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Senior Project - LEGOsheets


A Visual Programming Language for LEGO Bricks

Senior Project: 1994-1995
Jim Gindling, Andri Ioannidou, Jennifer Loh and Olav Lokkebo

This project was concerned with the design and implementation of a visual programming and simulation environment for school education. The environment is used to control a new kind of Programmable LEGO Brick designed by MIT. The brick contains a computer equipped with a number of analog/digital inputs and outputs. These ports can be hooked up to sensors (e.g., sound, pressure, light) and effectors (e.g., motors, bulbs). The combination of programmable bricks, sensors, effectors and classical LEGO pieces can be used to build individual autonomous units such as robots, vehicles, and machines, as well as societies of units that communicate through infra red channels.

The software, written in Lisp, allows the user to graphically connect components to an onscreen brick, setting the various attributes and behaviors of the components as they are added. The resulting system can then be simulated on screen, or run directly on the constructed LEGO system. This project was built using the AgentSheets programming environment, a programming substrate for creating domain-oriented programming and simulation environments. Students at Centennial Middle School in Boulder assisted in the evaluation of various versions of the system.

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