Logo Turtle & MicroWorlds

Yesterday, I mentioned the robot Logo turtle in class. For those of you who are curious or might want to introduce yourselves or grandkids(±) to programming and robots, below are a few links.


In the mid 1960s Seymour Papert, a mathematician who had been working with Piaget in Geneva, came to the United States where he co-founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory with Marvin Minsky. Papert worked with the team from Bolt, Beranek and Newman, led by Wallace Feurzeig, that created the first version of Logo in 1967.  Ref: Seymour Papert, Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas



Children learned to program the Logo turtle to draw TurtleArt by first playing the part of the turtle to draw a design, then using the commands of the Logo language to program the robot turtle to create amazing graphic designs. In the process they learned mathematical, geometric, and logical thinking. Some of TurtleArt in the gallery, here, is quite intricate and colorful, the result of current implementations of Logo utilizing the color graphics capabilities on modern computing devices (e.g., desktop and laptop computers and, now, the iPad.)


iLogo for the iPad

iLogo is one implementation of Logo available for the iPad. For $2.99 you, your grandkids, and others can begin to explore the world of programming and the Logo turtle.






If you don’t have an iPad, you can conduct similar explorations with the the free MicroWorlds Web Players for Windows and Macintosh computers/laptops.





BTW, here’s a very brief b&w video of early Logo turtles. The one I ‘inherited’ at Syracuse University and used in classes on computers in education was one of two in existence at the time; the other was at MIT where both were hatched. It looked similar to the second turtle in the video, with a clear acrylic dome encasing its mechanical and electrical parts. The computer controlling it was a PDP10 minicomputer (see image, below), located in the machine room of the engineering building and connected via phone dial-up with a control box the size of a cluster of four shoe boxes. Bruce Sherry

PDP10 minicomputer – We’ve come a long way, baby!

[Please comment, below, if you explore any of these.]

– Tom


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