Getting Started with the

Finch Robot

Version 1.0 - 9/8/14

Things to Remember

  • The Finch Robot needs to be connected to the computer with the USB cable at all times.

  • The Finch Robot uses Scratch programming to complete tasks.

Running the Helper App

You’ll need to run a server app each time you use the Finch Robot. This app lets the computer interact with the Finch.

Open Scratch (Offline)

Click on Scratch from the Helper App to load the offline version of Scratch. This version does NOT run in a browser. You’ll need to remember to save your files to the computer each time.

Load the Finch Blocks

Once Scratch opens, hold down Shift on the keyboard and click on the File Menu. From there choose Import Experimental HTTP Extension.

Load the Finch Blocks

Choose Finch.s2e from the Documents folder. You’ll now see the blocks to the right in the More Blocks category. These will blocks control the Finch Robot.

Motor Commands

Move Finch left:__ right:__

Sets the power to the left and right wheels. The range is -100 to 100.

For example Move Finch Left: 100 Right: 100 is full forward, Left: -100 Right: -100 is full backwards.

LED Commands

Finch LED color R:__ G:__ B:__

Sets the color of the Finch's beak, the R, G, and B arguments control the intensity of the red, green, and blue elements in the Finch's beak. The range is 0 to 100 for each color.

Sound Commands

Finch buzz at __Hz for __ms

Plays the Finch's buzzer with a sound of the frequency specified for the time specified. Range is 20 to 20,000 for frequency.

Note: 1,000 ms is equal to 1 second

Sensing Commands - Part 1

Finch temperature

Returns the current temperature in Celsius.

Finch left light and right light:

Returns the intensity of light hitting the left or right light sensor. The values are in a range from 0 to 100 where 0 is total darkness and 100 is saturation of the sensor.

Finch left and right obstacle:

These are boolean or predicate blocks, returning true if an object is 1-4" from the sensor and false otherwise.

Sensing Commands - Part 2

Finch X/Y/Z Acceleration

Returns the current g-forces measured along the Finch's X (beak to tail), Y (wheel to wheel), and Z (top to bottom) axes.

Range is -1.5 to 1.5 gees.

Finch Orientation

Returns the current orientation of the Finch.

Possible responses are: level, upside down, beak up, beak down, left wing down, right wing down, and in between.

Task #1 - Starting & Stopping

Find the Move Finch block and add in values of 100 for left and right. Click the block What happens?

Add the Stop All block to stop your Finch from moving.

Try experimenting with other numbers in the Move Finch block. Can you get the Finch to move left, right and backwards?

CHALLENGE: Can you control the Finch Robot’s movement using the arrow keys?

Task #2 - Changing Beak Colors

Find the Finch LED Color block and add in values of 100 for R, G and B. Click the block. What happens?

Try experimenting with other numbers in the Move Finch block. What colors do you get if you only put 100 in the R, G or B?

What happens if you place a Pick Random (under operators) block in each of the three sections?

CHALLENGE: Can you get the Finch to produce each of the colors of a rainbow?

Task #3 - Beep, Beep!

Find the Finch buzz block. What happens when you click it? What happens if you replace the 500ms with 1000ms?

Try experimenting with other numbers in the Hz block. What do you notice when you have a lower number compared to a higher number?

CHALLENGE: Can you get the Finch to play a song?

Hint: You’ll need to use multiple blocks and the Wait __ secs block between each Finch buzz.

Task #4 - what’s the temperature?

Add the Finch temperature block. When you click the block, a number will show up. Can you guess what is being displayed?

The Finch temperature block will display the temperature in Celsius.

CHALLENGE: Can you use a variety of the green operators blocks along with the Finch temperature block to display the temperature in Fahrenheit? If you get stuck, click on this slide to see how to do it!

Task #5 - Light Detection

Find the Finch left light and Finch right light blocks. What happens when you click them?

Borrow a flashlight from your teacher and shine it on one of the light sensors on the Finch? How does the number change? What are the lowest and highest numbers you can produce?

CHALLENGE: Can you get the Finch to move towards a light source?

Hint: You’ll need to use multiple Finch light blocks AND Move Finch blocks.

Task #6 - Orientation

Find the Finch Orientation block. What happens when you click it?

The Finch Orientation block returns a description of the position that the finch is in. Can you get it to produce all seven positions?

CHALLENGE: Can you figure out a way to use the Finch Orientation block to control the Scratch character on the screen?

Hint: Click on the slide for the blocks needed to move a character to the right.