Skip to Main Content
Small robots are very simple computers that can move autonomously. Their use in primary schools allows pupils to have concrete yet full programming experiences at the age in which Piaget situates the concrete operational stage of cognitive development. Indeed, for their first robotic activities, pupils think of paths where the robot moves forward, decides which direction to go when getting to a crossroad or repeats part of its previous trip. In planning a path for their robot, children walk it themselves thus finding out its successive tangible parts and related features. Our pupils use NQCBaby and NXCJunior programming languages for the formal specification of their robot's behaviour. These are textual languages, mother-tongue-based and Logo-like, in order to be oriented to children rather than to robots. Thus, when programming small robots, children are introduced to a deep computer competence because they deal with the basic blocks of algorithmics (sequence, selection and iteration) and learn how to specify them.
Date of Conference: 1-5 July 2008