real data can you represent in this manner?

Solar System Animation


Angry Blocks


Geographic Information System

  • Topic: Create a visualization of US GIS data
  • Background: Calico Python GIS
  • Calico modules: Graphics
  • Ideas for extensions: Plot data by state, or plot real geographical information on a map


The eSpeak system, which comes with Calico for Windows and Mac, and can be installed for Linux, offers the ability to turn words into text:

Myro.speak("Hello world!")

But you can also use it to pronounce Phonemes. Phoneme mnemonics can be used directly in the text input to speak. They are enclosed within double square brackets. Spaces are used to separate words, and all stressed syllables must be marked explicitly. For example:

Myro.speak("[[D,Is Iz sVm f@n'EtIk t'Ekst 'InpUt]]")

Each of the language's phonemes is represented by a mnemonic of 1, 2, 3, or 4 characters. Together with a number of utility codes (eg. stress marks and pauses). The utility 'phonemes' are:

'	primary stress
,	secondary stress
%	unstressed syllable
=   	put the primary stress on the preceding syllable
_:	short pause
_	a shorter pause
||	indicates a word boundary within a phoneme string
|	can be used to separate two adjacent characters, to prevent them from being considered as a multi-character phoneme mnemonic

See for more details.