Our Talking Tom!
So what do we want our Talking Tom to do? Let’s start just with some simple features:
Later on you may try out many other combinations of movements and sounds based on these basic ones and the endless possibilities of SCRATCH and Arduino. Watch a video showing our doll:
Level: Intermediate. You should know something about:
Preconditions: Basic knowledge about Scratch and Arduino interaction.
Physical structure and Fancy dress:
Programming: You’ll need a Scratch version that:
The following Scratch versions/dialects will do:
We suggest that you work on Linux. The automation and communication parts are much easier on this platform. If you want to use MIT Scratch 2.0 Offline and are experiencing difficulties in installing it, look at our Tutorial:
In order to build our Talking Tom, we need to construct things in the physical world (his skeleton and a fancy dress), automate these parts using Arduino and program their control using Scratch.
Below we provide a step-by-step guide on how to build the doll. We will start with building the skeleton to have a basic structure, then explain the automation and programming and in the finish with creating a fancy dress.
As part of our Computing at School (http://www.computacaonaescola.ufsc.br) initiative, we run family workshops either as part of school programs or independently. The workshops are aimed at children (6-14 years) accompanied by a parent (or any kind of adult family member or friend).
During the workshop participants learn how to implement a little project in Scratch. We choose projects where learning how to program involves simple motion and looks commands as well as events, conditionals, and loops using also sensing commands and operators. While teaching to program, we also present basic computing concepts such as an understanding of algorithmic problem-solving (problem statement, implementation and testing cycle), collaboration in form of pair programming as well as the understanding that a computer program is a set of step-by-step instructions to be acted out.
We also develop instructional units for teaching computing school programs. Currently we are developing an interdisciplinary Scratch game programming 12-hours unit for elementary schools and a 24-hours unit on physical computing with SCRATCH and a low-budget Arduino kit for middle schools.
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