Pyro: An Integrated Environment for Robotics Education

Douglas Blank, Deepak Kumar, Lisa Meeden, Holly Yanco

Pyro, which stands for Python Robotics, is a Python-based robotics programming environment that enables students to explore topics in robotics. Programming robot behaviors in Pyro is akin to programming in a high-level general purpose programming language; Pyro provides abstractions for low-level robot-specific features much like the abstractions provided in high-level programming languages. Consequently, robot control programs written for a small robot (such as K-Team’s hockey puck sized, infrared-based Khepera robot) can be used, without any modifications, to control a much larger robot (such as ActivMedia’s human-scale, laser-based PeopleBot). This represents an advance over previous robot programming methodologies in which robot programs were written for specific motor controllers, sensors, communications protocols and other low-level features. Programming robot behaviors is carried out using the programming language Python, which enables several additional pedagogical benefits. We have developed an extensive set of robot programming modules, modeling techniques, and learning materials that can be used in graduate and undergraduate curricula in a variety of ways.

Content Area: 17.Robotics

Subjects: 17. Robotics

Submitted: May 10, 2005

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