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Zuhair, AlSader
Karam, Shawish
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Swarmy is a system of easily-programmable robots targeted for children and educators who would like to learn or teach computer science in a physical way. It also gives students the opportunity to learn about more advanced computer science topics like parallelism and event-based programming. The idea of Swarmy is influenced by a research area called swarm robotics which describes a system of robots that cooperate to achieve a common goal. Swarmy teaches children the basics of event-based computation by providing them with a simple and child-friendly programming interface (drag and drop) on a mobile app in order to control the behavior of all the robots. The app is equipped with ready examples, modules, tutorials and challenges to get the users started and spark creative thinking to solve challenges. Swarmy hardware is simple and easily-constructed. It consists of robots moving on wheels which have some simple sense of their relative positions and of the obstacles in the environment. Robots listen for events from the environment and to messages exchanged between them via wifi, then execute the code assigned to those events and messages. Messages include relative positions, whether an obstacle is near one of the robots, and continuous status information.