Back in the dim days of computers, there was (*) a language called Logo. In Logo you can draw shapes and patterns by giving the drawing tool commands. In Logo, the tool is called a “turtle” and you give it commands like:
And the turtle would draw a square.
I’d like to build a physical turtle to make drawings on paper. I thought I’d ask the forum “Hey if you had to create a turtle how would you do it?” since there seems to be a lot of talented designers looking for problems to solve.
Turtle will run on a flat surface like a floor or a large table.
Turtle will draw on newsprint.
Turtle has a felt tip marker in the exact center.
Turtle needs to turn on the exact center axis.
Movement needs to be exact. In the above example the two endpoints of the square should be touching. It becomes harder when the drawing is of a 24 point star.
Software commands: These would come in from the serial port so the robot would read in the command and do what it’s told.
FORWARD x move forward x amount
BACK x move backwards x amount
RIGHT d turn to the right d degrees. (90 is a right turn, 180 is a 1/2 turn)
LEFT d turn to the left d degrees.
So a RT 90 and LT 270 have the turtle facing the same way
How far, how fast?
I’m going to say about 16 ticks to the inch. So if you say FD 64, the turtle will move forward 4 inches. Turtles in real life don’t move very fast, so this turtle does not need to speed around. On the other hand, if it takes 10 minutes to draw a 12" square people will get bored. On the other, other hand if your 12" square is lopsided or has big gaps then that won’t work either.
Be able to lift the pen up and down so the turtle can move without drawing a line.
Be able to change pen colors.
Software for bonus requirements:
PENUP Lift the pen up
PENDOWN Put the pen down
SETC c Pick c colored pen.
There is lots of information about Logo and Logo turtles, Google is your friend. Newsprint comes in rolls from either your local newspaper, ask them for the end rolls, or from the craft store. Because it’s wide (36") and long it makes it a good medium to draw larger pictures on.
Saying “was a language” is a little off, since Logo is in use today. Logo had it’s roots in the very early days of computing, it was developed in 1966-1967. So it pre-dates “C” by 5 years and Java by almost 30 years. Logo is more powerful than just pushing a turtle around, but it’s unlikely you’ll see any business systems developed it it. It was designed to help teach students programming.
Anyway post your ideas, comments and design ideas!