Dr. Yves Piguet Scientist Other, EPFL

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Seamless Multi-Robot Programming for the People: ASEBA and the Wireless Thymio II Robot

  • Authors: Rétornaz, Philippe; Riedo, Fanny; Magnenat, Stéphane; Vaussard, Florian Christopher; Bonani, Michael; Mondada, Francesco


Posted on: September 9, 2013

Teaching a Core CS Concept through Robotics

  • Authors: Magnenat, Stéphane; Shin, Jiwon; Riedo, Fanny; Siegwart, Roland; Ben-Ari, Morderchai

We implemented single-session workshops using the Thymio- II—a small, self-contained robot designed for young stu- dents, and VPL—a graphical software development envi- ronment based upon event handling. Our goal was to in- vestigate if the students could learn this core computer sci- ence concept while enjoying themselves in the robotics con- text. A visual questionnaire was developed based upon the combined Bloom and SOLO taxonomies, although it proved difficult to construct a questionnaire appropriate for young students. We found that—despite the short duration of the workshop—all but the youngest students achieved the cog- nitive level of Unistructural Understanding, while some stu- dents achieved higher levels of Unistructural Applying and Multistructural Understanding and Applying.

Posted on: April 14, 2014

Thymio II, a robot that grows wiser with children

  • Authors: Riedo, Fanny; Chevalier, Morgane Solène Denise; Magnenat, Stéphane; Mondada, Francesco

Thymio II is a small robot developed for education. It aims at offering a wide public the possibility to understand the basics of robotics and programming. To achieve this, it aims at being appealing to a large age range and serve as a medium for several types of activities. In this study, we tested it in five different workshops of the EPFL Robotics Festival with various activities. The workshops target different age groups and the participants can control the robot via different means: built- in buttons, graphical programming and text programming. At the end of the activities, participants were asked to fill a short survey to give their impressions about the robot, their appreciation of the tasks and their motivations to take part. We could show through this feedback that ThymioII appeals to young children as much as to teenagers, to both girls and boys, and allows them to have fun and learn new things.

Posted on: April 14, 2014