Lesson 40: Computer Bugs & Debugging

Snack & Chat

I’ve got two new words for you today – Computer Bugs & Debugging. But before I explain these words, I want to tell you a story about  one of the very earliest computers and a very clever lady who wrote Computer Code. Do you remember what Code is? That’s right, a language for writing Programmes that the Computer can understand. This is Grace Hooper, and she wrote one of the first computer languages, called COBOL. When the computers didn’t work, they had to take a look at the machines and figure out what was going wrong. Sometimes it was a mistake in the Code, but sometimes it was something wrong with the machine. One day when Grace Hopper was figuring out why a computer programme wasn’t working, she discovered the problem: 1952_hopper-grace_large   There was a bug in the machine! And here it is, with her notes of all of the things she had been checking to find the problem; TheFirstComputer-Bug-MarkI-book-d3 Before 1944, electrical engineers already used the term “bug” to refer to hard-to-find physical problems that kept the machines  from working properly. The Mark I team used the word “bug”  for unexpected problems in the “coding” of a problem. Ever since then, Programming that doesn’t work is said to have a Computer Bug, and looking for the problem is called De-Bugging!

what are bugs

BBC – What are computer bugs: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/ztgjq6f

Now we’re going to do some de-bugging of our own.

We’re going to do some more Angry Bird puzzle games, but this time there is some code ready waiting for you. Accept it doesn’t work! Can you debug the code and find the problem? Can you fix it and help the Angry Bird catch the pig?


http://studio.code.org/s/course1/stage/5/puzzle/1   New Lego game to play: http://www.publishyourdesign.com/design Some Blockly games to play: https://blockly-games.appspot.co


Lesson 39: ROBOTS!!

trooper1-1387603776176Snack & Chat

Today I want to tell you about something really cool that happened last week – teams from around the world designed a robot and entered it into a robot competition. This is called the DARPR Robotics Challenge.

This year the Challenge was to design a robot to help in emergencies. This is the list of the things that the robots needed to be able to do:

1. Drive a utility vehicle at the site.

2. Travel dismounted across rubble.

3. Remove debris blocking an entryway.

4. Open a door and enter a building.

5. Climb an industrial ladder and traverse an industrial walkway.

6. Use a tool to break through a concrete panel.

7. Locate and close a valve near a leaking pipe.

8. Connect a fire hose to a standpipe and turn on a valve.

Let’s watch one of the robots doing it’s tasks

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And this is the robot that won the competition!

KAIST's DRC-HUBO at the Door -Day 1_0 (1)

(If you really, really love Robots – you can watch the Finals on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv9Wm20UrcU)

Computer Time – Programming Robots

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And here’s a new Runaway Robot Game for you to try – don’t forget to read the Instructions!

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