AcadeCoders Blog 2016: Robotics and AI

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Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Welcome to the seventh week of the AcadeCoders session: Robotics and AI. This blog post will cover each daily activity of each camp day with various pictures and descriptions. Robotics and AI are an integral part in the field of technology and this significance will be taught through concepts and practical applications.


Day 1: Monday, August 8th, 2016

First day of Robotics and AI for the AcadeCoders! The AcadeCoders started off the morning strong with jiu-jitsu with an instructor from k2 Martial Arts. Following jiu-jitsu, the AcadeCoders went to the classroom for introductory lecture and discussion on Robotics and AI. The AcadeCoders were taught the basic concepts from the Turing Test to the three central principles and theories of artificial intelligence. Following the lecture the AcadeCoders had a discussion on these AI theories.

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Following their morning introductory lecture, the AcadeCoders took to Morrison Park for outdoor activities and free-play! They participated in various sports such as kickball and touch football while spending time on the swings and play structure during free-play.

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Following outdoor activities / free-play and lunch, the AcadeCoders were ready to get back to the classroom! To continue learning about introductory concepts, the AcadeCoders had a lecture on Rasberry Pi and all of its functionality. Rasberry Pi’s are single-board computers that are used to program the software and hardware of various robotics. The AcadeCoders have the opportunity to learn the actual functionalities and how to use it in real life applications this week from the software to the hardware.

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Following the lecture and snack, the AcadeCoders were brought back to the classroom for their final lesson! Before using the full functionalities of Rasberry Pi, the AcadeCoders have to get a basis of the programming side before they dive into the hardware side of Rasberry Pi. Rasberry Pi uses Python and the AcadeCoders are going to be taught the necessary concepts of Python to build projects with Rasberry Pi! In the first lesson, the AcadeCoders were taught Python syntax, including variables, Booleans, whitespaces, and math operations. Once the AcadeCoder were comfortable with the basics, we moved to the morning challenge: Tip Calculator. The AcadeCoders had to program a calculator that calculates the tip amounts for customers.

 

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Day 2: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Second day of Robotics and Artifical Intelligence for the AcadeCoders! The goal of the day is complete 80% of the Python Units before we begin building with Rasberry Pi Wednesday Afternoon. The AcadeCoders began their morning with strings, escaping characters, using upper and lower coding methods for strings, printing variables with strings, and advanced printing with explicit string conversion. The AcadeCoders were then given the challenge: Date and Time. Campers will learn how to code a database that keeps track of day and time. This challenge will look at getting the date and time with python, extracting information, and organizing it all.

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Following the morning Python lesson and snack, the AcadeCoders were ready to head outside to Morrison Park! The AcadeCoders participated in various sports such as ultimate and touch football while spending free time socializing and organizing games on the play structure.

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Following outdoor activities and lunch, the AcadeCoders were ready for their afternoon lesson in the continuation of learning the basics of Python! The AcadeCoders were taught conditionals and control flow. This is where the AcadeCoders learn to create programs that generate different outcomes based on their output. Following the lesson, they were given the challenge: PygLatin & Functions. The AcadeCoders apply their knowledge of python thus far and apply it to build a PygLatin translator.

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Day 3: Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Third day of Robotics and AI for the AcadeCoders! The AcadeCoders are spending the morning finishing the necessary software component of Rasberry Pi before they go into the hardware portion. The first half of the morning was a lecture on Functions, where the AcadeCoders learn to use various functions to make their code more efficient and organizing data they are holding. They were then faced with the Vacation challenge where they had to take all their knowledge in Python and functions to code and organize a vacation to their destination of choice.

 

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Following the first-half of Python and snack, the AcadeCoders had their last lesson on Python before beginning the hardware portion of Rasberry Pi. The AcadeCoders had a lesson on Lists and Dictionaries where they learn to use lists and dictionaries to store, organize, and manipulate information. This is essential when looking at various Rasberry Pi libraries. In addition, they were given  the “A Day at the Supermarket” challenge. The AcadeCoders had the challenge to use looping with lists and dictionaries to devise their own store in a market and learn to organize selling.

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Following lunch, the AcadeCoders usually spend time at Morrison Park for outdoor activities and free-play, but due to the heat wave warning, it was best for the AcadeCoders to have indoor activities. The activity of the day was Speed Stacks, where the AcadeCoders were put in singles and doubles tournaments to see who has the fastest time to stack up and stack down speed cups.

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Following Speed Stacks, the AcadeCoders were ready to move onto the hardware portion of Rasberry Pi! The first lesson was on all of the parts and basic functionalities of Rasberry Pi; from the basic breadboard to how it is essentially an operating system that the AcadeCoders get to manipulate and display their work on a monitor.

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After the lesson, we showed the AcadeCoders a demonstration of a reaction game we will be coding and building with both Python and Rasberry Pi. The reaction games included a light bulb that has a set interval time of when it glows and when it does, both players have to press their button on the breadboard fast as they can to see who had the fastest reaction time.

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Day 4: Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Fourth day of Robotics and AI for the AcadeCoders! The AcadeCoders started off their morning reviewing various key concepts of Python that will further help them writing programs with the Rasberry Pi. After snack, the AcadeCoders were then given a lesson on using Python’s professional IDE and script reader that works alongside the Rasberry Pi. The AcadeCoders were then given a few challenges to practice writing their code in the Python IDE.

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Following lunch and indoor activity / free-play, the AcadeCoders were ready to continue programming and working on the Rasberry Pi! The AcadeCoders had an afternoon lesson on both the software and hardware portions of Rasberry Pi and the introductory steps needed before making the reaction time game. They learned to wire the breadboard properly while practicing their Python that will allow for the light to glow.

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