An Introduction to the Scribbler
Park Science Bldg, Room 251
Bryn Mawr College
101 North Merion Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Tel. (610) 526-5024
To Whom it May Concern:
We hope you find using the Institute for Personal Robots in Education’s Scribbler Robot kit both enjoyable and educational. The mission of the Institute for Personal Robots in Education, abbreviated as IPRE, is to find creative, fun, and useful ways for students to learn computer science by programming robots. The institute, created with a grant from Microsoft Research, is jointly run by Bryn Mawr College and Georgia Technical Institute. For more information, take a look at IPRE’s website at http://www.roboteducation.org/.
We have enclosed your robot kit, which includes the following.
- Scribbler robot, by Parallax.
- The “Fluke”, IPRE’s Bluetooth camera dongle. Has extra sensors for the robot, including a camera, and allows the robot to send messages to and receive messages from the computer.
- Bluetooth USB dongle. Allows the computer to send messages to and receive messages from the robot.
- A nifty carry bag for the robot.
- Three Sharpie pens. For use with Scribbler drawing.
- Six double-A batteries. Note that rechargeable batteries work with the Scribbler as well.
- Also included are the original Scribbler manual, cd, and serial cable, as well as the Bluetooth USB Dongle manual, CD, and USB wire. None of these last set of items are necessary for programming of the Scribbler using the Myro library (a set of functions for use with the robot). We have included them so that in case you wish to use any of them, you can.
Learning to program the Scribbler in the programming language Python using the Myro library is fun and relatively easy. We currently have introductory level computer science courses at both Bryn Mawr College and Georgia Technical Institute in which students use the Scribbler to learn how to program. For an introduction to the Scribbler and much, much more information on using Myro with the Scribbler, go to our Wiki Online Textbook at http://wiki.roboteducation.org/Introduction_to_Computer_Science_via_ Robots.
To set up the Scribbler for use, you will need to connect the Fluke into the Scribbler’s serial port and connect the Bluetooth USB dongle into your computer’s USB port. By the serial port there is a black on-off switch and a useful red restart button.
To use the Scribbler, you will need to download the installer for the programming language Python, as well as the library Myro, a collection of functions that can be used with the Scribbler. Both are freely available on the web. For instructions on how to install Myro as well as on how to set up the Bluetooth connection between your robot and the computer, go to http://wiki.roboteducation.org/Myro_Installation_Manual. On that page, there is also a link to Python 2.4, which is what is used in the Wiki online text. Alternately, you can get Python 2.4 as well as newer versions of Python at www.python.org (go to Quick Links and look under Releases, both located on the left-hand side of the webpage).
We hope you enjoy working, playing, and learning with the Scribbler robot and Myro. You can email any questions or comments to email@example.com.
The Institute for Personal Robots in Education Team
Associate Professor Tucker Balch, IPRE Director
Professor Mark Guzdial, Co-PI for Curricula
Gaurav Gupta, IPRE Fellow M.S. Student
Keith O'Hara, Ph.D. Student Instructor & Robot Hardware and Software Design
Jay Summet, Postdoctoral Fellow Curriclum Development & Evaluation
Monica Sweat, Instructor Curriculum Evaluation
Daniel Walker, Research Scientist Lead Hardware Design Engineer
Associate Professor Douglas Blank, IPRE Co-Director Lead Software Design
Professor Deepak Kumar, Co-PI for Curricula
Natasha Eilbert, 2007-2008 IPRE Fellow
Georgia State University:
Associate Professor K. N. King, IPRE Associate Curriculum Evaluation
The University of Georgia:
Assistant Professor Maria Hybinette, IPRE Associate Curriculum Evaluation
Professor Don Potter, IPRE Associate Curriculum Evaluation
Microsoft Research :
Dr. Stewart Tansley, Program Manager Microsoft Research
Jared Jackson, Software Development Engineer Microsoft Research