I’m building a “LOGO” turtle

Do you remember the LOGO programming language? It’s all about learning programming through a connection to the visual: drawn shapes. Usually that’s images drawn on a screen by a virtual turtle, but some people were lucky enough to have a real physical robot turtle to run around and draw pictures on paper on the ground.

Well, I’ve always wanted one of those, so recently I’ve been designing one. Embedded below is a youtube.com video showing the first test run of the chassis and motors. The electronics is still on a breadboard, but will be mounted onto the chassis in the near future.

I designed the chassis in OpenSCAD (see http://www.openscad.org/), and 3D-printed it at Loveland CreatorSpace. Soon, we hope this is one of the things you’ll be able to do at Fort Collins Creator Hub.

To mount the electronics, I designed an Arduino shield using EagleCAD, and am awaiting its return from oshpark.com. This will fit onto an Arduino Pro from sparkfun.com, and mount onto the chassis. The shield will house a couple of motor drivers from pololu.com, and an ESP8266 WiFi radio. The radio will allow remote control from any WiFi capable device. I’ll probably start out with a Python module to send commands, thus allowing the user to write LOGO-esque programs in Python. I might work up some other control applications later.

EDIT: The files used to create the turtle are available at https://github.com/swarren/logo-turtle.