The Finch robot is the result of four years of NSF-supported research into using robots to improve Computer Science education at Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE lab. The research effort involved deep participation of Computer Science educators and several design iterations driven by results from classroom pilots (1). The Finch has several characteristics that make it optimally suited for Computer Science classrooms: It is supported in a wide range of programming languages, including all languages used at the high school level It is powered over USB; no batteries are required and the robot never runs out of power. No special drivers or software need to be installed to run the Finch, allowing students to quickly begin using the robot on home or personal computers. It is robust and portable, and can easily be carried in a backpack. The Finch comes with over 62 pre-written lessons/projects and the website allows teachers to upload and share additional lesson plans that they have developed. At $99, it is considerably less expensive than other robots used in Computer Science education. The robot is equipped with temperature and light sensors, a speaker, a light that can be programmed to change color, and a three-axis accelerometer. With the right program, the Finch can transform into a buzzing, moving alarm clock, a joystick for a student-written game, a hearing test, a musical instrument, a light-fearing robot, a weather forecaster, and much more. If data is the raw material of programs, the Finch is a way of providing these programs with fascinating, real-world sources and outputs of that data. The Finch has been tested at several schools prior to commercialization, including one large-scale test at a community college. These tests showed promise in the use of the Finch to increase student motivation and learning (2). Since commercialization, numerous teachers have provided anecdotal testimonials of the Finch’s usefulness in the Computer Science classroom.И много ещё чего интересного написано здесь.